4 Common Fireplace Issues: How to Avoid Costly Damper Problems
Fireplace dampers are a crucial part of ensuring your fireplace safely operates. They help to retain heat when the fireplace isn’t in use and can prevent smoke from entering your home when it is in use. However, there are some fireplace damper problems you should be aware of and take precautions to avoid.
One common fireplace damper-related issue is not having the damper fully open when lighting the fire. This can cause smoke to build up in the fireplace and enter the home, and can be potentially dangerous. Before you light the fire, make sure the damper is opened all the way, allowing smoke to easily escape outside. Furthermore, if your damper is not opening or closing at all, this could be due to the valve being clogged up with dirt, soot and other debris. You can try brushing away these obstructions, or if that fails contact a chimney professional who can clean and repair the damper as needed.
It’s also important to have your fireplace and chimney inspected annually by a professional. The creosote that builds up in flues can be dangerously flammable and can be a cause of a home fire. Therefore, this should be checked each year before the cold season starts.
Lastly, you’ll want to check that the chimney cap is the correct size for your chimney, as a cap that is too large can cause your fireplace to overheat, while a cap that is too small can allow too much wind in, and could potentially start a fire. Make sure you select the appropriate size and installation of your chimney cap and inspect it regularly, just to be sure it’s providing the right level of ventilation.
Taking measures to avoid these common fireplace damper problems can help ensure that your fireplace is working safely and efficiently. Have your chimney inspected each year and check the damper and chimney cap regularly to make sure they’re functioning correctly. If you need help with fireplaces, contact a local chimney professional who can offer advice on maintenance and repair.