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Why Chimney Flue Tiles Crack and How to Get Them Fixed

Chimneys seem practically indestructible maybe that’s why it is such a surprise and disappointment when something goes wrong. One thing that often happens to chimneys is cracked flue tiles. As you know the inside of your chimney is exposed to extremely high temperatures. The flue liner helps to protect the chimney from that heat. The liner is often made up of clay tiles. When the clay liner starts to crack it needs quick repair.

Clay Chimney Tile and Masonry Repairs in Aiken SCCracked Clay Tiles

Clay tiles hold up pretty well but over time they can succumb to the damaging effects of heat. What exactly causes clay tiles to crack?

  • Uneven heat distribution – this can cause expansion of the tiles that lead to cracking or splitting
  • Extreme heat caused by lightning or chimney fire – this sudden flash of high heat will crack clay tiles.
  • Delamination – the separation of the coating from the surface of the tiles can happen because of exposure to harsh chemicals or even moisture. Then add high heat which leads to cracking.
  • Poor Craftsmanship – unfortunately, improper installation can lead to cracking
  • The normal “settling” of a house or shifting of the foundation can cause tiles to crack

Why Cracked Flue Tiles Can Be Dangerous

1.) Carbon Monoxide can escape through cracked tiles into your home. This odorless/colorless gas is deadly. Professionals suggest that chimney owners keep a carbon monoxide monitor handy to monitor the levels of this gas.

2.) Creosote usually builds up in the protected shell of the flue liner but cracked tiles allow creosote to build up outside of the liner. Creosote is highly flammable and can cause major damage to the roof and your home.

3.) Broken tiles along with creosote and other debris can create blockages within your chimney. When smoke and gases cannot be expelled properly toxic fumes can become hazardous.

Flue Liner Replacement Types in Lexington SCFixing cracked tile

If you can reach the cracked tiles and there are no missing pieces, it is possible to break apart the cracked tile with a hammer and replace it with a new tile using cement to hold it in place but if you have many cracked and broken tiles the best course of action may be to completely replace your flue liner.

Stainless steel liners are an excellent option because they are one solid piece and do not crack.

If you know that the tiles of your flue liner are cracked it is recommended to stop using your fireplace immediately and repair your chimney before use. Depending on the extent of the damage you may choose to do it yourself or call a professional. Whatever you decide we are here to help.

Our chimney professionals can answer your questions or provide chimney inspections to locate and determine the severity of damage to your liner. Perhaps you realize it’s been quite a while since your last chimney cleaning, call Advanced Chimney at GA (706) 833-4630 | SC (803) 508-3990. Whether you need tiles fixed or a liner replaced, we make your chimney our priority.