As well as adding a cosy aesthetic to your home, chimneys and fireplaces are also highly functional ways to heat your home. They add character and warmth to your home, but if they are not looked after, there are a number of potential issues that could arise. Here are some of the most common issues people with chimneys and fireplaces have:


Creosote is a black or dark brown tar that builds up on the inside of the chimney when you burn wood or coal. There are several forms of creosote, all of them can be harmful to your chimney. When they build up to dangerous levels they can cause fires in the chimney breast; in fact, many house fires every year are caused because of dirty chimneys.

The creosote prevents proper ventilation so harmful fumes can invade the home, causing carbon monoxide poisoning.

Having your chimney regularly cleaned by a professional will prevent creosote from building up and creating dangerous, flammable deposits.


It isn’t juts creosote that can cause a blockage. If a fireplace hasn’t been used in a long time, it can become blocked by bird’s nests, leaves and other debris, even neglected masonry can fall into a chimney and cause a blockage.

Chimneys should be inspected regularly to check for blockages, which should be removed by professional chimney technicians.

Cracks In The Flue

If your chimney flue is constructed of clay tile instead of stainless steel then over time, the extreme heat can cause a lot of stress on the material. It is important to get your chimney inspected annually to check if any damage has occurred in the flue. If it is damaged, a fire should not be used as the heat can reach combustible parts of the home and start a fire, as well as releasing harmful gases into the home.

Most coal merchants provide services for checking your fireplace and chimney as well as professional cleaning services.