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When Assessing Property Damage From Hurricane Isaias, The CSIA Reminds Homeowners To Look Up

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PLAINFIELD, Ind., Aug. 20, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- In the wake of hurricane Isaias, homeowners all along the East Coast are assessing property damage and contacting insurance companies. But the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) urges homeowners to remember one area of the home that often gets missed when assessing storm damage: the chimney.

Masonry chimneys can undergo damage from fallen trees and tree limbs, so the chimney should be checked for cracks and leaks — especially if a tree fell onto the roof near the chimney or several tree branches had to be removed from the roof.

In addition to limb and tree damage, masonry chimneys can also undergo damage as a result of the heavy rain that comes with these strong storms. Some signs of water damage that homeowners should check their chimneys for include:

  • Cracks in the mortar or brick on the chimney's exterior
  • Flaking or crumbling brick on the chimney's exterior
  • White stains (efflorescence) on the surface of the brick
  • Mold, mildew, or algae growth on the masonry
  • Pooling water or dripping sounds in the fireplace

The squalls and strong winds of hurricane Isaias may also have removed chimney caps and lifted or removed chimney flashing. These two chimney components play an essential role in keeping water out of the chimney, so if they're damaged or missing, it's vital that they be repaired or replaced immediately.

For those with property damage due to hurricane Isaias, the CSIA recommends that a Level 2 inspection be scheduled with a CSIA-certified chimney technician. Chuck Roydhouse, President of CSIA on the subject:

"Wind load, excessive moisture from driving rain storms, lightning strikes, and impact damage from tree limbs and flying debris hitting the chimney all cause exterior and possibly interior damage. That is why the inspection of your chimney is recommended annually by the National Fire Protection Association and the Chimney Safety Institute of America. The need for sweeping the chimney due to buildup of soot or creosote is only one item that is part of the evaluation. Make sure, your appliance (fireplace, wood stove, or furnace) is suitable for use and can serve you family in a safe manner."

A level 2 inspection will provide a complete assessment of the chimney's interior and exterior, and alert homeowners to any storm damage that needs to be taken care of. At the conclusion of the inspection, homeowners will be provided with a report detailing any damage or concerns, which homeowners can then provide to their insurance companies to aid in the possible coverage of repair costs.

To find a CSIA-certified sweep in your area to assess your chimney damage, head to https://web.csia.org/search.

About CSIA
The Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) is a nonprofit organization governed by a volunteer board of directors dedicated to the education, training, and certification of chimney and industry related professionals. Additionally, we strive to advance public awareness about the dangers of chimney fires and other problems related to the maintenance and performance of chimney and venting systems.

CSIA is the only non-profit national training academy for chimney technicians, and the CSIA-Certified Chimney Sweep® credential is acknowledged by industry organizations, insurance underwriters, local, state, and federal agencies as the measure of a chimney and venting technician's knowledge about the evaluation and maintenance of chimney and venting systems. CSIA is the standard of excellence in the chimney and venting industry.

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SOURCE Chimney Safety Institute of America

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