As the colder weather is finally on its way, you’ll be looking forward to curling up in front of the fire and relaxing after a long day. It’s so cozy, but if you want to enjoy the fire to its fullest, you want to know that you’re using it safely. How can you ensure that your fireplace is operating at peak capacity? That’s where chimney liners come in. Here’s what you need to know.
What Are Chimney Liners?
Firstly, to know how effective chimney liners are, you need to know what they are. You may also see chimney liners referred to as flue liners, and their role is to carry fumes up and out of the chimney. Without one, you run the risk of the fire in your fireplace starting a fire elsewhere in your home. The liner also ensures that the masonry in your chimney is protected.
If the masonry starts to take on damage, that can lead to more issues that will be costly to fix later down the line. Chimney liners became mandatory in the 1940s, thanks to the work of chimney inspectors. They saw the damage that unlined chimneys took over time, and that meant that those chimneys became much more dangerous to use. These regulations have helped keep homes with fireplaces safer ever since.
How Chimney Liners Work
So you can see that a chimney liner protects your home and directs fumes out of the chimney itself. How does that work? One of their main properties is protection. When a chimney doesn’t have a liner, heat can move through a chimney much quicker than you’d think. It’s so quick that the woodwork near a fireplace can easily catch fire.
The liner also makes the chimney much safer, as the mortar won’t be corroded over the years. If that mortar corrodes and decays enough, it can create gaps in your chimney that allow carbon dioxide into your home. That’s highly dangerous, so you don’t want to be without a functional chimney liner.
Finally, there’s the fact that liners keep your chimney in good working order. A well-fitted liner will create a good connection between the fireplace and the chimney, so those fumes will make their way out of the chimney and away from your home.
Do You Need Chimney Liners?
As a homeowner, you may have seen that you’re not required to have a chimney liner by law. Every state does not require them, but it’s one of the most important parts of any chimney. If you don’t already have a chimney liner, you need to look at having one installed. There are several interior signs that you should pay attention to. If you see any of the following, you’ll need to have a chimney liner installed:
- An inspection has identified damage: If you’ve just moved into your home, you’ll have had an inspection done on your chimney. If the inspectors have seen that there’s damage to the chimney liner in place, you’ll need to consider replacing it.
- Moisture in your home: Are you seeing moisture and condensation in your home, especially in the room with the fireplace? There are a few reasons why this may happen, but a common reason is that the chimney liner you have isn’t moving moisture up and out of the chimney. That’s a clear sign that you need a new one.
- Bricks are crumbling: Inspecting your chimney is something you should do regularly to ensure that you pick up on any issues that are occurring. If you inspect your chimney and see that the walls are crumbling, then that’s a sign that there’s either no liner or the liner is faulty. That should be corrected as soon as possible.
- You’re converting your fireplace: Are you looking at changing your fireplace to either a gas or wood-burning stove? If you’re going from one to the other, you’ll need to check if the current chimney liner is still in good condition. If not, it will need to be replaced.
Types of Chimney Liners
If you’re looking into replacing your chimney liner, you’ll soon see that there are multiple different chimney liners that you can have installed. These are different and offer other benefits, so you’ll need to find the one that suits you best:
These are an excellent option for homeowners, as they’re cast directly in your chimney. That ensures the liner will always flush with your chimney, making it safer to use. As they’re made from cement, you can also use any kind of fuel with them too.
Some also have them installed because they offer some structural support to older chimneys. The one downside to this kind of chimney is that they are quite costly to have installed. The cost may be out of the budget of some homeowners.
These are the most common chimney liner that you’ll see in most chimneys, as they’re the most cost-effective. They’re often made of steel or aluminum and used to repair or update an existing chimney. A steel liner can be used for wood burning, gas, and oil, while aluminum is used only for gas fireplaces. They are durable, so they’re often a good option.
A clay chimney liner is often the best option, as they’re inexpensive and highly effective. They’re easy to get hold of, too, so you’ll see them in many homes. Their only issue is that they struggle to absorb rapidly rising heat. That may be an issue for your home, so you’ll need to speak with an expert before installing one.
Professional Chimney Lining and Inspection Services
There’s a lot to know about chimney liners, but now you know all the basics. Ensure your chimney liner is in good condition, and you’ll be able to use your fireplace safely this winter. If you think your chimney liner needs replacement or are unsure, that’s when you want to call in a roofer to help you. They’re the experts, so they can easily inspect your chimney and repair problems.