Whether your masonry chimney is used to vent a fireplace, woodstove or furnace, most have sections of clay flue tile stacked one on top of the other to form a liner called the flue.
The flue liner should be tightly sealed to protect the integrity and efficiency of your chimney. But over time, hidden dangers can develop that will compromise the safety and efficiency of your chimney.
The combustion process creates noxious gases that can contain creosote/soot, carbon monoxide and corrosive chemicals. The purpose of your chimney is to safely vent these hazardous flue gases from your home. Flue tiles are typically sealed with mortar to keep these gases within the flue. But over time, the mixture of heat, moisture and chemicals will erode the mortar, leaving gaps or voids between flue tiles.
Flue tiles can crack due to “sudden occurrences” such as a previous chimney fire, lightning strike, or seismic event. Cracks may also be caused by poor workmanship or the ongoing settling of your home.
Years of exposure to corrosive chemicals and moisture from combustion can attack clay flue tiles, causing pieces of the flue liner to flake off or delaminate, a process called spalling.
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