Why You need To Improve Your Old Chimney Before Using It

Lack of lining is one of the most common issues that we see in older chimneys. As a flat statement, any chimney that is not lined should not be used for any purpose. You may say, “Well, it’s been there for 80 years, so why change it now?” and that’s a reasonable question. In some cases the answer is that nothing has changed – the situation has always gotten worse! The reason why your chimney’s condition has gotten worse is because most things wear out over time and a chimney is certainly no exception to that rule. Additionally, the fact that furnaces and stoves of 2011 require a more capable chimney to support them makes unimproved, older chimneys more or less obsolete.

Here are a few reasons why chimney linings are so important:
- Unlined chimneys have bad draft characteristics. These bad draft characteristics cause the appliances they serve to work less than optimally.
- Unlined Chimneys may leak noxious gases into the living space.
- When you make a change to the construction of a structure, the system must come up to building code standards. So if you have a new furnace or boiler, a woodstove or insert, the chimney must be lined at that time.
- You may find yourself without insurance if you make changes without improving the chimney. Check with your insurance company please if you intend to disregard our advice here or consult a certified chimney sweep for a second opinion.

Does the type of Fireplace make a difference?
If used for a gas fire, these gas flames create low-temperature flue gasses and produce huge amounts of condensation. With an unlined chimney, the condensation is allowed to adhere to the actual masonry and the freeze-thaw cycles in the winter slowly demolish the masonry chimney over the years.
If the chimney is used for wood burning fire, the condensation can also help form tar and creosote, which is flammable. In this case, they pose an unnecessary fire danger to your house. Tis the Season for chimney fires!

R K Jacobs Insurance Services
Call for a quote today at 916-966-3733.
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