A problematic chimney is something homeowners like you should never ignore. In fact, if you noticed that it’s not working well, you need to have it checked right away to protect your family and property from harm.
Remember, a malfunctioning chimney can increase carbon monoxide levels in your house as well as cause fires. According to reports, chimneys in Ireland cause over a thousand fires each year. Hence, they need to be always be in tip-top condition.
Much like other structures in the house, chimneys become worn out over time. It is also not unusual for them to unexpectedly breakdown, especially if they are frequently used. Often, these problems do not show any obvious signs until they are already severe. This is why regular chimney maintenance is necessary to detect these issues before they cause injury and destruction.
What Are the Most Common Chimney Problems?
The most common chimney problems include liner problems, broken crown or cap, blockage and leaky flashing.
Chimney Liner Problems: The liner, also called flue liner, is regarded as one of the most important parts of the chimney. Lining the interior of the flue, it plays an integral role in moving heat and gases up and out of your home. The chimney liner’s major purpose, however, is to protect the flammable parts of the house, including the chimney, from heat and corrosion. It also minimises the risk of the masonry crumbling or cracking.
Basically, having a damaged liner or not having one at all increases the likelihood of chimney fires. So, make sure you call a professional chimneys repair company right away if you need relining services.
Chimney liners, particularly those made of stainless steel, can last a lifetime. However, it is not unusual for them to deteriorate, especially if they are not regularly and properly maintained.
Installing the wrong size of liner can be problematic, too. For one, using an oversized liner promotes the quick accumulation of creosote. Large deposits of creosote can make the structure highly combustible. Meanwhile, a liner that is too small results in poor draught and quicker condensation.
Broken Crown or Cap: The crown and the cap are the parts of the chimney that are very susceptible to damages. This is primarily because they are located outdoors; hence, they are exposed to various elements. The most common issue encountered with these parts is cracking.
If you have a cracked crown or cap, moisture can easily entre the chimney system. When this happens, your chimney lining and masonry as well as surrounding structures like the ceiling and the walls can get seriously damaged. It’s best to address this kind of problem early so as to avoid costly repairs or completely rebuilding the structure.
Chimney Blockage: When there’s an obstruction in your chimney, proper drafting won’t happen. Toxic fumes get trapped in the house instead of flowing out. This type of problem is very dangerous as it can endanger lives and properties. For one, exposure to these gases, carbon monoxide in particular, can jeopardise people’s health and even cost them their lives. Over the years, there have been countless deaths due to carbon monoxide intrusion in houses with blocked chimneys.
Meanwhile, obstruction due to creosote build-up is one of the leading causes of chimney fires. Creosote, a mixture of tar and soot, is a by-product of burning fossil fuels like coal and wood. This residue which gets deposited inside the flue is highly flammable.
Aside from creosote build-up, a collapsed flue and the presence of a bird nest can cause blockage in the chimney. Design problems can also be the reason behind the obstruction. For example, if the chimney is too short, smoke may not be able to get out of the house because of ambient updraft.
Leaky Flashing: The flashing is the waterproof seal placed on the area where the chimney meets the roof. Usually made up of lead, steal, vinyl or aluminium, its purpose is to prevent moisture from penetrating the aforementioned structures.
What causes a leaky flashing? Improper installation is one of the top culprits. This is why it is imperative that you hire professionals to ensure that the flashing is properly installed. A well laid chimney flashing can last up to 30 years.
A leaky flashing can negatively impact your chimney’s structural integrity. It can also lead to the destruction of your roof, attic and other adjoining structures. Detecting a leaky flashing is not easy, especially if the problem is at its early stages. This is why regular chimney inspection is necessary to catch the problem before it becomes worse.
The chimneys Ireland homes have are not immune to damages. If you have any of the above-mentioned chimney problems, hire a trusted chimneys repair company in Ireland like Access Chimneys to fix it! Call us today at +353 872805825.
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