When it’s cold outside, many homeowners rely on their fireplaces as a supplemental heat source, especially if there is a power outage. The fireplace is not just a source of warmth but adds to the aesthetic of a home’s interior. Maintaining your fireplace is essential to prevent a house fire and keep your family safe. Here are five signs your fireplace needs repairs.

Signs the Fireplace Needs Repairs

1. Damaged Chimney

The chimney plays a vital role in your fireplace’s functionality. The chimney removes byproducts like smoke, ash, and gas produced while burning wood. If you notice cracks, holes, or other damage, hire a professional to make repairs as soon as possible. These damages can cause smoke and carbon monoxide to enter your home, affecting indoor air quality and leading to a dangerous situation.

2. Smoke Inside the House

If your fireplace releases smoke inside your home, it indicates that it needs repair. Smoke flowing into the living spaces may indicate a blocked chimney that cannot ventilate smoke from the house. Have the chimney inspected and cleaned by a professional to ensure good indoor air quality and a cleaner burning fire.

3. Foul Odors

If you notice unpleasant odors or a moldy smell coming from your fireplace, it could be due to moisture soaking into the chimney, carpeting, or other materials near your fireplace. Moisture damage can cause issues with your fireplace, including weakened bricks, rusted fireplace doors, and a damaged flue.

4. Damaged Fireplace Components

Damaged fireplace components are another sign repairs are necessary. Rusty fireplace doors or grates affect the burning of wood in the fireplace. A damaged damper won’t open and close properly, affecting airflow. If you see rusting or damage, replace the components or accessories to enjoy a safer fireplace.

5. Cracked Bricks are Signs Your Fireplace Needs Repairs

If the bricks or stones of your fireplace are starting to crack or the masonry is beginning to crumble, hire a professional for repairs right away. If left unattended, cracks can widen, causing significant damage to the fireplace. Cracks allow water in and affect the airflow up the chimney. If you have concerns, hire a professional to assess the condition of the masonry and make repairs.

Before starting the first fire of the season, verify the fireplace is in good condition. A well-maintained hearth, firebox, and chimney are essential for keeping your home safe and preventing problems. By recognizing the signs of a problem, you can avoid the dangers of a faulty fireplace. At least annually, have the fireplace inspected and maintained by a professional to keep it safe to enjoy the ambiance of warm, cozy flames in your home.

Inspect Co. LLC provides professional inspection services for homebuyers and sellers in North and South Carolina. Contact us to request an appointment.