Chimneys are a great source of comfort, especially when the weather outside is freezing. But chimneys can also be dangerous. It is estimated that damaged chimneys cause more than 22,000 house fires each year. This means that your chimney including its liner needs to be in good shape. If you see any signs of cracks, consider chimney repair immediately. So, let’s take a look into how you can tell your chimney liner has gone bad.
Why Would I Need A New Chimney Liner?
First things first, you would need a new liner simply to prevent your house from catching fire and the chimney to continue functioning without any complications. The problem with chimneys is when they catch fire, they tend to follow the domino effect. The fire spreads to other areas, eventually engulfing the entire house if not attended to on time.
If your chimney liner happens to be sized incorrectly or damaged, it will have a problem with the flow and draft. As a result, the gases and smoke will not be able to escape fast enough. Moving on, the moisture in the gases and smoke promotes excessive creosote buildup that eventually corrodes the liner and causes the chimney to catch fire.
Experts are of the view that chimney fires are caused due to four main reasons: inaccurate liner sizing, cracks, no liner, or other hazards. Inaccurate liner sizing is a popular concern amongst DIY installers. A liner that does not fit the fireplace or stove will cause trouble down the road.
Similarly, chimney liners with cracks are not sufficiently effective in terms of preventing the fire from expanding its reach. Over the years, chimney liners can become damaged or cracked, which is normal. But this means you should regularly inspect it and get them replaced as soon as you identify some unusual signs.
How To Know If Your Chimney Liner Is Bad?
Sometimes, your chimney liner won’t show any signs but that does not mean there is not a problem lurking around. In this case, you will need a professional who can run a thorough inspection. On the other hand, you might come across some visible signs that are calling for help. For instance, if you observe rust on your chimney, you should get down to immediately fixing it. Do not wait for it to expand.
Rust is your chimney’s worst enemy. And if you see your liner covered with rust, you will need to replace it. Furthermore, mortar is another factor that determines the health of your chimney liner. If the chimney mortar is damaged, your chimney will need to be relined. Since the chimney liner won’t be working effectively and pushing out the smoke, the mortar will deteriorate in a matter of days.
Apart from the mortar, your chimney crown is amongst the most important chimney components. It is designed to keep the chimney secure from all types of weather and external factors. Therefore, if it is damaged, you will need to replace it.
What To Do If Your Chimney Liner Is Cracked Is Bad?
There are several ways of fixing a messed-up liner. You can opt for clay tile, metal liner, or cast-in-place.
Clay Tile Liners
Clay tile happens to be the most popular as they are the most affordable but require relatively more maintenance. With time, the clay tiles will deteriorate and the mortar between the crack and tiles will corrode as well. Therefore, you will need to be on the lookout for any cracks or damages regularly.
Metal liners are either usually stainless steel or aluminum. These are slightly on the expensive side as they come with a lifetime guarantee and can withstand both weather and smoke. Plus, they are flexible and easy to place on the chimney as well.
Cast-in-place liners are made using poured cement. These liners are made to withstand condensation, heat, and acid that is usually found in a fireplace. On top of that, they last for more than 50 years but are labor-intensive.
Considering the benefits, you must keep your chimney liner in great shape. If regular maintenance and inspection is a problem, hire chimney relining services Columbia MD to keep your chimney in optimum condition.