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Make Sure Your Chimney Is Relined Before Fall

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The shorter days and cooler temperatures of fall are just around the corner! In anticipation of the change in seasons, many homeowners are once again getting their fireplaces and chimneys ready to use. If your chimney needs to be relined, now is the perfect time to have it done.

What does the chimney liner do?

Although it cannot be seen with the naked eye, the chimney liner is one of the most important features of your fireplace system. Chimney liners are “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.”

Chimney liners have one primary purpose: protecting surrounding building materials from fireplace buildup and heat transfer. Gas, smoke, and other byproducts of combustion created by a fire are extremely hot. Due to this, the chimney liner needs to contain this heat, as well as protect the surrounding building materials. This prevents house fires from occurring when the fireplace is in use. The National Bureau of Standards estimates that without a chimney liner, building materials surrounding the flue can catch fire. In fact, it can happen in as little as three hours, due to heat transfer when using the fireplace!

In addition to protecting against heat transfer, chimney liners also protect the rest of the flue against corrosive buildup. Caustic byproducts of combustion such as creosote can damage masonry; flue liners are uniquely designed to protect the bricks and mortar against these types of buildup.

Three types of chimney liners:

There are three main types of chimney liners that are used in homes. The type of liner your home needs will depend on: the type of fireplace you have, the fuel it burns, and the age of your fireplace system.

  • Clay tile liners.
    They are an inexpensive, popular liner that is standard is most chimneys. However, they can be difficult to repair or replace. This is because they are constructed of individual refractory tiles. Due to this, relining a flue using a clay tile liner is often extremely difficult.
  • Cast in place liners.
    These liners are created by pouring a special cement mixture directly into the flue, evenly coating the entire chimney. This can be helpful in stabilizing a damaged clay tile liner.
  • Stainless steel liners.
    Provide unparalleled safety and durability. They are often used in homes with gas burning fireplaces due to their unique byproducts of combustion.

Does my chimney need to be relined?

Chimney relining is not a part of regular annual maintenance. It is typically recommended when the flue liner has been damaged, there are significant drafting or smoking issues, or the fireplace insert or fuel source has been changed.

If the chimney liner has been damaged, relining the chimney ensures you can still use your fireplace safely, without the worry of heat transfer to your home. Likewise, relining the flue can solve smoking issues caused by a too large or too small flue. Relining may also be recommended after switching fuel sources, particularly when switching between wood and gas.

The start of burning season is just around the corner! Make sure your fireplace is ready by having the chimney relined. Contact us at Clean Sweeps of Michigan today for more information on relining your chimney.