With such a classic part of your home, it’s easy to forget that your chimney needs to meet modern standards as much as your lighting or kitchen stove. Curb appeal aside, it is important to update your home for the safety of your family and your health. Homes that were built in the 1950’s and before were not required to keep their masonry chimney up to a certain set of codes. By not keeping your chimney updated with a flue liner, among other things, you run the risk of letting it fall into disrepair.
Homes built in the last sixty years have masonry chimneys that were built to different standards than those built currently. Just like the rest of your home, the chimney needs to be updated to modern times. The professionals at Fluesbrothers will look at a variety of attributes to make sure they are working effectively and safely. From the exterior, structural damage in the form of cracking or crumbling masonry can be one of the more obvious signs of disrepair, and is also a sign of water damage. Fallen bricks could also block proper airflow through the flue, hindering smoke and gas from escaping. The chimney may also lack a chimney crown or have one that is severely cracked, which is almost as bad as not having one at all. The crown protects from elements and debris, and without one, creates an open-air passageway for critters and water to damage the chimney interior.
According to the NFPA (National Fire Protection Association), current codes require the chimney to extend at least three feet above the roof. The height difference is in place to protect against sparks flying out of the chimney and igniting leaves or twigs on the roof. Older homes can lack a chimney lining, which protects the inside of the chimney flue from condensation, as well as creosote buildup. Too much tar or creosote in your chimney means increase risk of fire, while condensation can leak into the walls and flooring of your house, ruining it. If you own an older home, you may be subject to changes in your insurance if your chimney isn’t up to code.
Lighting a fire in a chimney that isn’t properly cared for ignite a variety of debris or toxic buildup in your chimney, ruining not only your chimney, but the very house you live in. We want your chimney in the best working order for the cool fall nights. We can line (or reline) your chimney, as well as sweep it of tar and creosote buildup. With a new crown and some fresh masonry, your chimney will look good as new! Give us a call to discuss your options and make an appointment. We look forward to hearing from you.