Understanding Chimney Relining

As a homeowner, you need to undertake chimney relining in the event your chimney liner comes off.

Why do you need to install a chimney liner?

The chimney liner provides your home with plenty of benefits:

Protects the home from the risk of accidental fire: The liner protects the wood around your chimney, shielding it from high temperatures that are produced in the fireplace. When you work with an unlined chimney, the heat produced in the chimney tends to move through the chimney and into the adjacent wooden parts extremely fast putting your house at the risk of catching fire.

Protects the brick and mortar from corrosion damage: If you have used your chimney for a long time you might be aware that the byproducts of combustion are toxic and corrosive. When the products seep directly into the chimney masonry, erosion results.

When there isn’t a liner, the combustion gases eat away at the bricks and mortar of the chimney, which puts you and your family at risk. This is because the cracks and gaps created by the erosion can allow the poisonous gases such as carbon monoxide to leak into your home.

Increases the efficiency of the fireplace: One of the popular ways of increasing the efficiency of the fireplace is to install a fireplace insert into an existing opening. Since masonry chimneys are larger than these inserts, the size difference often brings about safety and performance issues.

One of the ways of fixing this issue is by installing a chimney liner. The decreased size of the chimney flue increases the efficiency of the chimney thus you use little fuel.

Chimney liner options

Did you know that you have many options of chimney liners that you can choose from? Some of the most common ones are:

Clay: They are the most popular lining materials that you can choose from. They are loved by many people as they are inexpensive and highly durable. A properly maintained clay liner can last for up to 50 years.

While clay liners are cheap and durable, unfortunately, they are difficult to replace. This is because they require a lot of labor to tear them off. For you to avoid having to replace them every now and then, you should take good care of them.

Metal liners: The most common liners under this category are the stainless steel flue liners. While they are a little bit expensive to purchase, they require just a little labor to install them.

If you are strapped of cash and you want metal liners in your home, you should go for aluminum liners. They are often affordable, but they are only ideal for certain medium-efficiency gas appliances.

Cast in place liners: Cast in place liners are constructed from poured cement. The cool thing with lining with cement is that the process is less invasive, less laborious, and often cheaper than when you are rebuilding a clay liner.

When you take good care of the clay liners, they have the ability to last up to 50 years. You can install the liners on any type of chimney you might be having. The cool thing is that the lining can withstand a wide range of elements including heat, acids, and even condensation.

Tips to consider when relining your chimney

If the chimney liner has come off, you should replace it as soon as possible. As you have seen there are plenty of material options that you can go with. As rule of thumb, you should choose a material that gives you the best results and gives your chimney the look that you want.

Unless you are highly experienced at the installation of the lining material, you should avoid doing it by yourself—always hire chimney contractors to help you out. While the contractors will cost you money, they will be worth it as you will end up saving a lot of money and time in the long run.

Some people try to cut costs by going for the cheapest lining materials and hiring the cheapest contractors. Don’t do this. Remember that you always get what you pay for; therefore, when you pay cheap, you should expect cheap services and cheap results. For ideal results, always go for quality.

Chimney Cleaning Services: Health Hazards That Come With A Dirty Chimney

If you ask many homeowners, they will tell you the reason they seek chimney cleaning services is that they don’t want to suffer from chimney fires. Did you know dirty chimneys are a health hazard? Here are some of the ways in which you can compromise your health from having a dirty chimney:

Creosote exposure

Creosote is an oily black substance that builds up inside the chimney flue when you go for a long time without cleaning it. Creosote results when there is incomplete wood combustion. In addition to creosote being unsightly to look at, it also has a number of undesirable health effects such as:

Skin irritation: Are you allergic to dust? Chances are that when you come into contact with creosote, you will develop rashes. In severe cases, you might develop skin conditions.

Eye irritation: This goes without saying. When creosote particles are flying all over the house, they are bound to get into your eyes. As you might have guessed, this leads to eye irritation. Sometimes the irritation is grave to the extent of causing burning sensations or chemical burns.

It’s also common to develop high light sensitivity making it hard for you to undertake your daily chores outdoors.

Respiratory problems: If the creosote particles are going to irritate your eyes, chances are that they are also going to irritate your respiratory system. As a result, you are bound to start coughing, among many other things.

Cancer: Did you know that you can get cancer from creosote exposure? Long-term exposure of creosote is bound to cause skin cancer.

Abdominal problems: In severe cases, high creosote levels irritate the kidneys and liver leading to abdominal problems.

Other side effects of creosote are seizures and confusion in some people.

How can you prevent all this from happening? Simple. All you need to do is to clean the chimney at least once a year. You can do it by yourself or hire a professional to help you out.

Carbon monoxide poisoning

Plenty of deaths have been reported resulting from carbon monoxide poisoning. Carbon monoxide is colorless, odorless, and tasteless gas. This makes extremely hazardous. You might be wondering how a dirty chimney leads to carbon monoxide poisoning, right?

When the chimney is dirty, there are materials in the chimney blocking the carbon monoxide from leaving the house. This means that the gas that is meant to go out, stays in. When substantial levels of the gas accumulate, you are bound to experience flu-like symptoms such as nausea, fatigue, headache, and confusion.

Inhaling large quantities of the gas at once has been shown to lead to brain damage, heart problems, and in severe cases, death.

When you hire a chimney cleaning professional, he/she should not only get rid of creosote, he/she should also inspect the insides of the chimney and remove dead birds and other materials that might be stuck there.

Chimney soot inhalation

Just like creosote, chimney soot comes about due to incomplete combustion. It comes about when wood doesn’t burn hot enough. This leads to the formation of black or brown dust sticks inside the chimney.

Failure to remove the soot early enough leads to a number of problems. The first one is lung hazard. Just like creosote, when you inhale large amounts of the soot, you have high chances of irritating the lungs. In some cases, you might cause lung disease.

In addition to this, you stand to suffer from respiratory infections when you are exposed to chimney soot for a long time.

Just like when getting rid of creosote, the only way of getting rid of chimney soot is to clean the chimney. As mentioned above, you can clean it by yourself or hire a professional to help you out.

Histoplasmosis

Histoplasmosis is a respiratory condition that comes about due to the inhalation of bird droppings. When you don’t clean your chimney regularly, chimney swifts, small, brownish birds can easily reside in your chimney. Their droppings bring about histoplasmosis.

When you are suffering from the condition you develop flu-like symptoms. They include: chronic coughs, chest pain, fever, sweats, and lack of appetite.

During chimney cleaning, the chimney sweep Bowie should identify the residence of the chimney swifts and get rid of them.