Our Company Blog

Firebox Deterioration

There are so many parts to your fireplace. There’s the ash dump, which lies under the hearth. Then the damper, which is usually located at the base of the smoke chamber. There’s the flue, which helps direct the smoke up and out of your house. Not to mention the crown, which helps keep rain, birds, raccoons, and leaves out of your chimney. However, the part of your chimney that takes most of the abuse is the firebox. This is where the fire actually burns, so it takes a lot of heat!

Firebox Deterioration Image - Mansfield OH - Chim CherooFirebox Deterioration

The firebox is where the fire directly sits. So, it’s relatively obvious that deterioration will take place more rapidly here than in the rest of your fireplace. Since it’s being heated up and cooled down frequently, expansion and contraction are occurring on a regular basis. This expansion and contraction can cause special stress to the joints, causing them to fail. Also, there is a special type of mortar that should be used in the firebox, refractory mortar. Refractory mortar is specially designed to take extra heat, but contractors haven’t always used this. Why? Simply because building codes haven’t, until recently, been changed to require it’s use in fireboxes. If this isn’t used, your firebox is even more susceptible to rapid deterioration!

Another thing that can cause real problems for your firebox is your chimney crown, or lack thereof. The chimney crown keeps rain and snow out of your chimney. So, when it’s cracked or non-existent, the rain can come in and sit on the smoke shelf. It will then mix with soot to form an acid slurry – and that is trouble for your mortar joints. If your joints break down, there’s no guarantee that the fire will stay contained!

If the refractory panels of your firebox are cracked, it’s important to have them replaced as well. There really is no way to repair these, and they play an important role in keeping toxic gases from entering your home. Unfortunately carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas. This means you may not even notice the leakage, until you or your family members are suffering from the effects of breathing it in. Left unchecked, carbon monoxide can cause serious health effects, or even death!

Annual Inspection

Call Chim Cheroo Chimney Service to schedule your annual inspection. In doing so, you are ensuring that your chimney and fireplace system will be receiving a top-level inspection – right down to the firebox! They are highly trained professionals who know what to look for when it comes to firebox deterioration. They’ll check out the joints and the base of the firebox, as well as the refractory panels. Additionally, checking all the other parts to make sure that it is safe for your fire building needs. Plus, they will give you advice on any necessary rebuilds or repairs. They can take care of all of your chimney and fireplace cleaning and repairs; leaving you confident that your family will be safe and sound through another autumn and winter of burning fires in your fireplace.

By Don Rhine on October 20th, 2017 | Tagged with: Tags: , , , | Leave a Comment

National Fire Prevention Week – October 8-14

When it comes to home ownership, one thing that all owners fear is a fire. A destructive fire can cause the loss of valued possessions, loss of pets, or, as the very worst case scenario, loss of life. It almost doesn’t bear thinking about. However, to not think about it is to not be prepared for such a devastating event. In this case, preparation is your best friend. That’s why October 8-14 is such an important week. It’s National Fire Prevention Week!

National Fire Prevention Week Image - Mansfield OH - Chim Cheroo Chimney ServiceTips to Prevent a House Fire

Although no one is completely safe from a house fire, there are things that you can do to help prevent it. What is the most important? Well, if you have any kind of fire burning appliance, having your chimney inspected and cleaned on a regular basis is vital! What’s just an important? Using a Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) certified chimney sweep, like the ones that work at Chim Cheroo Chimney Service. They have the knowledge and experience to make sure that the creosote level in your chimney is at a low level. In doing this, it helps ensure that no fire risk exists. They’ll also remove all obstructions that could catch a spark and cause a chimney fire. These include things like bird’s nests, dried twigs or leaves, or garbage that may have blown into your chimney.

There are other things that you can do to help prevent fire spreading if you have a fireplace. Some things are fairly obvious! Keep all flammable items like cushions, blankets, toys, books, and magazines away from the immediate area of the fireplace. Even still, there are other things that you can do. One of these is to make sure to clean out the ashes from your fires on a regular basis. Ash levels should be kept to a level of an inch or less. Additionally, using dryer firewood will cause a cleaner burn, and that means less creosote buildup in your chimney.

Make sure you have a working fire extinguisher next to your fireplace; fire extinguishers should also be kept on every level of your home, outside of bedrooms, and in the kitchen. Also, make sure that the batteries are good in your smoke and fire detectors. You can do this by checking them every month and changing them at least once a year.

Plan an Escape Route

Even if you do all these things, there’s no 100% guarantee that you can avoid a house fire. Therefore, make a plan for your family to follow in case there is a fire! This is so everyone is aware of escape routes from every room in the house. Practice getting out of the house if there were a fire on a regular basis. Most importantly, set a place to meet so that you can be sure that everyone is out of the house if there was an actual fire.

Plan to Set Your Mind at Ease

Set a goal to use National Fire Prevention Week as a date to make sure that your house is as safe as you can make it. You’ll rest easy knowing that your family will be kept safe if the worst happens. There’s nothing better than being prepared!

By Don Rhine on October 6th, 2017 | Tagged with: Tags: , , , | Leave a Comment