Even if your chimney already has a liner, there are plenty of reasons you might need to have it replaced. If your current liner is old and has begun to deteriorate, or you want to resize the flue for a new appliance, you’ll need to hire a professional for chimney relining. If you’ve just bought a historic home with a chimney that has no liner at all, having one installed is the only way to use your fireplace, wood stove, or gas-burning appliances safely.
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Chimney Relining Materials
Clay Tile Chimney Liners
Clay tile liners work well when homeowners keep them properly maintained, but they can crack and split over time, requiring repairs. Clay tiles are also less effective for lining flues used to vent newer gas-burning fireplaces and appliances.
Cast-in-Place Masonry Chimney Liners
Metal Chimney Liners
Aluminum Chimney Liners
Common Chimney Liner Problems
1. Unlined Chimneys Pose an Increased Risk of House Fires and Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
Unlined masonry chimneys don’t draft well, which causes more extensive problems than homeowners might think. The issue here isn’t just that the fireplace or wood stove won’t burn as efficiently. It’s that early chimney designs with poor drafts create unnecessary fire risks.
The reason that unlined chimneys draft so poorly is that, without a flue liner, the exhaust gases and creosote cool too quickly, preventing the smoke from developing a strong flow that pulls it safely out of the house.
A well-lined chimney flue does not leak heat into the surrounding building materials, so you won’t have to worry as much about the risk of house fires. Plus, the optimal draft created in a properly lined chimney poses far less of a risk of allowing toxic carbon monoxide fumes into homes. If you live in a historic house with an unlined masonry chimney, contact a chimney lining company as soon as possible to protect your home and family.
2. Cracked Clay Liners Lose Effectiveness
Given that clay chimney liners have been around for over 100 years, it should come as no surprise that some of them are in pretty poor shape. They have gaps in the mortar joints between the tiles and cracks in the tiles themselves that can allow heat and exhaust fumes to escape into the home.
These gaps and cracks usually start to form after just 15 years, even if the chimney was well-constructed. To make matters even worse, most early chimneys didn’t feature caps to keep out the rain and prevent further damage. As a result, most of the first-generation clay liners found in historic homes are in a state of serious disrepair.
If you have an aged clay tile liner and you experience a flue fire, the results could be disastrous. Chances are, there’s already highly flammable creosote built up in the cracks and gaps, which makes it easier for the fire to escape from the chimney and burn through nearby materials. If you don’t want to wind up losing your home to a chimney fire, the best bet is to have the flue relined with a stainless steel liner.
3. Faulty Liners Damage Mortar and Brickwork
No matter what type of chimney liner you have, it won’t be able to protect the mortar and brickwork in your chimney if it wasn’t properly installed or it has gone through serious wear and tear. The exhaust fumes will escape through even the smallest cracks, and they’re very acidic. When they come into contact with the lime in the mortar or the clay in firebricks, these fumes can create reactions that will leave your chimney severely deteriorated.
Never underestimate the damage that can be done by escaping flue exhaust. Our chimney sweeps can often look at gas chimney flues and tell where the liners are from the outside, just by the damage that shows through the brick chimney where they are absent. If you have any doubts that your chimney liner is working as intended, give us a call to schedule chimney relining.
Why Your Chimney Really Needs a Liner
If you want to reduce your family’s risk of dealing with a devastating house fire, get in touch with an expert right away if any of these situations apply to you:
- Your home’s chimney is unlined.
- You’re preparing to install a new gas or oil furnace.
- You plan to install a new hearth stove.
- You’ve experienced a chimney fire.
- Your current chimney liner is in a state of disrepair.
Average Cost of Chimney Relining
- Whether you use gas-burning or wood-burning appliances
- If you’ll need to have the original liner removed before installing a new one
- The size, and especially height, of your scaffolding
- The length and diameter of the liner kit
- Whether demolition is required for safe repairs
Benefits of Relining a Chimney With Stainless Steel
Here are just a few of the benefits of scheduling a chimney relining with stainless steel:
- Unlike clay tiles, stainless steel chimney liners don’t crack or shift.
- Installing a stainless steel liner can extend the lifespan of your chimney.
- All chimney liners are designed to prevent chimney overheating and improve the draft.
- Improving the draft in your chimney will also reduce your family’s fuel consumption.
- With a new liner, you won’t have to worry about toxic gases escaping into the home.
- A stainless steel chimney liner can reduce soot and creosote buildup.
- Stainless steel chimney liners usually come with material and labor warranties.