Q: Why is my Chimney Breaking Down?
A: The primary culprit for chimney breakdown is the acidic moisture that comes from condenses flue gases. This acidic moisture attacks the chimney from the inside. That is why a chimney may look good from the outside, but the inside can be a totally different story! Years of normal use with hot and cold cycles and seasonal weather conditions all take their toll on a chimney.
Q: Where does the moisture come from?
A: The advent of high efficiency furnaces have helped to conserve the use of earth's natural resources, and has also meant lower heating bills for homeowners. High efficiency furnaces, as their name indicates, extract more heat form a given amount of fuel than conventional furnaces. The combination process is more thorough and less heat is lost up the chimney. Since less heat is sent up the chimney, the flue seldom has an opportunity to "dry out" as less efficient furnaces of the past have allowed.
Q: What's the Big Deal with a Few Cracked Flues?
A: It happens thousands of times each year. Damaged chimneys resulting in disaster. Carbon Monoxide leaks through cracks in the flue lining and into the home. Even small amounts can make you and your family sick. There is also the risk of a chimney fire turning into a house fire. Highly combustible creosote can leak through even small cracks in clay linings. Once ignited, a creosote fire can find its way through the cracks, and dangerously increase chimney heat. Or the flames can simply penetrate cracks in the mortar, and ignite a home - A few cracked flues is serious business.