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Make Sure Your Chimney Is Relined Before Fall

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.

What’s Involved With Relining a Chimney?

What's Involved in Chimney Relining - Ann Arbor MI - Clean Sweeps of MIAlthough most homeowners realize that their fireplaces and chimneys will need preventative maintenance as they age, many are shocked when they are told their chimney needs to be relined. Understanding why chimney liners are so important helps many people deal with the potential time and costs associated with chimney relining.

Below is information that homeowners should know about what’s involved with the chimney relining process.

What is chimney relining?

A chimney liner is defined 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.” However, over time these liners may become cracked or damaged. This poses a significant safety risk as a damaged chimney liner can no longer protect the surrounding materials from heat transfer from fire. Likewise, some older homes may be missing a chimney liner altogether.

Chimney Relining Service - Ann Arbor MI - Clean Sweeps of MIChimneys may also need to be relined if the fuel source or size of the chimney has changed, such as installing an insert, switching from wood to gas, or replacing an existing unit with a smaller one. In these cases, the chimney should be relined to prevent drafting issues.

How are chimney liner issues identified?

Oftentimes, chimney liner issues are discovered during normal chimney inspections. For a more detailed inspection of the condition of your chimney liner, a Chim-Scan inspection may be recommended. During this inspection, a small camera will be inserted into the chimney, allowing technicians to evaluate the condition of the entirety of the chimney liner. These video scans often reveal cracked joints or crumbling parts of the liner that would otherwise not be seen.

Types of chimney liners

There are three main types of chimney liners. The type of liner your home already has along with the level of damage it has sustained may impact which kind of chimney liner your flue needs.

  • Clay tile liners: Clay tile liners have traditionally been the least expensive and most popular option for chimney liners. While clay tile liners are built to last, they can deteriorate over time, especially at the mortar joints. Replacing a clay tile lined chimney is extremely labor intensive and often involves removing portions of the chimney walls. However, damaged mortar joints may be able to be repaired without replacing the entire liner using HeatShield® products.
  • Cast in place liners: Cast in place chimney liners are created when cement is poured into the flue. Relining a clay tile lining with a cast in place lining may help stabilize damaged clay tiles. The installation of a cast in place liner is less intrusive than a clay tile liner, but the difficultly of the installation may be complicated by other conditions.
  • Metal flue liners: Metal flue liners are often the most highly recommended type of chimney liner, with stainless steel liners being the most preferred option. Although the cost of a metal flue liner may be higher than a clay or cast in place liner, they are designed to last longer and withstand heat better than the other types of liners.If you have questions about having your chimney relined, contact Clean Sweeps of Michigan today. Our expert staff can help you decide what relining option best meets your budget and chimney needs, allowing you to safely enjoy your fireplace for years to come.

If you have questions about having your chimney relined, contact Clean Sweeps of Michigan today. Our expert staff can help you decide what relining option best meets your budget and chimney needs, allowing you to safely enjoy your fireplace for years to come.

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