Let Us Line Or Reline Your Chimney
If your chimney was built without a protective terracotta inner liner, you have what is called an “unlined chimney,” which means that your chimney may be a hazard to your home and to the lives of you and your family. We cannot stress enough: If your masonry chimney is unlined, do not burn fires until it is repaired and safe for use. Continuing to burn fires in an unsafe chimney can be disastrous.
In addition to posing a safety hazard, unlined chimneys have bad draft characteristics. They may also leak noxious gases into your living space and may generate large amounts of condensation. When allowed to contact and penetrate the inside surfaces of the chimney’s red brickwork, both condensation and acidic flu gases have been proven to greatly reduce the usable life of a chimney due to mortar deterioration. In other words: If your chimney is not lined, make sure it gets lined as quickly as possible.
In most cases, an unlined chimney can be made safe for use by having it relined by an A to Z Chimney Services. Relining usually involves having a custom-made, fully insulated stainless steel liner installed from the very top of your chimney all the way down to the very bottom of the chimney where the smoke chamber ends.
Why Do Chimneys Need To Be Lined?
If you have a masonry chimney, its structure is made up of several layers—called courses—of bricks stacked one on top of another and glued together with mortar by a skilled mason. In order to keep all the heat, smoke, and carbon monoxide safely contained within that outer brick structure, there needs to be an inner liner—either of protective terracotta flue tiles or stainless steel.
Most people don’t realize that red bricks are actually a very poor insulating material. In other words, if hot smoke and gases were allowed to come in direct contact with the inside surface of your chimney’s brickwork, the red bricks could quickly allow this heat to travel through the bricks and be hot to the touch on the outside. Because red bricks are good conductors of heat, they do not provide a very safe barrier between your fire’s heat and the combustible wood 2X4’s that make up the structure of your home. Quite often, older homes were built with combustible wood framing in direct contact with the chimney’s brickwork — so if you have an older home, it is especially imperative that your fire’s heat not be allowed to transfer through the chimney walls, where it could ignite a house fire.
Most modern masonry chimneys are comprised of two to three layers of different materials. The outer one to two layers are made up of red brick, and the innermost layer is a different type of clay material called terra cotta. These terra cotta flue tiles, which are orange or yellow in color and square or rectangular in shape, are usually 1-2 feet tall and are stacked one on top of another with a layer of mortar joining each flue tile over the next. The result is a passageway designed to contain and convey the byproducts of combustion up and out of your home.
Don’t Just Take Our Word For It…
Due to safety concerns, building codes have required that masonry chimneys be built with a flue liner since the early 1930s. In the 1940s, and once again in the 1980s, the National Bureau of Standards did extensive testing on masonry chimneys for durability and safety. These tests involved both lined and unlined chimneys.
The results of this testing was very clear: Unlined chimneys were found to be very unsafe. Common red brick readily allowed the smoke’s heat to transfer through the brickwork and onto adjacent 2X4’s (which make up the roof and walls of the home), igniting them after only three-and-a-half hours of testing. In fact, unlined chimneys performed so poorly that the testing of unlined chimneys was abandoned altogether.
Get Some Peace Of Mind With A To Z Chimney Services!
Once your chimney is relined, you can burn your fires with peace of mind, knowing that you did the smart and responsible thing by having it relined with the proper materials by a professional company. To schedule an appointment with a chimney technician today, email A to Z Chimney Services at firstname.lastname@example.org or fill out our online appointment form.
Be sure to have your gas fireplace or other gas appliance serviced on a regular basis to keep everything operating safely. It’s one of the professional fireplace and chimney services we provide frequently here at A to Z Chimney Services.
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A to Z did a great job sweeping our chimney! After they cleaned the flue, they put a small camera up the chimney to make sure it was sound. He had me look at the computer screen to show me what he was looking at and he was able to show me that our chimney was in great shape (after the cleaning, of course).
The whole process was seamless and easy for me and the technician was very professional throughout.
~ Lori Hanegan, Rocklin, CA
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