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Does Your Chimney Need To Be Relined?

The lining of the chimney is an important – yet often ignored – component of the fireplace system. While designed to keep the fireplace burning safely and efficiently, damage over time may require the chimney to be relined.

What is a chimney liner?

The Chimney Safety Institute of America defines a chimney liner as “A clay, ceramic, or metal conduit installed inside of a chimney, intended to contain the combustion products, direct them to the outside atmosphere, and protect the chimney walls from heat and corrosion.”

The type of chimney liner your home has will depend on when the chimney was built, the size of the fireplace, and the fuel source it burns. The chimney liner is found inside the chimney’s flue. Because of this location, it is nearly impossible to detect damage to the chimney liner without a special inspection or chimney scan.

How are chimney liners damaged?

While chimney liners are designed to protect the rest of your home against heat transfer, there are still a number of ways that they can become damaged. The majority of homes with wood burning fireplaces have chimney liners made of clay tiles. While these liners are extremely effective, they can be damaged by age, overuse, lack of maintenance, chimney leaks, or animal entry. The masonry joints of clay tile liners are particularly susceptible to damage.

Because damage to the chimney liner can occur at any point in the flue, the damage is often difficult to spot with the naked eye. A chimney inspection using video technology such as closed-circuit cameras are often used as a way to pinpoint the specific areas of the chimney liner that have been damaged.

Does my chimney need to be relined?

Damage to the chimney liner can be extremely difficult to repair. This is especially true of homes with clay tile liners, where replacing the tiles is nearly impossible without damage to the chimney structure. Because of this, most instances of chimney liner damage require the chimney to be relined.

Advances in the fireplace industry have made chimney relining easier and more affordable than ever before. Cast in place liners can be used to create a smooth or seamless finish inside the flue. It also helps to improve the structural stability of an aging chimney. Likewise, stainless steel liners line the flue with a single, seamless piece of metal which can help improve the efficiency of some fireplaces.

Changes to the fireplace itself may also necessitate having the chimney relined. Installing a new fireplace insert or changing fuel sources can affect the venting needs of the chimney; in these changes, relining the chimney can help the fireplace burn as safely and efficiently as possible.

If your chimney liner has been damaged, you’ve installed a new fireplace insert, or switched fuel sources, chimney relining can help maximize the safety and efficiency of your fireplace system. For more information on having your chimney relined or to schedule a chimney inspection to check the condition of your existing chimney liner, contact Clean Sweeps of Michigan today!