A fireplace can keep you warm and cozy when the wind blows and snow falls outside. However, the same fireplace, which was your lifesaver when needed the most, can also negatively affect your health. Yes, if your chimney is not properly cleaned, it can make you sick and increase the risk of having a house fire. There are various health issues associated with a dirty or faulty chimney, annual chimney cleaning St Louis should be a part of your family’s preventive health care. Let’s look at some ways in which a dirty chimney can affect you and your family’s health.
Creosote is an oily substance that is naturally formed inside your chimney flue during the wood-burning process. Creosote is a toxic substance that can be very dangerous. Yes, inhalation of the fumes or smoke burned from burned items can cause creosote poisoning and result in a range of health issues such as:-
When creosote is inhaled, it can cause breathing issues. Difficulty in breathing or the inability to breathe deeply is due to the overexposure of creosote. You may experience shortness of breath as well.
Nose, skin, and eye irritation
Irritation to the eyes, nose, and skin is likely to occur if you are exposed to creosote. The effects may be similar to a severe allergic reaction. As creosote is a carcinogen, it could result in cancer.
While creosote may be present in the flue, exposure is often caused when homeowners attempt to remove creosote. This is why chimney repair in St Louis should be handled by the professional chimney sweep companies. Whether it is chimney cleaning or air duct cleaning St Louis MO, call in a certified agency.
Smoke and soot inhalation
You cannot avoid smoke and soot as they are part of the fire. But, what happens if your chimney is not working properly? The byproducts of combustion can affect your home’s indoor air quality. Smoke inhalation can irritate your lungs aggravate bronchitis, asthma, and allergies.
Although it is rare, carbon monoxide poisoning is a serious health hazard that occurs from all fuel-burning appliances. If the flue is blocked, carbon monoxide gas can back up into the home. As it is colorless, tasteless, and odorless, it is known as silent killer.
By the time you realize that you are affected by carbon monoxide, your health condition would be worse. It often mimics flu-like symptoms such as nausea, headache, and fatigue. Prolonged exposure can lead to organ failure, coma, and even death. This is why you should not overlook chimney repairs by professional chimney cleaning companies. If you suspect any damages in your fireplace, it is crucial to fix it as early as possible.
While these health hazards are associated with the chimney, it should not stop you from enjoying your fireplace. Regular cleaning and maintenance can help keep your chimney in optimal condition for years to come. For more information on chimney health hazards or to schedule your air duct cleaning in St Louis MO, contact The Mad Hatter – a certified chimney cleaning company.