As a homeowner, you have the responsibility of maintaining every part of your residence. When you have a fireplace, its chimney and venting system is one of these parts that needs regular maintenance. For safety reasons, you should know exactly what each component of your chimney and venting system is and what it does. Our Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA)-certified chimney sweeps at Coopertown Services take pride in educating customers on how their chimneys work. Our sweeps take the opportunity to explain how each part functions during the annual chimney sweeping and inspection. The most essential chimney maintenance task you can do, cleaning and inspecting your chimney once a year also gives our sweeps the chance to ensure each part is working safely and properly. We would like to tell you more about the flue of your chimney and why it is such an important component to maintain.
What Exactly Is a Chimney Flue?
According to the online encyclopedia WiseGeek, a chimney flue is the chamber that vents smoke, gases, and other byproducts of combustion out of your house. The flue is surrounded by the chimney, which provides heat insulation to prevent a chimney fire. If your home has more than one fireplace and/or heating stove, your chimney can have multiple flues if these heating appliances are all linked to the same chimney and venting system.
What Is the Purpose of a Chimney Flue?
Providing a vent to keep the byproducts of combustion from backing up into your house, the chimney flue carries the smoke and toxic gases from combustion out of your home with minimal loss of heat. This allows the fire to warm the room without endangering anyone inside your house. Usually, a chimney flue is straight in order to provide the best draft. You can also control the amount of draft with the damper to find the right balance between ventilation and heat loss. The right amount of draft will also keep your flue free from unnecessary debris that could block the flue and adversely affect its venting capabilities.
How Can I Tell If My Flue Is Damaged?
Of course, the most definitive way to tell if your flue needs repairing is by having your chimney professionally inspected by the CSIA-certified chimney sweeps at Coopertown Services. However, there are a couple of things you can look for yourself. Pieces and shards of chimney tiles piling up at the bottom of your chimney is a sign your flue is cracked and damaged. A cracked and deteriorating flue causes dangerous hazards such as chimney fires and carbon monoxide leaks. Your flue should be repaired before you use your fireplace. Another sign of a damaged flue, cracked and spalled bricks on the exterior of your chimney occur during the freeze-thaw process. When water penetrates the masonry of your chimney, it can freeze when the temperatures drop. As the weather gets warmer, the frozen water thaws and expands, which causes the bricks and mortar to crack. This can lead to further water penetration of your flue as well as to the possible collapse of your entire chimney structure. Coopertown Services can repair all types of flue damage and make your fireplace safe to use again.
Want to learn more about the flue and other parts of your chimney and venting system? Contact Coopertown Services to talk to our qualified staff about how your chimney functions.