While a chimney's primary purpose is to eliminate hazardous fire residues and byproducts, sometimes, the funnel may not work correctly. One of the explanations for this malfunction is that your chimney might be clogged. Then, how do you precisely tell that it is an obstruction? Here are three common signs of an obstructed chimney that you should be on the lookout for.
1. Falling Fragments and Debris Right Into the Hearth
A chimney can clog because of accumulated debris. You should check for falling tree branches and leaves that mostly amass during the windy fall season. Still, these do not drop into the chimney directly. Instead, sneaky animals such as squirrels and birds can carry the dirt into the conduit, which is their favorite nesting area.
Suppose your chimney hasn't had a regular chimney sweep as required. As a result, there could be massive amounts of this debris, which eventually will obstruct the chimney passageway.
With other accumulating dirt, including soot and cobwebs, smoke and harmful gases such as carbon monoxide will keep flowing back into the room. Meanwhile, you will also begin to see visible signs of the clog when the debris falls unrestrained into the hearth.
2. Smoke-Filled Room With a Strong Odor
Once a chimney becomes clogged, it gradually becomes ineffective. This means that any amount of smoke generated as you burn a fire comes back into the room. At this point, you should also pay close attention to the type of smell the smoke produces.
Often, the odor is of something more potent than the usual wood burn. In addition, you might see water streaks, which is a sure sign of a chimney clog. The clogging effect is also a significant cause of plants and leaves remaining wet, causing water to dribble down into the hearth.
3. Poor Fire Ignition and Burning
For a fire to burn properly, it needs adequate airflow. So, if you have issues igniting and maintaining the fire with the right glow, the case could be poor airflow. The best solution would be to have the chimney thoroughly swept, as doing so removes everything that could hinder the airways.
If your chimney becomes ineffective, you do not have to look too far. The most immediate question should be whether you have been regularly inspecting and cleaning the chimney. Knowing how a chimney can gather massive amounts of dirt, a frequent chimney sweep would be what you need to enjoy fresh and clean air in your room any time you light a fire. For more information about managing fireplaces and chimney sweeping, contact a chimney sweep company.