As a chimney company we deal with numerous chimney complaints with a variety of causes of chimney cracks.
Do any of the below listed sound familiar to you?
CHIMNEY COMPLAINTS CAN STEM FROM A VARIETY OF TELL-TELL SIGNS:
1. Brown staining where the chimney breast wall meets the ceiling
2. Dampness on the chimney breast wall of a bedroom, evident where paint may be flaking or signs of dampness
3. Black liquid seeping through the blockwork in your attic space as a result of soot staining caused by a fracture/crack or breach of your flue liner.
4. Visible cracking on exterior chimney stack or chimney pot.
DAMAGE COVERED BY INSURANCE
A CCTV Chimney Survey will need to be carried out .https://nationwidechimneys.ie/cctv-surveys/
This is a requirement of your insurance company. It is used to investigate the causes of cracked chimney. This proves that the damage to the flue liner is consistent with fire damage. This is then shared with your insurance company.
If you have ever had a chimney fire you will know it is not a pleasant experience. From the cracking, banging and rattling going on in your chimney to the thick black smoke pouring from your fireplace – it is a frightening episode.
Calling 999 OR 112 and having the Fire Brigade attend is often the best and safest response to an active chimney fire. https://www.citizensinformation.ie/en/government_in_ireland/security_and_emergency_services/fire_services.html
Have your chimney checked after such an event. Calling an experienced Claims Assist Loss Assessor will set your mind at rest. They can advise on the process of making a home insurance claim.
WATER COMING THROUGH THE CHIMNEY
Visible cracking on the haunching around the chimney pot may be the reason behind that leak in the chimney. A quick fix solution is to skim over the top of the stack. But moisture trapped in the chamber cannot get out so will seep through the walls causing a leak.
Water may also be penetrating due to the lack of an anti rain cowl on the chimney pot.
..BUT WE HAVE A STOVE
In times of the Celtic Tiger, stoves were the new must have in home accessory.
As the stove burns at a much higher intensity than an open fire this causes the standard flue liner to become cracked. Stove manufacturers recommend a 5/6 inch steel or flexi flu liner in order to cope with the heat output, as opposed to a standard 8inch liner. This being one of the major causes of cracked chimney.
The benefits of a smaller liner are:
Stove burns more efficiently.
Steel/Flexi liners were designed to take heat output given by stove.
Chances of flue damage greatly reduced.
According to drufire.com ‘A fireplace insert provides more heat and more efficiency. That difference in output is significant: an open fire has an output of around 10%, while a fireplace insert has an output of 65%.This means that with a fireplace insert you need considerably less wood to comfortably heat a room than with an open fire’ https://www.drufire.com/int/essential-info/wood-burning-stoves-and-fires-en/difference-between-wood-burning-fire,-open-fire,-multi-fuel-fire-or-stove,-
We are all familiar with the phrase prevention is better than cure. Especially in this case ‘a clean chimney is better than a dirty fire’!! All chimneys require essential maintenance by way of sweeping/cleaning. No matter if they are rigid steel, flexi flu or clay liner.
Insurance companies (mainly UK providers in the Irish market) may reject an insurance claim or withhold a claims payout. Proof of regular cleaning by a registered chimney sweep can solve this issue.
Please remember to check your fire and carbon monoxide alarms regularly. https://www.carbonmonoxide.ie/carbon-monoxide-alarms/
For further information please call our team on 0818 929 555.