Nearly every home in Calgary features a chimney, whether it’s for a wood-burning fireplace or an exhaust for the home furnace or other appliances. While chimneys are common, taking proper care of them is anything but.
At Accurate Home Inspection, we routinely find chimneys without chimney liners or with liners that are completely worn out and long past their useful age. Chimney liners are a part most people don’t understand about the chimney, but they are incredibly important. These liners help keep combustion byproducts, such as fumes from burning oil, gas or other fuels, away from the actual masonry inside the chimney.
Without a liner, these exhaust fumes can cause serious problems in a chimney. In wood-burning and oil-burning homes, creosote can accumulate – a flammable deposit that can lead to serious house fires. In natural gas homes, liners are needed to protect from condensing fumes which can create acids that eat away at the brick, leading to potential chimney failure, says the Chimney Safety Institute of America.
Typically, homes before the 1940s did not include liners, but they are now mandatory in every chimney. A liner provides extra protection for your home, greatly reducing the chance of a fire in your chimney or corrosion damage that could lead to exhaust fumes venting inside.
There are three types of chimney liners commonly in use today: clay tile liners, cast-in place liners and metal liners. All three options provide great protection, but depending on your needs, some liners may be better than others. For example, clay tile liners are usually built during home construction while cast-in place liners are better to reinforce an existing chimney. Metal flue liners work in almost every chimney, but are not always as durable as the other options.
We know in Calgary that having a warm home is a necessity during the long cold winters – and sometimes fall, and sometimes spring. Make sure that whenever you’re using your chimney, your home is safe as part of a professional home inspection. Before the cold weather arrives, get your home checked to make sure that you’re safe all throughout the frosty season.
To learn more or to request an inspection at your home, call Accurate Home Inspection today at 403-826-6111.