Major Issues That Make A Chimney Unsafe To Use

  • Clay mortar erosion and/or deterioration
  • Cracked clay liner
  • Flaked clay liner (spalled)
  • Gaps between flue tiles
  • Cracked flue tiles

The National Fire Protection Association has stated that,


“If the flue liner in a chimney has softened, cracked, or otherwise deteriorated…It should be removed, replaced, or relined (2010).”
Most building and fire codes also outline that chimneys should be completely sealed for maximum safety. For a copy of the fire code in your area, contact your local codes or building license agency.

Chimney Relining Options

Your relining options depend on your chimney/fireplace/stove. Older masonry chimneys often have a clay liner that can crack and break over time, allowing smoke, embers, and even fire to escape into, and damage ceilings, attics, and possibly catch your house on fire. The smoke can easily carry carbon monoxide and other dangerous chemicals and gases into your home through these cracks as well, causing various health problems from breathing issues to accidental death.

To fix this problem in masonry chimneys, our company uses a relining application known as FireGuard.  It allows us to correct open mortar joints without needing to replace the flue tiles.  The FireGuard material is safe up to 3,200°F, which far exceeds the requirements for residential chimneys.  Another option you may have is to install a stainless steel liner and direct connect to a wood stove insert. Click on our Wood Stoves page to learn more.

The first step in knowing if your liner needs to be repaired is getting your chimney inspected. A professional technician certified in these types of repairs can place a camera inside your chimney system and closely inspect it to see any hidden problems that should be addressed. He or she can also ensure that your chimney flue is able to be repaired or replaced. In either case, we will give you pictures of the damaged areas and a full explanation and recommendation of what needs to be done to correct the problems and what your best lining option would be.

Older masonry chimney can have leaks that allow smoke, embers, etc. into your home
Little girl with spaniel puppy sitting in a chair with bunny house shoes on.  Keep your family safe.

Keeping Your Family Safe

We all know fireplaces make any home warm and cozy, but it is important to understand how chimneys work in order to eliminate a potentially dangerous hazard inside your home. If your chimney is not working properly, you will need to get it fixed as quickly as possible. If you choose to use a fireplace that has not been fixed properly or at all, you risk the lives of the people in the home as well as the property itself.

Chimney’s, fireplaces, and wood stoves have a natural life cycle and deteriorate over time. Just like most everything else we use, there are maintenance schedules that must be followed in order to ensure proper safety and operation. Chimney appliances are no different. If they are neglected or damaged they must be fixed and restored to a good operating condition.

Relining or restoring your chimney will restore efficiency to your fireplace/stove, and keep your family and your home safe. It eliminates any drafts, as well as covers any gaps or cracks that you may not be able to see inside your chimney. This investment will save you money in the long term.

“Serious damages like cracks and gaps can pose serious risks to your home and your family. When your chimney is in working order, it can properly dispel gases outside your home, rather than inside your home causing damage and possible combustion.”
As a homeowner, you should start with a professional inspection of your system before deciding whether it needs to be relined. Weather damage, nesting animals, tree damage and other incidents may have occurred without your knowledge, or before you owned the property. Restore full function to your chimney and keep your home and family safe by making an appointment for that inspection. Contact us today!

Don’t forget to sweep your chimney annually when you check out all of our chimney services in North Carolina.