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A Collapsed Chimney is Risky

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Did You Know a Collapsed Chimney Can Be Dangerous?

If there is any part of a chimney that has collapsed, homeowners should take immediate action. Not only should the heating system using the chimney not be used, you should also be aware of a potentially fatal hazard due to carbon monoxide poisoning.

A Collapsed Chimney is Dangerous - Ann Arbor MI - Clean Sweep & Air Ducts of Michigan

A Collapsed Chimney is Dangerous – Ann Arbor MI – Clean Sweep & Air Ducts of Michigan

Part of the job of a functional chimney is to pull (through an updraft) the harmful gases out of your home. When a chimney is compromised, its ability to properly aerate the home is also compromised. Although we may see smoke that isn’t being evacuated, carbon monoxide is odorless, tasteless and invisible.

Carbon monoxide, as stated previously, is impossible to detect without a monitor, so you may not even know it is present. Exposure to this toxin can cause neurological damage and even be fatal if not identified. Symptoms can be difficult to pinpoint because they mimic other conditions. Symptoms include; headache, chest pain, nausea, vomiting and confusion.

Annual inspections bment y a certified sweep can alert you to any issues with your chimney, but if there has been any damage to your chimney, you should schedule an appointment right away. If there are any issues, then do not burn any firewood or gas logs until the collapsed area has been repaired. This is the only way that the people living in the home can be safe from carbon monoxide poisoning

Did you know that hundreds of Americans are killed each year by carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning? It can potentially come from many places: your gas powered furnace, exhaust from your car, kerosene heaters, and wood and gas burning fireplaces. Regular maintenance of all appliances is critical. However, there is no better protection than carbon monoxide detectors on each level of your house.

In a nutshell, carbon monoxide is produced anytime a fuel, such as wood, gas, oil, or charcoal, is burned. If the appliance burns at an efficient temperature, the heat will destroy most of the gas. This is why, in the case of wood-burning appliances, you will want to avoid wet or “green” woods that still contain much of their moisture. That moisture keeps the flame from getting hot enough to burn through the CO gas.

Some of the visible signs that you may have a potentially dangerous carbon monoxide situation include:

  • The presence of soot inside the chimney walls
  • Loose or missing furnace pane
  • Rusting or water streaking on vent/chimney
  • Loose or disconnected vent/chimney connections
  • Moisture inside of windows
  • Loose masonry on the chimney itself

You may be asking yourself, how will I know what is going on inside my chimney? The answer is, you likely won’t be also to see it. A certified sweep knows what to look for and in some cases, will use a camera to lower down in your chimney to help identify issues before they become dangerous. If your chimney has collapsed, either because that is the way it was when you moved into the home, or because of wear and tear or a natural disaster, homeowners simply cannot put off an inspection.