Within the confines of your brick chimney are separate clay liners (unless the chimney is unlined) which service the individual appliances in your home such as your fireplace, wood or coal stove and heating system. Most importantly, clay liners are designed to contain and direct the fly-ash, embers and all other by-products of combustion out of the chimney.
When water enters a flue it mixes with acidic flue gases and absorbs into the clay liner, breaking down the inner walls of the liner and even the mortar holding them together. This water can be introduced into the flues by rain or snow (from an uncapped chimney) or higher efficient heating systems that produce condensation from lower flue gas temperatures.
As the inner walls of the clay liners deteriorate and break down, the flues weaken and crumble, sometimes causing a partial blockage, or even complete failure resulting in a collapse within the brick chimney chase! When the integrity of these liners is compromised they become dangerous and may cause a structure fire or even a health hazard due to carbon monoxide entering the living space.
Have a stainless steel chimney liner installed by Tom to Bottom Chimney Service. We install HOMESAVER chimney liners, which improves the safety of your chimney by eliminating leaks of flue gases into your home, protecting the integrity of the masonry of your chimney and improving the efficiency of your heating system and/or fireplace.
Most of the older “antique” homes found here on Cape Cod have unlined chimneys. Many of these chimneys are still in use venting fireplaces, wood stoves and even higher efficiency, condensing oil and gas heating appliances. Continued use of these chimneys without liners brings the risk of the hazards mentioned above even higher. Deteriorated bricks and old mortar leave these homes vulnerable to structure fires and carbon monoxide leakage into the home. If your home was constructed prior to the early 1950’s, chances are the chimney(s) are unlined.