It’s no doubt that gas log burning fireplaces have increased in popularity as there is less mess, no firewood storing and chopping, it’s just seems easier. Most homeowners think the fireplace and chimney doesn’t need maintenance or cleaning just because it is gas burning.
Per the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA), gas fireplaces require an annual chimney sweep & inspection. For your safety, let’s explore why a sweep and inspection on a gas log burning fireplace is very important.
- Regardless of what fuel is burning in the fireplace (wood, gas, coal, etc.) there is still combustion/fire in the middle of your living room. The fireplace and chimney system must be swept & inspected annually to ensure that the firewalls are able to contain the products of combustion/fire and exhaust them out of the home safely (without heat transfer to adjacent combustible home construction materials.
- Cracked Chimney Crown & Mortar Joints: Moisture will make its way in wherever possible. If there’s a crack in the chimney crown, separation in the mortar joints, etc. moisture will begin to deteriorate the chimney and fireclay tile liner – Once it’s gone too far is when you’ll certainly notice. Pieces of fireclay flue tiles or masonry can fall directly into the hearth.
Remember: Deterioration happens, especially in Illinois, through the freeze/thaw cycles of winter even if you don’t use your gas fireplace. It’s important to get it inspected whether you use your gas fireplace or not.
- Ventilation is key to the health of your chimney and air quality in your home. Raccoons, squirrels, birds, bats, debris, nesting materials and more can block the airflow. Just like the other gas devices in your home, carbon monoxide poisoning and other dangerous fumes can enter/remain in the
home if the gas exhaust has nowhere to go.
- As we know with our other gas devices in the home, if the pilot light is on and the gas is left on…but the device isn’t in use, bad stuff can happen. I should know…I’ve had the tips of my hair, eyebrows and eyelashes singed. I was lucky that’s all that happened.
- Debris from Deteriorating Logs: Ceramic or artificial logs deteriorate with use, the material can clog vents and cling to the sides of the chimney walls.
- Chimney Sweep / Inspection service is an annual necessity per CSIA (the Chimney Safety Institute of America), NCSG (the National Chimney Sweep Guild), NFPA (the National Fire Protection Association) and IRC (International Residential Code). This applies to fireplaces (gas & wood), dryer vents (gas & electric), and gas appliance chimney flues (furnace, boiler, water heater chimneys).
A Superior Chimney sweep includes a 14 Point Certified Written Inspection, taking pictures to document what we see. Our job is to inspect and identify areas that are unsafe, unhealthy or areas at risk of causing fires.