Common Chimney Problems | Colorado Springs Chimney Sweep

As a local Colorado Springs chimney sweep we see plenty of chimney issues.  Some problems are simple fixes and some problems are bigger and more costly. Early detection is the key to keeping your costs low. The following are common chimney problems that can often be avoided when you take proper precautions and schedule regular condition checks/sweeping and maintenance.

Creosote Build-Up

When you use your chimney creosote (a flammable substance ranging from fluffy soot to a hard black glass type coating) builds up in your flue over time.  Creosote is a highly flammable substance and can put you at risk for a chimney fire. It should be cleaned out annually, or for each cord of wood burned. The danger is that creosote goes from an ambient flue temperature of 500-900o to over 2000 o in less than 11 seconds.

As a Colorado Springs chimney sweep, Dr. SOOT is trained to help reduce your risk. We’ll keep your chimney clean and creosote-free to prevent the wrong type of fires.

Debris Creating Blockage

Blockages are more common in chimneys not covered with a flue cap. Homes surrounded by trees often collect leaves and debris and have a higher risk for blockage issues.. Critters, like racoons, can also cause blockages in the flue.  They like to make their homes on the smoke shelves of masonry systems.  Blockages should always be removed before you burn.  If they’re not removed you risk your home filling with smoke, or worse, materials blocking the flue catching fire.

By scheduling regular chimney cleanings, you’ll make sure your chimney is free of debris and blockages and we will advise you about the proper flue cap to install.

Cracks in the Chimney Crown Wash

Over time you may notice cracks in cement on the top of your chimney.  Known as the Crown Wash (to differentiate it from a flue cap) it is your first line of defense for the interior of the chimney chase.Crown Wash

It’s important to examine the condition of your chimney and get it inspected if you notice cracks developing.  If left unkempt, cracks in your chimney allow for water to leak in. Freezing and thawing temperatures will cause further deterioration.

At Dr. SOOT we’ll inspect your chimney and offer masonry repairs so the issue doesn’t get worse.

Cracks in Chimney Lining (Flue)

Depending upon the age of your home your chimney is lined with a flue to protect your house against fires. Often made of clay tile, the flue experiences high amounts of heat and stress. Over time small cracks can develop. If left unchecked a cracked flue can put you at risk for carbon monoxide or fire entering your home. The worst case scenario is a damaged flue allows heat or sparks to reach combustible materials and start a house fire.  

Regular inspections by a professional will confirm your chimney flue is in good order and doing its job correctly.

Damaged or Nonexistent Chimney Cap

Your chimney cap serves an important purpose. A proper chimney cap keeps out unwanted debris and helps avoid blockage.  A cap also acts as a barrier to keep water out of your chimney which can damage the flue.  By having a flue cap you’ll avoid blockages or flue damage and save yourself time, money, and hassle.

If you’re experiencing any of these problems, go online or give the Colorado Springs chimney sweep experts at Dr. SOOT a call at (719) 598-4466. We offer annual cleanings, inspections, and assistance for all of your chimney needs

more articles