The state of your stove’s chimney determines how efficient your multi-fuel or wood burning stove is at keeping your home warm. Additionally, a healthy functioning chimney is your first line of defense against structural damage and stove related fires.
Therefore, to maintain the functionality of your stove and protect your home and loved ones, it is important to keep a watchful eye on the chimney and quickly address issues when they arise. Even without the trained eye of a professional, you can be able to tell that your chimney needs repair by looking out for the following tell-tale signs.
Most people assume that the staining on the outside of a chimney, which is often white, is a superficial issue that can be solved by simply cleaning the chimney. This however is not the case as the discoloration is an indication of a serious underlying issue. The white discoloration is known as efflorescence and is a sign that excessive moisture is entering the chimney’s masonry. If the source of the problem is not addressed, the excess moisture will cause rapid deterioration of the chimney and damage to the walls, ceiling, and floor of your home.
Another clear indication of too much moisture in your chimney is rust on the firebox and damper. While it may not be easy to notice rust on your damper, if it refuses to seal properly or operate properly, that is an indication of rusting.
When there are visible signs of rusting, there could also be other serious damage such as cracked flue tiles. Getting a professional chimney sweep using a special camera can inspect the flue for damage.
Flue Tile Shaling
Flue tile shaling is a serious condition that indicates damage to the lining of the flue. In the event of shaling, thin slices of tile normally collect in the fireplace. It is vital that you seek professional help immediately up noticing flue tile shaling because the problem can lead to a house fire if left unresolved. While shaling flue tiles are easy to notice, identifying the cause of the damage requires the use of a special camera to thoroughly inspect the interior of the flue. The camera can be able to spot damage that may otherwise be unnoticeable.
Stained Ceiling And Wallpaper
Stains on the ceiling or wallpaper around the woodstove, is a clear indication of damage to the chimney. Since the cause of the damage could be anywhere within the chimney, you should bring in a professional to determine and fix the problem as soon as possible.
Damaged Chimney Crown
To notice a damaged chimney crown, you will have to climb the roof of your house. The crown is an important part of the chimney as it is the first line of defense against harsh weather conditions. If the crown is cracked or damaged, water can seep in leading to larger cracks and ultimately damaging the flue lining and the chimney.
If you notice any of these warning signs, be sure to contact a professional chimney technician. It is the only way to have the functionality of your chimney restored.
Ivor Forney runs a consultancy firm that has helped many homeowners keep warm during winters. Visit this website to get multi-fuel and wood burning stoves as well as advice on how to get the most out of your stove.