Relining Your Chimney
There are several conditions that warrant the consideration to have your chimney relined. Some of these conditions are such fire hazards that you would literally be playing with fire if you did not have your chimney relined.
If any of these conditions exist in your home, you should consider having your chimney relined:
- If you have a wood stove insert that is pushed into an open fireplace. This completely changes the dynamics of how the chimney will draft. Most older non EPA certified inserts have 7” or 8” diameter exhaust outlets on the stove. When you try to vent one of these stoves through a chimney that is designed to vent an open fireplace, often the chimney does not draft properly. This condition may make the stove hard to light and will allow the smoke and or flue gasses to cool. (The cooler the flue gasses the more creosote will build up.) This can lead to very dangerous chimney fires. The 3rd degree glazed creosote can also cause a very unpleasant odor to enter the home.
- Another reason to reline is if you are in an older home, usually built prior to 1940. They did not put clay liners in the chimney. Therefore you don’t have anything protecting your home other than the old brick and mortar. Over a long period of time the old mortar can wear down and cause cracks and voids in the chimney. Heat will penetrate through these cracks and voids and caused what is called pyrolysis to the adjoining wood. Pyrolysis is the gradual turning of the wood to charcoal. Wood that has succumbed to pyrolysis will combust at very low temperatures compared to wood that has not turned to charcoal. Therefore time is not on your side. You can think everything is okay, after all it’s been that way for years. You’re enjoying a nice fire and the unknown pyrolysis exists. You get the right amount of heat and oxygen and suddenly your wall adjoining your chimney catches on fire. This is something you don’t want to gamble on and would have been prevented with installing a chimney liner.
- Other chimneys that have liners that are cracked or damaged either due to past chimney fires, age, or earthquake damage also need to be relined to keep the chimney safe.
A chimney cap does a great job at keeping moisture, leaves and pests out of your chimney. This is extremely important to the longevity of your chimney. Moisture, rain, wind, snow and ice are all enemies of the inside of your chimney. The more you block them from coming in the less damage they will cause. Having a chimney without a chimney cap is like heating your home and leaving the front door open. Water is the biggest problem with all types of chimney liners, so take steps to reduce the intrusion of moisture with a good cap. If you don’t have a chimney cap on your chimney, give us a call now.
It is the best long-term investment that you can make for your chimney’s sake. Chimney caps come in all shapes, sizes and materials. Most popular are those made from copper and stainless steel.
We use a camera to inspect what can’t be seen by the naked eye inside the chimney, looking for cracks and missing mortar between tiles as well as buckled pipes in prefab chimneys.
Chimney Crown Rebuilding, Sealing and Repair
Your chimney crown is the area that is around the top of the chimney. Not the chimney cap that is an attachment that is added to the top of the flue pipe. The chimney crown tops off the masonry walls of the chimney, usually with a wider masonry or cement area. This solid covering stops moisture from filtering down through your brick or stone work in your chimney. It protects the mortar that holds everything together.
Time, weather, heat and cold all play a part in the deterioration of the chimney crown. It is the most exposed part of your chimney, as such needs to be inspected yearly.
One of the most important components of your whole chimney and heating system is the flue and the chimney liner. Any time our technicians examine your chimney during an inspection we look closely at the condition of the chimney liner. The liner moves all the gases and smokes out of your home and allows extremely hot and toxic gases to exit your home safely. Any breaks or openings in the chimney liner can lead to serious problems, potentially allowing a spark or floating ember to escape into the area between the lining and the chimney.
The chimney needs a non-combustible lining that allows complete and efficient venting of the smoke, gases and particulate matter that drafts out of your chimney. Chimney liners can be made of many materials like clay tiles, cast masonry mix, aluminum or stainless steel.
Relining involves inserting a new central lining or flue inside an existing chimney. It is the most effective, affordable way to repair chimney damage or to upgrade an unlined, dangerous chimney to acceptable safety standards. The repair is completed quickly and with minimal expense compared to rebuilding the chimney from the ground up.