Does My Chimney Liner Affect the Masonry?
Chimney sweeps are often asked what the purpose is of chimney liners. Specifically, for example, they will ask, does my fireplace liner affect the masonry of my chimney? We will go over the chimney liner functions and answer that question in particular.
The Chimney Flue Liner’s Functions
The most important thing you need to know is that the safety of a chimney largely depends on the chimney liner. The flue liner does three things all at the same time. Those things are:
- Protects your home.
- Protects the masonry of your chimney.
- Ensures optimal efficiency.
The Chimney Liner Protects Your Home
The chimney liner is the passageway through which combustion gases escape. The liner keeps the toxic gases from leaking into the home. If a chimney flue liner has even the smallest bit of damage, it needs to be repaired or replaced—and replacement is pretty much always recommended.
What a small crack in the chimney liner does shows why the liner protects the home. If the liner has a little crack in it, the fireplace shouldn’t be used until it is fixed. This is what happens:
- Exposes combustible parts of the home to extreme temperatures, and
- Exposes the family to toxic fumes, including carbon monoxide.
When the combustible parts of the home are exposed to extreme heat, a process called pyrolysis occurs. What it does is reduce the amount of heat required to combust that part of the home. So, eventually, your home could suddenly go up in flames. A crack in the flue allows toxic fumes into the home. This includes carbon monoxide, which is known as The Silent Killer. It is odorless, invisible, tasteless, and symptomless. The symptoms of carbon monoxide exposure don’t become obvious until it is sometimes too late to escape the fumes.
The Liner Protects your Masonry
Here’s the part you’ve been waiting for. We will answer the question of the day: does my fireplace liner affect the masonry of my chimney? The short answer is yes. Now, we already know why the liner is in place from the home’s standpoint. We will now consider how it affects masonry if the liner wasn’t there at all or if it was allowed to deteriorate badly.
The masonry on the chimney would not be able to withstand the corrosive byproducts of combustion. The National Bureau of Standards (NBS) once conducted tests showing that flue gases were easily able to penetrate through brick and mortar. If this penetration occurs, it dramatically reduces the lifespan of the chimney. That’s because the flue gases are acidic in nature, and they will erode any physical object it comes into contact with.
How Does the Liner Ensure Optimal Efficiency?
The flue liner, as it turns out, needs to be of the correct size. Appliances such as wood stoves and furnaces need to have a certain flue size. It isn’t standard just as the size of a wood stove isn’t standard. The chimney has a dual purpose in this regard. It allows combustion gases to exit the home and it creates a draft to pull these gases out.
If the liner is the wrong size, the byproducts won’t exit the home. The appliance can’t operate at maximum efficiency if the flue is the wrong size.
Call Chimney Saver Solutions about your Chimney Flue
Chimney flue cleaning and inspections are recommended annually by leading fire safety experts. The CSIA-Certified chimney sweeps at Chimney Saver Solutions are the pros to call for all of your chimney needs. We have answers to your questions, like does my fireplace liner affect the masonry of my chimney? (If you want to understand more fully, we can help.) We also fix leaky chimneys, remove creosote, repair chimney masonry, repair flashing, and much more. Contact us at Chimney Saver Solutions today using our contact form or schedule an appointment by calling 804-440-5000.