One of the most important components of your chimney is its lining. A chimney liner is an insulated barrier between the flue and the walls of the chimney. A fully functioning chimney liner is essential to the to the safe utilization of your fireplace. In fact, most fire codes mandate that all chimneys be lined. It’s important to know that although your chimney may have a liner, over time it may begin to deteriorate and not function properly. When this happens, you are putting your home and your family at risk.
Why are chimney liners so important?
When your fireplace is in use, your chimney’s flue can become extremely hot. One of the main functions of a chimney liner is to protect your house from heat transfer from the flue to combustible elements of your house. When the National Bureau of Standards (NBS) tested chimneys without liners, they found out that woodwork adjacent to the chimney caught fire in just 3 ½ hours.
Another function of a chimney liner is to protect the masonry of your chimney from corrosion. Flue gases are acidic and will eat away at your bricks and mortar from inside the chimney. When your mortar joints erode, your home’s woodwork becomes more susceptible to combustion and carbon monoxide can leak into your home.
Types of chimney liners
The most common type of liner is clay tiling. The advantages of clay tiles are that they are not as expensive as other types of chimney liners and they are readily available. They do, however, have issues with cracking if they are heated too quickly.
Metal chimney liners are usually made from stainless steel or aluminum. They are more durable than clay chimney liners and insulate better at a higher temperature. The Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) has a number of approved metal chimney liners they approve of when properly installed. The only real downside of a metal liner is that it can be relatively expensive.
Cast-in-place liners are a cement-like product that is installed on the inside of your chimney. This type of liner is suitable for all fireplace fuels and can actually improve the structural integrity of your chimney. They can be difficult to install sometimes, which can make them costly at times.
The best way to know if your chimney liner is functioning properly is to have a CSIA certified chimney technician, like the ones at Hale’s Chimney Cleaning and Repair, inspect your chimney system. It’s getting colder and our busy season will soon be upon us, so contact Hale’s Chimney Cleaning and Repair today to schedule your chimney inspection today!