While a well fitted and well maintained stainless steel chimney liner is generally safe, chimney liners that are improperly installed could put you and your family in great danger.
Fire Building Up Inside the Chimney Structure
Chimney fires happen inside the structure of the chimney when the hot flue gases or cinders ignite the creosote buildups on the chimney walls. Creosote is actually a natural byproduct of burning wood, so if you are using wood on your fireplace, there is a big possibility that your chimney walls have creosote. By nature, creosote is highly flammable and once it accumulates on the inner walls of the flue, you have a ticking time bomb inside your chimney. To make sure that your chimney is free from this hazardous buildup, check your chimney regularly. If you notice buildups of flakes and creosote inside your chimney, clean it up immediately.
Aside from creosote another treat your family’s safety is the change in the molecular structure of your chimney liner. According to experts, when exposed to excessive for a long period of time even the most durable chimney liners will show signs of wear and tear. You see, heat can change the molecular structures of most types of materials so they become more flammable and hazardous. To prevent danger, get an expert to inspect your chimney for signs of wear and tear every 1 to 2 years. Also, make sure that you replace your chimney liners every 5 to 7 years even if the liners do not show obvious signs of wear and tear. Remember that when it comes to fire hazards, there is more than what meets the eye so make sure that you do not take things for granted.
Burning wood and other materials in your fireplace causes the release of carbon monoxide into the air. Carbon monoxide is a hazardous gas that is odorless, tasteless and colorless so you cannot easily detect its presence in the house. Studies show that carbon monoxide has caused hundreds of deaths and thousands of respiratory illness across the United States in the last several years. The main function of your chimney is to get rid of carbon monoxide inside your home. Unfortunately, improperly installed stainless steel chimney liner can lead to inadequate venting. Once this happens, hazardous gas will seep back into your home and cause a lot of health problems to the members of the family. To avoid this problem, make sure that your stainless steel chimney liner is properly installed.
Even if you installed the stainless chimney liner properly, hazardous gas may still seep back into your home if the chimney is blocked or if your liner has holes or tears. To make sure that your chimney is safe, check your chimney from time to time for blockage caused by falling masonry, birds nesting on top of your chimney and other possible obstruction. Also, you need to carefully inspect your chimney liners for breaks or holes every year. This way, you can prevent hazardous gas from seeping inside your home.