Common Fireplace Problems (And How to Fix Them)

A burning fireplace in the living room

With winter here, now’s the right time for people to get cozy in front of their fireplaces. So it’s understandable that the last thing you want to hear after a long and tiring day is that your fireplace isn’t functioning properly. Dealing with fireplace issues can be stressful, but luckily, most fireplace problems can be solved by hiring a professional fireplace and chimney repair specialist. However, even that can be challenging if you can’t spot what’s wrong with your fireplace.

Are you dealing with a troublesome fireplace and don’t know how to proceed? This blog discusses some common problems that might occur with your fireplace and a guide on fixing these issues.

Creosote Buildup

One of the most common problems that impact the fireplace is creosote buildup in the chimney liner and firebox. Creosote is a byproduct of wood combustion. It is produced every time smoke goes up into the chimney and cools down after some time. The leftover residue after condensation is called creosote. Even though creosote looks the same as tar, it’s actually a hard material that sticks to the inner lining of your chimney and fireplace.

Since the production of creosote is common, many people ignore creosote buildup. But that’s a huge mistake. Creosote is a massive fire and safety hazard as it ignites a fire, lighting up your fireplace and chimney. Additionally, creosote negatively impacts the functioning of your fireplace. Creosote buildup prevents smoke from escaping through the fireplace and chimney, re-entering your house instead.

The interrupted flow of smoke will stop you from lighting your fireplace when you want. The smoke flowing back into your house can also cause carbon monoxide poisoning. People who notice creosote particles in their fireplace or see smoke returning to the room need to get their chimneys and fireplaces cleaned to get rid of creosote buildup.

Chimney Swift Invasion

Another common fireplace issue is chimney swift invasion. As the name suggests, chimney swifts are tiny birds that fly into chimneys in search of shelter and start nesting there. At first glance, that might not seem like such a huge problem, but wild birds invading your chimney and fireplace can have serious consequences. Their nests are built from twigs and leaves that are highly inflammable, increasing the threat of a chimney fire.

Additionally, just like creosote, these nests can prevent smoke from going out, negatively impacting your fireplace’s overall function. Birds living in your chimney can also prevent you from lighting your fireplace to keep yourself warm amidst the constantly rising temperature. Since chimney swifts are protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918, you can’t just sweep their nests or catch and evacuate them.

Additionally, even if you remove their nests, they might keep returning, which can further damage your fireplace. The optimal solution to this fireplace problem is to stop chimney swifts from entering your chimney and fireplace in the first place by installing chimney caps.

Low Output of Heat

With the temperature constantly dropping, homeowners are lighting fires around the clock to keep their houses warm. So we realize that a low heat output can be a huge disappointment. This might be due to something obstructing your chimney, which leads to improper flow of air, resulting in low-quality heat.

So you need to get your fireplace and chimney cleaned immediately and get it unblocked. Additionally, get a chimney and fireplace inspection to ensure that water leaks aren’t impacting heat output. We also recommend choosing seasoned wood that has been dried for a long time.

Want a Solution to All Your Chimney and Fireplace Problems? Try the Services of Creative Masonry & Chimney

Whether your fireplace has been obstructed due to creosote or twigs and branches keep landing on your fire, igniting it further, you need to get help from professionals. Creative Masonry & Chimney is a team of experienced chimney sweeps and fireplace professionals that handle all issues related to chimneys and fireplaces. Their chimney sweeps in Glastonbury, CT, can do a detailed cleaning of your fireplace, removing any buildup or debris.

Their chimney repair services can fix multiple issues in your chimney and fireplace. Their fireplace and chimney repair specialists know how to deal with different types of chimneys and fireplaces, and they use their knowledge to ensure that your fireplace is in top-notch condition.

Clare Louise