Your Chimney Liner and What It Does for You
Most chimney’s have a liner inside them, by code, to protect your home from the heat of a fire.
It’s protecting your chimney from the destructive effects of fire’s byproducts — burning wood creates gasses if allowed to permeate into the masonry, would slowly damage the mortar joints. That will shorten the life of the chimney and eventually allow those harmful gases into your home. Those gases include carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide and nitrous oxide or laughing gas, and we all know how lethal carbon monoxide can be.
The liner also keeps heat away from nearby combustible materials in your home, most homes have a wood framing beneath even a brick facade — which means it’s limiting the possibility of fire.
There are many reasons you may need to reline your chimney: your current lining may be old and deteriorating; new appliances might bring a need for a resizing of the flue; or your historic home might have a chimney that was built without a liner at all — a dangerous situation that should be corrected as soon as possible.
Relining Materials and Options
Chimney liners are largely made of clay tile, metal or cast-in-place masonry. Each method has its benefits.
- Clay tiles – The most common and least expensive material used is clay, and clay tiles have been proven to work well when properly maintained. But the tiles will also commonly crack and split, which leaves them in need of repair, and they don’t work as well with newer gas appliances that many homeowners use and favor. Along with chimneys that were not built with liners, damaged clay tile liners create the most common need for chimney relining.
- Metal – When it comes to pre-fabricated liners, we believe that stainless steel is the only way to go. ARC Chimney Sweeps installs stainless steel liners with lifetime warranties, as long as they are inspected and swept annually by a certified sweep.
- Cast masonry – For a cast masonry liner, the old liner is usually removed, and a new one is cast, bonding to the inside of your chimney, sealing cracks, gaps and other deteriorated areas and forming a seamless liner. This is another great option that can strengthen the chimney in a historic home and provide a long-lasting solution no matter what fuel you’re using.
There are some companies that use aluminum liners, but we find those liners fall apart, get eaten by squirrels, and ultimately end up being a waste of our clients’ money. We don’t recommend these, because we’re in the business of bringing the best value, best workmanship and most durable materials to our customers.
If you’re in need of chimney relining, and want warrantied materials and guaranteed workmanship, call ARC Chimney Sweeps at (850) 760-0123!