Pozzi Chimney Sweep Blog

Identifying Flue Liner Damage

It may seem upon a simple visual inspection that your chimney is in great shape. This may tempt you to overlook having your chimney inspected by a professional this year. But, there are things to look for that indicate that you may have a problem. One of these issues is damage to your flue liner. Read on for information on how to identify if your flue liner has been damaged. Also, who to call to get quality repairs at a reasonable price.

Identifying Flue Liner Damage - Aurora IL - Pozzi Chimney SweepPurpose of a Flue Liner

First off, according to the Chimney Safety Institute of America, “(A) flue lining in a masonry chimney is defined as “A clay, ceramic, or metal conduit installed inside of a chimney, intended to contain the combustion products, direct them to the outside atmosphere, and protect the chimney walls from heat and corrosion.” It is important that the gases from your fire are not allowed to flow back into your home. This is one reason why it is so vital that flue liner damage is detected and repaired.

Damage to the Flue Liner

There are ways to tell if your flue liner has been damaged. First, the flue liner is designed to draw the gases out of your home. When your chimney doesn’t seem to be smoking much when there is a fire in the fireplace, there’s a good chance that there is a problem with your chimney liner. That’s easy enough to check. Walk outside and see how much smoke is emitting from your chimney while a fire is burning.

Another sign that you may have problems with your flue liner? A peculiar, unpleasant odor coming from your chimney. This is likely caused by a build-up of creosote in your chimney. When you burn wood in your fireplace, especially if the fire is smoky and not as hot, creosote will build up. Creosote, as defined by corrosionpedia.com, is a gummy, very flammable material that forms when volatile gases combine and condense in your chimney. If your flue liner is damaged, the gases will not have a smooth transfer out of your chimney. Then, it is more likely that a heavy creosote buildup will occur. Not only does this leave an unpleasant smell, but even worse, this creosote buildup may lead to a chimney fire.

What to Do

If you are seeing signs that your flue liner may be damaged, it’s definitely time to call in the professionals. The technicians at Pozzi Chimney Sweep have been specially trained to inspect your chimney for damage to your flue liner, and all parts of your fireplace and chimney. Pozzi inspectors can use a “Chim-Scan” video camera to see what is happening inside your chimney. This allows us to determine what repairs need to take place to get your chimney running efficiently and effectively. An added benefit to this type of inspection is that it allows you, the homeowner, to see the damage while it is explained to you by your chimney inspector. The work they do is transparent, so you know that you aren’t being advised on work that isn’t completely necessary.

The workers at Pozzi Chimney Sweep take pride in providing you with thorough inspections and cleanings and repair work. Their years of experience and expertise will make you one happy fireplace owner. Call us today and let us have a look at your chimney system!

All About Chimney Liners

The flue and flue liner of your chimney system is one of the most critical components.  According to the CSIA, problems in your chimney’s flue can present serious risks to your home and family, as it’s no longer able to perform its primary function: to safely contain and vent the byproducts of combustion to the outside of your home.

Every chimney needs a working liner to usher the deadly byproducts of the combustion process out of your home.

Every chimney needs a working liner to usher the deadly byproducts of the combustion process out of your home.

Inside Your Chimney

A Look Around

It’s hot, it’s fiery, and in a moment it can have your whole house in danger.  Fireplaces and chimneys are made up of many parts that combine to make one functioning unit.  Whether you have masonry or a factory built fireplace, it is important to have a yearly chimney sweep and maintenance inspection.  Luckily, Pozzi Chimney Sweep is here for all of your fire safety questions.

There is a lot going on inside your chimney. All work together to maintain proper draft.

There is a lot going on inside your chimney. All work together to maintain proper draft.

A masonry fireplace is the more traditional unit, with the firebox that is built using individual brick and a brick chimney that sits on top of the roof.  These structures are massive and can weigh several tons.  They will last a long time and require little maintenance other than the suggested yearly inspection.  The prefabricated fireplaces are different in materials and looks.  They are built of metal and have more of a modern look.  Since they come in a set, you must install them this way to make sure you have no risks of being unsafe.  These units also require much more attention, and since they are made of metal they can damage easier.

Are you interested yet, because that’s just the outside of the chimney!  There are many other parts put together to make a working unit.  Chimney crowns are especially important because they protect from water damage.  When a chimney comes into contact with water, they can begin to mold or have mortar deterioration, causing the whole structure to weaken and your home to be in danger.  The flue and its liner should both be in top shape so that the exhaust gases are able to leave the home and reduce any kind of flammable debris from accumulating.  The smoke chamber is also important because it is the part that compresses byproduct of combustion into the smaller space to eliminate back draft.  Chimney dampers help with all parts of your home because they make sure you’re not losing energy when the fire is not burning.  If you ever experience a problem with any of the part in your chimney you should always call for help, because what may seem a small problem could potentially develop into a serious issue.

Relining Your Chimney

The winter season is approaching us faster than most can believe, and with that comes and increase in people using fireplaces in their homes.  This means that now is the best time if you have not already to schedule your routine chimney maintenance.  Pozzi Chimney Sweep’s professionals are ready to take care of all your needs for the season, including the yearly chimney sweep.  One of the things they will check is your chimney’s lining.

The flue liner protects the exterior masonry from heat damage. Over the life of your home, it may have to be relined.

The flue liner protects the exterior masonry from heat damage. Over the life of your home, it may have to be relined.

So, your main question is probably why do you need a chimney liner?  Chimney liners were not deemed necessary until the 1980s when the National Bureau of Standards (NBS) tested masonry chimneys for questions about performance and safety.  They are important in preventing anything that may be combustible inside of your chimney from catching fire.  Unlined chimneys have the tendency to heat up quickly that nearby woodwork can catch fire in less than fur hours.  Also, a chimney liner will protect your masonry and lengthen the overall life of your chimney.  They will help keep acidic flue gases from entering brick and mortar and ruining the durability of the overall chimney structure.  When this happens heat transfers to combustible particles and creates an environment good for Carbon Monoxide, which can be extremely harmful to your health.  Lastly, chimney liners help create the correct sized flue so the unit can function better.  A liner that is not the correct size however can lead to extra creosote buildup.

There are two types of liners; clay tile liners and metal chimney liners.  Masonry chimneys are usually lined with clay tiles, which are great because they are inexpensive.  The downside to this type of liner is that sometimes they do not distribute the heat evenly and as the uneven tiles heat they can expand, causing flue tiles to expand, crack, and break.  If your chimney’s liner is cracked you must repair it before continuing to use it.  Metal liners can generally withstand more heat and corrosion, often times brought on by gas or oil vents.  If you suspect that there is a problem with the lining in your chimney, always call the professionals, because what looks like a small problem can easily turn into trouble.