Building inspectors warn of carbon monoxide hazards caused by hailstorm

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Mechanical vents damaged by hail. Pikes Peak Regional Building Department

El Paso County’s regional building department is warning residents to be on the lookout for carbon monoxide hazards after the recent hailstorms. 

Regional Building inspectors said they’re noticing some potentially dangerous mistakes as they inspect recently-repaired roofs. They said damaged mechanical vents that are connected to gas-burning appliances may fail to vent properly, leaving carbon monoxide trapped inside.

They said residents should check their roofs right away for damage to these vents.

Things to watch our for: 

  • The vent itself is broken or damaged.
  • The cap on the vent is crushed down, preventing air flow.
  • The vent itself has become disconnected inside. 

Damaged vents should be inspected and repaired by a licensed mechanical contractor immediately. A roofing contractor is not qualified to replace a damaged mechanical vent. They can only replace the cap on top of the vent. 

Homeowners should also make sure that tarps and other temporary coverings don’t block vents. 

Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include headache, dizziness, weakness, upset stomach, vomiting, chest pain, and confusion.  Anyone experiencing these symptoms should seek immediate medical attention. 

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