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Old Smokey's Fireplace & Chimney's Blog

Can Gas Fireplaces Give off Carbon Monoxide

It is a common misconception that gas fireplaces are not a carbon monoxide (CO) risk. In fact, all fuel-burning appliances, even gas, can pose some sort of carbon monoxide risk. At Old Smokey’s we want to you to understand that even though there are some carbon monoxide risks associated with gas fireplaces, if you follow a few simple safety guidelines, you can keep your home free from this toxic gas.Gas Fireplaces Give off Carbon Monoxide Image - Fort Wayne IN - Old Smokey's

What is Carbon Monoxide and How Does My Gas Fireplace Produce it?

Carbon monoxide is a poisonous gas that is produced when carbon-based fuels such as wood, charcoal, gasoline and natural gas do not combust completely. It is completely colorless, tasteless, and odorless making it impossible to detect with human senses alone. Inhaling carbon monoxide causes a decrease in the amount of oxygen in the bloodstream. Over time, this can cause:

  • fatigue,
  • headaches,
  • nausea
  • and can eventually lead to organ failure or even death.

Your gas fireplace will produce trace amounts of carbon monoxide. However, if your fireplace has been properly installed and periodically maintained by a Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) certified technician, carbon monoxide will be vented out of your home. If you own a ventless gas fireplace, your oxygen-detection sensor should protect you from carbon monoxide building up in your fireplace. Issues occur when your fireplace isn’t being properly maintained. Clogged vents, faulty sensors, and dirty fireplace components can all lead to dangerous levels of carbon monoxide.

Invest in a Carbon Monoxide Detector.

A carbon monoxide detector is a safety device designed to alarm you when carbon monoxide levels are starting to reach a dangerous level. No matter how comfortable you are with the condition of your gas fireplace, you should always have a carbon monoxide detector installed nearby.

Schedule Periodic Inspections

Periodic inspections are vital to the health of your gas fireplace. The CSIA suggests having your fireplace and ventilation inspected at least once a year by a CSIA-certified technician. During your inspection, a certified technician will be able to check your ventilation, sensors, and burners to see if there are any potential issues. If there are, they will be able to tell you what needs to be done to remedy the situation.

You don’t need to live in fear of carbon monoxide gas. Keeping up with annual inspections and installing monitoring devices should give you the peace of mind, allowing you to enjoy your fireplace. If you have any questions about carbon monoxide or would like to schedule a gas fireplace inspection, please call Old Smokey’s at 800-876-6539, or schedule an appointment online to have one of our CSIA-certified chimney technicians assist you today!

Preventing Chimney Leaks Near the Roof

Have you noticed water stains or condensation on the walls adjacent your chimney? If so, this is probably an indication that there is water flowing on the outside of your chimney. This usually happens when water is able to get past the place where your chimney exits your home through the roof. At Old Smokey’s, we know that leaking near the roof can cause big and expensive problems for the rest of your home. We want to let you know what is causing your leaking and what can be done to fix it.

FlashingPreventing Chimney Leaks Near the Roof Image - Fort Wayne IN - Old Smokey's

The most likely cause of chimney leaking near the roof is related to your chimney roof flashing. When your chimney was constructed, the roof was built around it. Because your chimney gets hot, you wouldn’t want your chimney flush with your roof. Also, your chimney tends to settle at a different rate than your home, so you wouldn’t want it connected to your home. Therefore, there is a gap in between your chimney and your roof. This gap is where most water is allowed in. To cover this gap, we install flashing. Flashing is a metal piece that is attached to your roof and your chimney, covering the gap.

However, after years of weathering, your chimney roof flashing can start to wear out, rust, or become detached. When this happens, there is nothing to prevent water from flowing into your home on the outside of your chimney, causing all sorts of issues. You can easily resolve this issue by having you’re chimney flashing replaced by a CSIA-certified chimney technician.

Sealant

Sometimes your flashing may be in good shape, but the sealant that attached it has worn out. Once this happens, your flashing may detach and not function correctly. This is a common issue since sealant usually isn’t designed to last as long as the flashing. If your chimney flashing needs resealing, a CSIA-certified chimney technician can seal your chimney up to prevent leakage.

Although replacing flashing and sealing your chimney gap may seem like something that can be done by watching a couple of “how to” videos, only an experienced chimney technician can know for sure if your roof has been sealed correctly. Even the tiniest gap can cause devastating leaking into your home.

If you think that you may have a leak from your roof, Old Smokey’s is here for you. Call Old Smokey’s today at 800-876-6539 or 260-424-0009, or schedule an appointment online to meet with one of our CSIA chimney technicians today!

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