Company Blog

Do Prefab Chimneys Need to Be Annually Inspected?

One of the best benefits of having a prefabricated chimney and fireplace system is how low maintenance it can be for homeowners. Although you may believe that all you need to do to keep your prefab chimney working safely and efficiently is to operate it according to the manufacturer’s instructions, it is also important to remember to schedule a professional chimney maintenance appointment with All Seasons Chimney every year. For over 25 years, we have provided the Hudson Valley region with superior professional chimney maintenance, repair, and installation services, and you can trust our qualified chimney professionals to properly sweep and inspect your prefab chimney. We are proud to be certified by the leaders in our industry, such as the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA), and we will make sure that your prefab chimney and fireplace system will work safely and efficiently this winter. We would like to answer a couple of frequently asked questions about prefab chimney maintenance.

Why do I need to have my prefab chimney professionally inspected every year?

The CSIA, along with other national fire safety organizations, recommends that homeowners have their prefab chimney and fireplace systems professionally serviced every year to be sure there are no dangerous safety hazards present. Over the years, prefab fireplaces can suffer from damage, such as cracks in the firebox panels, which can lead to a devastating residential fire, carbon monoxide poisoning, or other life-threatening events. Another common problem with prefab chimneys is improper installation, and a professional inspection will spot any installation issues, such as not enough clearance space between the chimney system and the wood framing.

What can I expect from a professional prefab chimney inspection from All Seasons Chimney?

Over the years, we have gained experience in working on both masonry and prefab chimneys, and we understand how both types of chimneys function. We know the best practices for operating and maintaining prefab chimney and fireplace systems, and you can expect us to explain to you how to use your system more safely and efficiently. We want you to be able to enjoy your prefab chimney for as long as possible, but we know that this type of chimney eventually will wear out and break down. You can count on us to look closely for the signs of aging when we inspect your prefab chimney, and if we find any problems, we will provide you with photos of what we found that is causing the problems and a detailed written explanation of how we can repair the issue.

Is your prefab chimney ready for the winter? Contact us today at All Seasons Chimney to schedule your annual professional chimney maintenance appointment with our CSIA-certified chimney sweeps. We are proud to provide the best professional chimney maintenance, repair, and installation services in the Hudson Valley region.

Carbon Monoxide and Its Dangers

When you are enjoying the fire from your fireplace, stove, or insert, you most likely give little thought to the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning. However, the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) states that every year over 200 people in the United States die from carbon monoxide poisoning due to the toxic gas entering their homes due to venting problems or leaks in their heating or chimney system. Furthermore, 10,000 cases of illnesses due to carbon monoxide poisoning are reported every year. Luckily, proper maintenance of your chimney, including an annual chimney sweep and inspection from a company like All Seasons Chimney with CSIA-certified chimney sweeps, can prevent any possible carbon monoxide poisoning incidents from happening to you and your family in your home.

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What exactly does carbon monoxide do to your body?

Too much carbon monoxide in your bloodstream will kill you, and low levels of exposure to carbon monoxide over a period of time can cause many health problems. The danger lies in the fact that when carbon monoxide is present in the air, the protein hemoglobin in your blood would rather latch on to it and ignore life-giving oxygen. When this happens, your body will replace oxygen with carbon monoxide, and this causes greater or lesser levels of your cells suffocating, depending on the duration and intensity of the exposure to carbon monoxide. Low-level exposure to carbon dioxide includes some very serious side effects like permanent organ and brain damage. People with compromised immune systems, such as the elderly, infants, and people with breathing issues, are in more danger to carbon monoxide exposure. Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are similar to the common cold and flu, so it can be a long and frustrating process to diagnose the true problem. If you continue to suffer from headaches, fatigue, or even depression, ask your doctor to check your blood levels of carbon monoxide.

How does carbon monoxide form in my chimney?

As a by-product of combustion, carbon monoxide can be found in both gas and wood-burning fireplaces, stoves, and furnaces. When the combustion process is incomplete, more carbon dioxide is formed. Restricted air flow caused by closed fireplace doors, an unopened damper, or a flue blockage results in incomplete combustion as not enough oxygen is able to get in to completely burn the fuel.

How does carbon monoxide leak into my house from my chimney?

Several factors can result in this toxic gas leaking into your home. A damaged or deteriorated flue liner allows carbon monoxide to seep through its cracks into your living space. All Seasons Chimney can easily take care of this problem by restoring a damaged flue liner or even by replacing your old liner with a new stainless steel liner. Other causes of carbon monoxide entering your home include debris clogs, soot and creosote build-up, and animal or birds nests obstructing the chimney flue.

How can I prevent carbon monoxide from entering my house?

The best prevention against carbon monoxide leaks is an annual chimney sweeping and inspection from a CSIA-certified chimney sweep. All Seasons Chimney will ensure your venting system and flue liner are in good shape, and if not, we provide chimney repair services to fine-tune your chimney so that it works efficiently and safely. We also recommend you install carbon monoxide detector alarms throughout your home in case you do experience a carbon monoxide leak. These alarms can save your life!

If you have any more questions about the dangers of carbon monoxide, contact All Seasons Chimney. Our staff will be happy to answer them as well as schedule a chimney sweeping and inspection to ensure your home is free from this dangerous toxic gas.