How Do You Know You Need a New Chimney Liner?

Chimneys are usually constructed with either a ceramic or metal liner on the inside. This liner is designed to keep the chimney well-sealed to prevent water from leaking in, and to ensure the fumes flow properly out of the top of the chimney. From time to time, however, chimney liners do break and need to be replaced. How do you know your chimney liner needs to be replaced? Here are some key signs you need to contact a chimney service about this problem.

Smoke coming out the sides.

The next time you have a fire going, take a minute to walk outside. Look at the chimney, and pay attention to where the smoke is coming out. Is it coming from anywhere other than the very top of the chimney? If so, this means there is a break or crack in the liner somewhere, allowing smoke to travel through the liner and then through the bricks of the chimney itself. A smoke leak can lead to smoke damage on your home's siding and roof, and you want to have the liner replaced sooner rather than later to prevent this. 

Water dripping in.

When you have not lit a fire in a while, take a look at the bottom of the fireplace. Is there any water there? You may notice a few drops or even a full puddle, especially after a storm. This does not necessarily mean there is an issue with your chimney liner. It could instead mean that you have an issue with the chimney cap. However, both of these problems are ones that should be addressed by a chimney service, so give them a call and have them come take a look. Based on what they see, they may recommend replacing the chimney liner, cap, or maybe both.

Chunks of ceramic in your fireplace.

If you have a ceramic chimney liner, you may eventually start to notice small pieces of ceramic falling into your fireplace. You may not realize what these are at first, since they may be discolored by frequent smoke exposure. But if they feel hard in your hands and are a little sharp on the edges, they're probably pieces of a deteriorating chimney liner that need to be replaced.

Replacing a chimney liner isn't the simplest task, but it is one that chimney services do often. Don't hesitate to contact a chimney company if you believe you might need this service.