Effects of a Damaged Chimney Liner
Knowledge of a damaged chimney liner is to a chimney sweep much like what a fire alarm is to a firefighter. Action is needed, if not immediately, at least before using the fireplace again because the effects of a damaged chimney liner include life-threatening hazards. It was discovered in the 1940s that chimney flue liners are safety essentials, and they have been required ever since.
If you keep up with all-important chimney maintenance, as fire safety experts highly recommend, the day will eventually come when you are advised that the liner in your chimney has suffered deterioration. When you already understand the importance of chimney liners and the following effects of a damaged chimney liner, gratitude for the warning could outweigh any dismay over the cost.
Heightened Risk of a House Fire
Chimneys in good repair are able to withstand the heat of fires. The combustible materials in the home that surround chimneys and fireplaces, however, need to be protected from extreme temperatures. When a chimney liner has a breach, even as small as a crack, nearby combustible materials such as 2 x 4s begin to undergo a process called pyrolysis. This process significantly lowers the temperature at which combustible materials will ignite. Devastating house fires occur every year because of pyrolysis.
Potential Exposure to Deadly Gases
Another effect of a damaged chimney liner is possible exposure to carbon monoxide, which can be deadly. Also known as “The Silent Killer,” carbon monoxide is odorless, tasteless, invisible, and symptomless. If carbon monoxide leaks into your home because your chimney liner is damaged, an operational carbon monoxide detector could literally save your life and the lives of all of your home’s occupants.
Annual chimney inspections include a check of the chimney liner. Because a Level 1 inspection involves examination only of what can be seen without special equipment, it is impossible to know with certainty that the flue liner is fully intact. A Level 2 inspection includes the use of a video camera that provides a close-up inspection of the entire chimney flue.
The efficiency of your fireplace or heating stove is affected when the flue liner is damaged. It’s similar to what happens when there is a crack in a drinking straw. The added opening in the straw can make it difficult or impossible to drink through it. Likewise, the draft that pulls toxic combustion gases out of the home can be hindered when the liner is damaged. The result is fireplace inefficiency.
Contact Guardian Chimney Sweep
If you aren’t sure whether your fireplace is showing the effects of a damaged chimney liner, Guardian Chimney Sweep can help. You can make an appointment for a chimney inspection or chimney cleaning and ask our CSIA-certified chimney sweeps any questions you may have. They can look for and advise you of the different telltale signs that your chimney flue liner needs repair or replacement. Call Guardian Chimney Sweep at one of the numbers below or contact us using our online form.
Toll-free: (888) 306-6069
Conroe: (936) 271-9781
Houston: (713) 401-2011