Chimney Relining

Just about every modern chimney has a liner. Liners protect masonry chimneys from damage by keeping the gases from burning fuel from permeating the masonry joints. They keep heat away from any combustible building materials found nearby, limit creosote residue, improve efficiency, and even help to protect families from carbon monoxide gas.

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.
Chimney Relining

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Chimney Relining Materials

There are three materials used to reline chimneys: clay tiles, cast-in-place masonry, and metal. Each of these materials requires a different installation process, and they all offer unique benefits.

Clay Tile Chimney Liners

Clay tiles are the least expensive material used to line chimneys, so it should come as no surprise that they’re also one of the most common of them.

​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

Also known simply as cast masonry liners, these liners have a slightly more complicated installation process. First, the chimney liner will have to remove the old liner, then cast the new one and bond it to the inside of the chimney. The installation process involves sealing gaps, cracks, and areas of deterioration to form a completely seamless and jointless liner. Cast masonry liners are great options for historic homes with chimneys that could benefit from some extra structural support. They also provide a long-lasting solution regardless of whether you want to burn wood or use gas appliances.

Metal Chimney Liners

Most of today’s metal chimney liners are made from stainless steel—a strong, durable, and highly heat- and corrosion-resistant material. Unlike clay tile and cast-in-place masonry liners, they can be prefabricated off-site for faster installation. Metal chimney liners are also the best option for homeowners who want to vent gas appliances.

Aluminum Chimney Liners

Although they’re less common than stainless steel liners, some companies also install aluminum chimney liners. They tend to be cheaper than stainless steel alternatives, but are also far less durable. They fall apart faster and require more frequent replacements, so few aluminum chimney liners come with material and workmanship warranties.

Common Chimney Liner Problems

You may not give your chimney and flue much thought, but you should. If your chimney liner is damaged, or worse, completely absent, it can cause all kinds of serious and potentially dangerous problems. Issues with unlined or improperly lined chimneys include:

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

Unlined chimneys are a hazard and a liability to your life and your property.

​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

Chimney relining may not be cheap, but it’s certainly less expensive than dealing with the repercussions of a house fire. The average cost for chimney relining is between $3,500 and $5,500. The factors that affect this price are:
  • 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

​If you’re planning to reline your chimney, stainless steel is usually the best way to go. While any type of effective liner is better than no liner at all, stainless steel holds up the best over time, so it makes a good investment.

​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.

Find a Solution That Lasts

If you already know it’s time to reline your chimney, reach out to Prime Chimney Repair. When you get in touch with us, let us know that you’re interested in installing a new, high-quality stainless steel chimney liner. Be prepared to offer some basic information about your current chimney and liner so we can offer you an accurate quote, then schedule a convenient time for the repairs to get on your way to a safer, more-efficient chimney.
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Chimney Repair Vancouver, BC