At Lindemann Chimney & Fireplace | Heating & Cooling we get many questions about the usability of stovepipe and chimney systems in the Northern Chicago area. Before we can give you a definitive answer we will need to inspect it. However, here are some tips on why it’s so important to maintain the pipe.
Black stovepipe can last from as little as a year to almost a decade. It depends on the thickness of pipe, the use of the woodstove and what is burned in the stove. Burning materials like driftwood, treated wood, trash – essentially anything other than wood can lead to deterioration of your stovepipe. These materials often contain acids and other chemicals that can deteriorate the pipe from the inside out.
Keeping your chimney and stovepipe clean can prolong the life of both. Back in Grandmother’s Day wood ashes were combined with water in a specific way to make lye for old-fashioned lye soap. This is why wet wood ashes can be corrosive to metals.
Lack of a chimney cap, leaking flashing or caulking missing around the storm collar allows rain to run down into or on the outside of the stovepipe. This can lead to rusting of the pipe.
It’s important to keep your stovepipe secure, sound and clean. In the case of a chimney fire, the entire venting system, including the stovepipe, takes on a lot of stress. Damaged or weakened stovepipe may fail.
If you burn your stove really hot and the pipe has a whitish cast to it the pipe may have been over heated. This can shorten the length of the stovepipe as well as affecting it’s structural integrity.