Replacing the lining on your chimney is important once it starts to deteriorate. Even though you are looking at a costly replacement, but it cannot be ignored at the same time. Since it is a costly process involving chimney contractors and you are going to pay for a new flue as well, it is necessary that you are aware of the type of liners available. Let’s take the discussion ahead and see why and when should a chimney be relined.
What Is Chimney Relining?
As mentioned earlier, chimney liner or flue begins to deteriorate over time, which can turn hazardous for people living inside the house. The reason liners are important is because they direct both heat and gasses up through the chimney top and prevent the combustible materials around the chimney from catching fire due to heat.
Therefore, if you observe that your chimney lining has some cracks, you should know that it is time to reline your chimney before you can use your fireplace. If you are skeptical about relining the chimney, you should consult an expert who will use special camera equipment to show you a view from the inside.
Why Is It Important?
Part of what makes the chimney relining process necessary is the fact that some chimneys were not built right in the first place. Liners not only provide a seamless and smooth surface but insulation as well. Back in the day, chimneys were purged with mortar to line the flue and these were termed the best-quality chimneys.
Although clay tiles have been a standard since the 1990s but even today, some properties have chimneys that are without a liner. This is because builders and contractors do not keep up with the standard practices and expect the owner to pay for it in the future.
Keep in mind that the a chimney flue liner will need to be replaced and you will have three options in hand: clay tile liners, cast-in-place liners, and metal flue liners.
Clay Tile Liners
Traditionally, the majority of homes feature clay tile liners. These are undoubtedly the favorite of many since it does not catch any heat and does not corrode easily. A well-built clay tile liner can easily offer a lifespan of 50 years or more with very little maintenance. However, you will need to regularly clean it to ensure that it does not need to be replaced for years to come.
At the same time, if you were opting for rectangular or square flue tiles, you should know that the natural flow of smoke spirals upward in a helical pattern through the flue. Considering the flow, experts suggest opting for round flues as they are more efficient.
In addition to that, clay tile liners are relatively cheap but you will be paying for expensive intensive labor. Retrofitting clay liners on an existing chimney can be slightly tricky, especially if it isn’t straight. As a result, it is sometimes difficult to find someone who can get the job done right in some areas.
If using new clay tiles is not an option, it is possible to use several poured-cement processes to create a new flue inside a damaged chimney. Cast-in-place liners offer additional benefits as compared to clay tile liners as they are hardly affected by acids, heat, and condensation.
Plus, the temperature inside cast-in-place liners happens to be high due to their insulation properties. As a result, they burn cleaner and reduce the accumulation of creosote as well. Additionally, cast-in-place liners can be less labor-intensive as compared to reconstructing clay flues but there are several ways of doing it. With that said, the overall flue liner cost will depend on the technique and method used by the professional to install the new liners.
Metal Flue Liners
According to most installers, metal flue liners are the easiest to install as they are less labor-intensive and are readily available in different shapes and sizes to suit wood stoves and fireplaces. However, the problem is old-house restorers come across an overwhelming number of types and options and it becomes hard to select the best option.
On the other hand, the good news is that most metal flue liners come with a kit that makes them even easier to replace. Overall, opting for metal flue liners can be a wise decision but only if you are able to find someone expert enough to get the job done the right way.
Considering the fact that chimney liners can turn harmful, it is important that you keep a lookout for flue replacement when needed. Remember, relining the chimney can be a labor-intensive process. Therefore, you should forget about doing it yourself and hire chimney relining services Columbia MD for the task.