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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!

Get Ahead By Making Your Annual Appointments

While we are still in the middle of the extreme heat and long days of summer, fall will be here in the blink of an eye! Make sure your fireplace is ready. How? By making your annual sweep and inspection appointments now.

Protect your chimney with annual maintenance.

Making Your Annual Appointments Image - Ann Arbor MI - Clean Sweeps of MichiganOur fireplaces and chimneys need regular TLC in order to burn their best. Having your chimney swept and inspected once per year is one of the best ways to help your fireplace burn safely and efficiently.

Why your chimney needs to be swept annually.

During the burning season soot, ash, and creosote can build up in the flue. A chimney sweeping removes any buildup and debris in the fireplace and flue. The result? A chimney that is clean and ready to use.

Removing creosote is one of the most important aspects of a chimney sweeping. Creosote is a naturally occurring byproduct of combustion; while burning all fuel sources can produce creosote, creosote buildup is most commonly seen in wood burning fireplaces. Having creosote removed by a certified chimney sweep is important, as it is extremely flammable. Ignition of creosote in the flue is the primary cause of most chimney fires!

Do you use your fireplace as a primary heat source in your home? If so, you may need to have your chimney swept more than once per year. In addition to an annual sweeping, chimneys should be swept when there is 1/8th of an inch of accumulation of soot. This amount of accumulation typically occurs after one full cord of wood has been burned.

The importance of annual inspections.

There are very few homeowners who are brave enough to climb onto their roofs; likewise, most chimneys are difficult – if not impossible – to see completely from street level. Due to this, chimney damage can go unnoticed for long periods of time. Chimney inspections are the best way to stay apprised of the condition of your chimney – without the risk of climbing on your own roof!

“A chimney inspection is like an annual dental check-up,” says Ashley Eldridge, Director of Education for the CSIA. “It’s preventative maintenance that helps minimize potential hazards.”

Chimney inspections are an important part of your chimney maintenance – no matter how often you use your fireplace. Since chimney damage can occur whether you use your fireplace one or 100 times during the year, all homeowners should have an annual inspection done.

Inspections are often the first line of defense in identifying chimney damage. Minor damage such as small masonry cracks or shifting chimney caps can often be quickly and easily repaired, protecting your chimney from further damage and saving you money on costly future repairs.

Schedule your appointment today!

On long and hot summer days, using your fireplace may be the furthest thing from your mind. However, scheduling annual chimney maintenance now will ensure your fireplace system is safe and ready to use this fall. To schedule your next chimney sweeping and inspection, contact the experts at Clean Sweeps of Michigan today!

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