Thursday, March 11, 2010

Raise your hand if...'ve had a chimney fire and didn't know it.

Yesterday, I ventured outside to greet a husband/wife team from a local chimney cleaning/repair company. They drove out to give me an estimate on repairing our chimney. As the inspection unfolded, the chimney guy noticed a crack starting from the top of the chimney and moving all the way down to the roof line. Upon further inspection, the crack continued along the lines of mortar between the cement blocks visible in the garage. Both flues are cracked and the chimney slightly bows out on the side where the apparent fire took place.

According to the expert, many chimney fires often go unnoticed.

I stood there listening to him explain the repair options in a bit of a fog. What if I had burned down the house? We could have lost everything. Someone could've been hurt or killed.

When you think about, the practice of inviting fire into your house is a bit ridiculous. You're sort of asking for trouble. Is it worth the risk to sit and stare at the flames or close your eyes to hear the sizzle and pop of the wood? If you asked me a month ago I would've said yes, but now, no.

It's unclear when the fire occurred. Could have been many years ago, even before we bought the house (maybe the inspector missed it) or this winter. But I've learned my lesson. It's worth the money to have the chimney regularly cleaned and inspected.

No indoor Smores until further notice.

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