The flue is the liner on the inside of your chimney. It’s what attracts creosote as smoke and gases leave your home. The flue, or the chimney liner, should look smooth and flawless all the way through the chimney. Cracks in the flue can lead to serious consequences for your home and the people who live there.
What a Damaged Flue Means for Your Chimney
A damaged flue means that the chimney isn’t working properly. Think of your fireplace and chimney as working appliances that need to be maintained. Your range or oven wouldn’t work properly if they had broken components. The water heater wouldn’t work without a heating element. Your chimney isn’t working properly if the flue is damaged.
Damaged flues generally have more creosote buildup, deterioration on the inside of the chimney, and gases don’t properly escape. A damaged flue can mean that carbon monoxide is being pushed back into your home.
Cracks in the flue also allow creosote and poisonous gases to seep between the flue and the interior chimney walls. These gases and creosote can ignite if the temperature in the chimney gets too hot and cause a house fire. Chimney fires are often missed because the chimney contains them, but the risks to your home are very serious.
A chimney fire burns very hot because it is contained in a tight location. The surrounding support beams for your ceiling and roof can catch fire because of the extreme temperatures. Your entire home can be engulfed in flames before you realize it.
Causes of Flue Damage
The most common causes of damage to the flue are improper installation or construction, deterioration due to the acidic nature of fossil fuels, and settling property. Every property settles over time. We may notice cracks in the ceiling or walls. Those same cracks can happen inside the chimney and cause damage to the flue.
Chimney Liner Replacement
We see several damaged flues per year here along the Main Line. We usually work with stainless steel liners, but we also install cast-in-place chimney liners as well. Flue replacement is not something we would recommend as a DIY home improvement project.
Chimney Inspection and Cleaning in West Chester
Lou Curley’s Chimney Service in Drexel Hill provides chimney services to homeowners in West Chester. We have two CSIA Certified chimney sweeps standing by to assist you with your chimney needs. Give us a call at 610-626-2439 to schedule an appointment for a chimney inspection or cleaning.