In Utah, fireplaces are symbolic of the warmth and security of a family home. Old fashioned pot belly stoves are replaced with modern linear units. Top choices today are wood burning fireplaces, gas burning fireplaces, pellet stoves and even greener corn burning units. However, they also bring risk of fire and the need for a good fire damage cleanup company.
Most fireplaces installed today have metal inserts that attach to a metal chimney; older fireplaces have a clay liner. Gas fireplaces use different venting than wood burning units since wood burns much hotter than gas units. Unfortunately, all designs can create a risk to everything you love. According to the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) more than 25,000 chimney fires cause $120 million in fire damage nationwide.
Chimney systems are designed to constantly vent harmful gasses out of the home during a fire. Cracks and damage to the firebox can degrade air quality and damage the structural elements of the home. Negative pressure could also cause life threatening carbon monoxide to leak through cracks in your home.
Most houses today have prefabricated fireplaces made with fire bricks made of high quality materials designed to withstand high temperatures, held together by a refractory mortar. Fireplace panels expand and retract as they heat and cool. The temperature changes cause the mortar between the firebricks to crack. Tiny hairline cracks are no big deal; you can safely continue to operate your fireplace.
When those tiny cracks begin to widen, the stability of the materials can be compromised. The Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) warns that a cracked fireplace refractory should be replaced if you can fit the end of a nickel into it (1/16 of an inch.) Fireboxes also shift, move and crack, and deteriorate over time. As large chunks of it start falling out, the gaps collect water and continue the cycle. This moisture can lead to rotten baseboards, ruined floors and mold damage.
Creosote is the black or brown residue from wood that collects on the inside of the chimney. This highly combustible buildup can cause flammable materials nearby to ignite.
For safety’s sake, burn only properly seasoned wood in your fireplace. Wet or “green” wood will have higher moisture content (around 40-50%). To burn well, firewood should have a low moisture content (between 15 and 25%.)
Burning green wood results in cooler fires, produces more smoke, and creates more creosote build up. Tossing in paper, trash and other materials might cause explosions. Foreign material may burn too hot and damage the fireplace.
Since 2010, we have provided residents in Smithfield with quality property restoration and reconstruction services. Our fire damage company restores dreams– one home at a time with value, quality, and timeliness.
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