The need to reline the chimney doesn’t arise very often, because the flue doesn’t generally take a lot of damage from year to year. We do recommend a new liner, or flue, if you own an older home or if there has been any chimney damage. We may also recommend a new flue if you’ve changed fireplaces, or installed a fireplace where a wood stove unit once stood. Here are four common reasons to reline the chimney.
- Building Code Changes: Homes built before 1940 weren’t required to have a chimney liner. The chimney structure itself was sufficient enough to pass earlier building codes. Safety codes have been put into place since, so if your home was built before 1940, make sure it has a properly working flue. We would be happy to inspect the chimney for you to determine the type of flue in your chimney and let you know whether it is damaged or in need of replacement.
- Cracks and Breaks: Chimney liners are either clay tile, cast-in-place cement, or metal. All of these types comply with building code requirements and should be installed by a chimney professional for best results. Damage to the flue can allow carbon monoxide to build up in the chimney and prevent it from escaping along with smoke and other gases. If you notice that smoke is coming back into your home from the chimney, call us immediately.
- New Chimney Build or Reconstruction: Any time you have to reconstruct a chimney due to structural damage or weakness, or you’re building a new chimney, you need a new chimney liner. Feel free to ask us about the different types of liners, how they differ, and the pros and cons for each from a professional standpoint.
- Efficiency: Newer appliances simply perform more efficiently than older appliances. The same is true with your chimney. Consider it just another appliance that needs regular maintenance. Chimney liner replacement can improve the overall performance of your fireplace or wood burning stove, which means less fuel will be required to heat your home.
How We Examine the Flue
The chimney lining, or the flue, is inside the chimney; it’s the round pipe that carries smoke and gases up through the chimney and vents them through the opening at the top. The flue has to be able to withstand very high temperatures and must be cleaned at least once per year depending on how often the chimney is used. We use a high powered flashlight to look down the chimney from the top and up the chimney from the bottom. We also use a camera system that shows us a live feed from the interior of your chimney so we can more thoroughly inspect the flue.
Call Lou Curley’s Chimney Service at 610-626-2439 to schedule a chimney inspection, discuss relining your flue, or to schedule an appointment for a chimney cleaning. Our CSIA Certified Chimney Sweeps are just a phone call away; and remember, our schedule begins to fill quickly as we near the end of winter, so schedule your post-winter chimney inspection and cleaning early.