Flue & Chimney Liners: Important for Household Safety
How old is your house? Actually, a better question is, How old is your chimney? Most people don’t put a lot of thought into their chimneys, but they should – especially if their home was built before the 1930s, when it became mandatory for U.S. chimneys to be built with liners. Chimneys in old homes typically don’t have chimney liners, and this can be a problem.
Bricks and mortar are good at providing a route for smoke to leave the fireplace and at keeping gasses contained within the chimney on their way up. But bricks and mortar, like any substances, deteriorate over time. Newer homes typically have chimney liners (and we’ll talk more about that in a minute), but old homes without chimney liners can be potential fire hazards.
Old chimneys without chimney liners: here’s what happens
As time marches on and an older fireplace sees regular use, bricks will begin to crack. A number of forces are responsible for this including time itself, water damage, gasses that corrode and other factors. A sign that your chimney needs attention is smoke trickling out between the bricks.
When bricks crack or crumble in close proximity to the inner wall surfaces of a home, a fire can easily start. The sheer heat can cause very dry wall material to combust, and creosote stuck to the chimney walls can ignite with just a few sparks.
For these and other reasons, Chimney Solutions strongly recommends that you have a very thorough chimney inspection if your home is more than 70 or 80 years old. It’s smart to have yearly inspections, regardless of the age of your home, but for older homes it’s paramount.
The advantage of chimney liners
As we said, nothing lasts forever, but a good chimney liner will give you many years of safe operation, provided it is inspected and cleaned regularly. If your chimney already has a liner, call us to perform an inspection and make sure it’s in proper working order.
If your chimney doesn’t have a liner, installing one is a very smart move. Various materials are used in the construction of chimney liners including clay tile, metal and cast-in-place materials. Consult with your chimney services professional for recommendations on which type of liner is ideal for your chimney and will best fit your budget.
But remember: a chimney liner in and of itself is not going to guarantee no problems down the line. Yes, it will provide a secure channel for smoke and gasses, but these substances create creosote, which sticks to the chimney liner. Over time, creosote can build up and easily be ignited by sparks from normal fireplace operation as well as from damp wood, paper products and various cloth materials (none of which should ever be used in a fireplace.)
Call Chimney Solutions of Atlanta to learn more about chimney liners and the shapes and styles that would be best for your chimney. If you haven’t had a thorough, professional chimney inspection in the last year, we’ll be happy to send a trained technician out to perform one. Call (770) 255-1300.
Chimney Solutions, Inc.
1155 McFarland 400 Drive, Alpharetta GA 30004
Office 770-255-1300 / Toll Free 877-697-9337