Metro-East STL Chimney, Fireplace and Flue Services
A fireplace or wood-burning stove is a wonderful feature to have in your home. It is also something that needs to be maintained and inspected on a regular basis.
Fireplace chimney and flue maintenance may seem pretty basic. One part we may not think about because we never see it is the chimney or flue liner. The liner is a critical part of your fireplace. It is important for performance, but more importantly for safety. In fact, most state and local codes now require chimneys to have a liner and they have been recommended for decades. But if you have a very old home, it is possible your flue may not have a liner.
What is a chimney or flue liner? A chimney or flue lining is the part of a masonry chimney that is typically made from clay, ceramic or metal and is installed inside the chimney as a conduit used to direct combustion products to the outside atmosphere and protect the chimney walls from heat and corrosion.
Chimney liners serve three main purposes. The first and most important is to protect the combustible parts of your house from catching fire due to the intense heat that will pass through the chimney. In certain tests, it has been shown that an unlined chimney will allow heat to pass through so rapidly that it will catch adjacent wood-work on fire within 3.5 hours. As you can see, it is important to make sure your family and home are protected.
The second reason is to protect the masonry from the extremely corrosive gases that pass through the chimney. Flue gases are very acidic and will eat away the mortar joints from inside the chimney. As the mortar joints erode they can allow dangerous gases to seep through them and into your home which can be very dangerous to you and your family. This will also cause your chimney to begin deteriorating very quickly and then require you to repair or replace the chimney.
The third reason is to provide optimum efficiency to your fireplace. A chimney liner needs to be properly sized. If it is properly sized it will allow gases to escape at the proper rate while also allowing oxygen intake at an efficient rate. This will allow your fireplace to operate efficiently and reduce the amount of creosote build-up, which is often responsible for chimney fires.
If you don't already have a flue liner, it is possible to have one installed. If an inspection determines your existing liner is damaged, it can be repaired or replaced by chimney and masonry professionals. Chimney liners can be damaged by excessive heat which causes expansion and cracking. This can make your current liner ineffective and can be a safety hazard.
There are many different methods and materials that can be used to install, repair or replace a chimney liner. Be sure to work with chimney and masonry professionals to inspect and make sure your chimney liner is replaced, repaired or installed properly.