If you live in a home built in the last 70 or so years, and if you have a fireplace and chimney, it’s likely the chimney has a chimney liner. In most jurisdictions today, it is unlawful to construct a chimney without a liner to protect it. Chimney liners can save lives, but when they’re damaged, lives and property can be lost.
Doodlebuggers Fireplace, Grill & Outdoor Store of Pensacola and Destin, Florida, would like to help you understand more about what can happen with a damaged chimney liner and how you can prevent these problems.
Chimney liners are built or installed inside chimneys and are typically made from:
This important chimney component serves four primary purposes.
A well-built chimney liner protects your chimney’s interior masonry and adjacent areas of your home from fire and heat damage. Cracks or breaks in the liner open up vulnerable materials and can lead to a devastating house fire.
Chimney liners should be sized correctly to vent the specific fireplaces they serve. The right-size liner allows smoke and toxins to draft efficiently. If the liner is too wide or narrow, smoke may back up into the home and fires in the fireplace may start and burn sluggishly.
Creosote, which forms when wood fires burn, is highly acidic. A damaged chimney liner will allow creosote and other smoke byproducts to gradually eat away at the interior bricks and mortar of your chimney.
When a chimney liner is compromised, dangerous gases such as carbon monoxide can leak into the air you and your family breathe. Carbon monoxide is odorless and invisible, but it’s known to be potentially fatal when inhaled in sufficient amounts.
If any of the four problems described above begin and are allowed to continue, you’ll become very aware of a chimney liner issue. Of course, the time to learn about liner damage is long before serious problems occur. A proper chimney inspection is the solution.
Licensed chimney inspectors use various tools, including video imaging technology, to see down into your chimney flue and detect early signs of wear and tear on your liner. The inspector will explain to you what he or she has found and make recommendations on what needs to be done to resolve the issue. In some cases, basic chimney liner repair will be sufficient. In other cases, your inspector will recommend having a new liner installed.
Chimney liners are just one of the components within a chimney system that can fail and lead to dangerous and inefficient operating conditions. By scheduling annual chimney inspections, you’ll be able to stay on top of all your chimney’s maintenance needs, thereby keeping it safe and running correctly, year after year.
Doodlebuggers provides chimney liner inspections and general chimney inspections throughout the Pensacola, FL, and Destin, FL, regions. For a safe, enjoyable chimney, call (850) 332-3372 in Pensacola or (850) 279-5400 in Destin. You also can reach out through our handy contact form.