Signs a Chimney Needs Relining
When you think about your chimney, you probably picture the visible portions of it. Those include your masonry, your cap, your crown, and of course the fireplace. Your masonry has another part to it as well: your liner, often referred to as your flue. From time to time, those wear out and break down. So how can you know if your chimney needs to be relined?
Note: it isn’t always obvious if a chimney needs to be relined
Visually, if your cap is missing or you have spalling bricks, then you know that you need a professional to tackle those repair tasks for you. However, it isn’t always immediately obvious if your chimney needs relining. It’s a hidden repair, but one you’ll want to get fixed ASAP once you’re aware of its need.
First, the purpose of a chimney liner
Why is it such a big deal to fix right away? The answer to that question ties back to the purpose of a chimney liner. It actually performs three distinct roles in the operation of your fireplace. Those are:
- Facilitates the removal of smoke;
- Keeps the combustible portions of your home safe and protected and;
- Helps to prevent dangerous carbon monoxide from entering your home.
As each of those roles would be considered vital to the same operation of your fireplace, let’s look at a handful of warning signs there may be a problem.
A couple of warning signs
Though visually you might not see the cracks or missing flue tiles, there are a handful of warning signs that would warrant a Chimney Specialists inspection. The first is a sudden and unexpected backdraft. This points to a cracked flue.
The second sign is broken clay in your firebox. If you see these, stop using your fireplace until it can be repaired. Finally, you might notice odd smells from the firebox. This can indicate creosote build-up, which may point to a damaged liner. If left unattended, creosote and moisture can create an acidic mixture that will eat away at your liner relatively quickly.
Another consideration for whether or not your chimney needs relining is if you recently converted your fireplace or stove to a new fuel type. In addition, building standards have changed over the years. Sometimes, when you’re tackling one type of chimney repair, your flue will need to be relined to accommodate the newer codes.
Types of chimney liners
When your technician relines your chimney, they will most likely use a variation of steel. The two most common are rigid steel and flexible steel. Older flues were made of clay tile, though those are gradually being phased out in favor of more reliable materials.
Working with the experts
Now that we’re entering the warmer months of the year, it’s a great time to schedule an annual chimney sweep and inspection appointment. By doing so now, you can find out before fall if your chimney needs to be relined. And if it does, our technicians can easily complete this task before colder weather shows its ugly head.
Ready to get started? Then call Chimney Specialists Inc at 608-929-4887 or send our team a quick message.