When to Replace a Chimney Liner

Chimney LinerIt is important to have your chimney and its liner inspected at least once a year, especially if you use it on a regular basis. Chimneys need to be checked regularly to ensure that everything is working well and that your liner is in good condition.

Your liner is essentially a conduit made of clay, metal or ceramic that contains the combustion by products from your and protects the walls of the chimney from corrosion and heat. If you are new to chimney maintenance, here are a few tips to keep in mind regarding chimney efficiency and the benefits of a sturdy liner.

Consider it When Switching from Heating Oil to Natural Gas

There are many reasons that you may decide to change from using a heating oil or burning wood to a natural gas option stove or heating system. For one, natural gas can burn more completely, meaning that your furnace can be much more efficient. If you are looking to save money, natural gas rates have also come down significantly in recent years, with as much as 84 percent of natural gas on the market today produced right here at home. Plus, some utility companies offer rebates to owners who switch to gas.

Still, even though there are so many advantages to getting gas, the issue, of course, is that you may have to replace your chimney liner. If you don’t have a liner at all, some states and municipalities require that your chimney be properly fitted with an acceptable liner to handle natural gas. This is because natural gas fumes can condense in a cool chimney, creating acidic solutions that can eat away at your brick or masonry.

Many Other Reasons to Change Your Liner

No matter how you decide to heat your home, it is important to know that having a clean and intact chimney liner is essential for other reasons. First of all a well-kept liner can reduce the chance of a chimney fire or carbon monoxide leak. Liners keep hot embers or noxious fumes contained, moving them through the chimney and safely away from your home.

If you are looking to have your chimney inspected or your liner repaired or replaced, look no further than the professionals at Bruce’s Chimney Service. We specialize in all sorts of home, roofing and chimney repairs including chimney relining, waterproofing and more. Give us a call at 570-424-7250 today.

How To Tell If Your Chimney Needs Repair

Chimney maintenance It won’t always be obvious when your chimney needs repair. In fact sometimes the signs that a chimney needs a little work are hard to see and can only be found when you’re looking for them directly. Knowing what to look for can help you spot issues quickly and before they develop into costly, time consuming repair projects. Damaged chimneys are also a fire hazard so they should be inspected and repaired regularly for the safety or your property and family.

 

 

You can start your chimney inspection inside the house. Look at the wallpaper that is located in areas close to the chimney. If it is damaged, discolored or tearing, there could be excessive moisture in the chimney. If too much water or condensations gets into the chimney it can affect the structural integrity as well as surrounding pieces of foundation or décor. Water causes all sorts damage to materials from drywall to wood to wallpaper, as it can be the reasoning behind expansion, contraction or disintegration.

 

 

Next, take a look inside the chimney, at the bottom. This area should only be full of wood or ashes, nothing else. If you find that there are small or thin pieces of chimney tile, this can be a sign of damaged chimney liner. When this liner cracks or splits, the chimney is no longer safe to use. These small pieces of liner can built up and turn a normal, contained fire into a house fire. If you utilize a stainless steel chimney liner instead, which typically have a lifetime warranty, you are not at risk for this problem.

 

 

The next part of the inspection should be done from the roof. If you can safely get onto and off of your roof to look at the chimney, you can do this yourself. While you are on the roof you want to look for damaged mortar joints. These will be located between the masonry of the chimney and allow moisture to enter the bricks. Moisture will cause the bricks to expand, contract and enlarge the cracks. Furthermore, if a substantial amount of water gets into the cracks and the bricks for a long period of time, the entire chimney is at risk of collapsing.

 

 

While you are on the roof you should also pay careful attention to the chimney crown. This piece of the chimney can protect the entire structure from the weather and climate. When it is in need of repair, water can get into all the different parts of the chimney and wreak havoc on the structure and strength. You might also want to consider weatherproofing your chimney crown to protectively protect it. If it is unsafe to do so you can hire professionals to come out and test your entire chimney for damage or danger.

Benefits to a Fireplace

Fireplaces are a great addition to any home, but how do you know whether gas or wood is the best choice? While both have a lot to offer a residence, gas fireplaces have an abundance of benefits. For example, gas fireplaces provide steady, consistent heating for your home. The heat from a wood fireplace decreases as the wood burns and therefore requires fuel replenishment.

Another benefit of a gas fireplace is that they are much more user friendly. Starting a fire isn’t easy, but igniting a gas fireplace takes just the flip of a switch. Old and young adults can get a fire going without having to haul wood, add kindling and get the fire to light and stay burning. Which brings another benefit to light, no chopping, buying and moving wood for the fire.

Wood fires often produce sparks or fly away flames, which can damage close furniture or even hurt people sitting close to the fireplace. For small children and pets, this can be especially detrimental. Gas fireplaces are more controlled and do not produce either of these side effects.

A natural fireplace requires two things that gas fireplaces do not: chimney and regular maintenance to remove creosote. Gas fireplaces have venting systems and therefore do not require a traditional fireplace chimney. The flames of a gas fire also don’t produce creosote, which can build up in the chimney causing damage.

But perhaps one of the most important benefits is that a gas fireplace produce better, increased heat than its wood counterpart. Most gas fireplaces have blowers installed with them for better distribution of the heat that comes from the flames. This keeps warms and entire homes warmer than traditional fireplaces. While it would be unfair to say that gas fireplaces are better than wood fireplaces, they certainly have benefits that are worth recognizing when deciding between the two.