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Fireplace Flue Problems

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The flue is perhaps the most important part of your fireplace. The flue, which is the vent that allows smoke to escape into the outside from your fireplace, is surrounded by the chimney. This chamber can be the source of several fireplace flue problems and should be maintained regularly to ensure safety and efficiency.

Here are some common fireplace flue problems:

Buildup: Many fireplace problems take place when a chimney has not been cleaned regularly. The general rule is that chimneys should be cleaned at least once a year to prevent buildup of soot or creosote, an oily residue that is a byproduct of burning wood and other fuel in a fireplace. If you have a smoky fireplace, it may be caused by a buildup of creosote. Cleaning your chimney and flue regularly will help prevent fire hazards and keep your fireplace from smelling unpleasant.

Cracks: The lining of your flue can expand, causing cracks. When the lining cracks, it is sometimes the source of fireplace flue problems, causing the liner to deteriorate. A chimney maintenance professional can repair this problem by installing a flue liner that will insulate the flue and fix the crack.

Condensation: When moisture accumulates in your fireplace flue, it combines with other byproducts of burning fuel in your fireplace. This combination forms acids that eat into the bricks and mortar in your chimney. However, moisture does not just come from rain or snow. Burning wood or other fuel in your fireplace also produces water vapor that works its way into the chimney flue. Burning wet fuel in your fireplace makes water vapor form in your fireplace more quickly. Installing a flue liner in your fireplace will fix this problem.

Wrong size: Fireplaces with large chimney flues that are not well insulated require a lot of fuel to radiate heat into your home. If it turns out that your flue is too large, a chimney professional may be able to install a flue that is of the correct size. A flue that is too small can make your fireplace smoke, and a chimney professional can reduce the size of your fireplace’s opening.

Blockages: All sorts of things can fall into chimneys, creating fireplace flue problems. A chimney cleaner can check your chimney for these hazards, which can include bird nests, fallen bricks, toys and leaves.

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