Types of Chimney Liners
About Chimney relining: Types of Chimney Liners
No matter what sort of chimney lining you have, in time it will need to be maintained or relined. Understanding the three major types of chimney liners will help you discuss with a trusted professional the best way to line your chimney and keep your home safe and sound.
Clay Tile Chimney Liner
Clay Tiles have been a historical favorite for lining chimneys. As such, most older homes have clay tile liner. These were popular for a variety of reasons, the most important being that clay tile insulation with properly finished mortar joints can withstand most types of smoke and can last up to 50 years.
In today’s world, however, these tiles are not the perennial favorite. Studies show that during a chimney fire, even the most well finished mortar joints are likely to crack, and usually break apart. Any crack in your chimney lining makes it more likely that the fire could spread to the rest of the building.
Additionally, repairing or relining a chimney with clay tile is a very difficult task. Punching holes in the chimney to ensure the tiles are aligned and joined correctly is often necessary, and such effort is costly. For this reason, when most home owners notice cracks or problems with their clay tile chimney liner, they transition to a different liner entirely.
Cast in Place Chimney Liner
Cast in place liners were created around 60 years ago. While initially they were highly-regarded, over time their popularity has decreased due to a high likelihood of cracks.
One benefit of the cast-in-place chimney liner is the insulative properties of the material. The insulation helps keep heat from leaking from the chimney, and higher temperatures in the chimney helps ensure creosote, soot and combustive gases are more fully consumed, which means less accumulation inside your chimney, and fewer emissions from your chimney.
The downside to this chimney liner is again cost. Installing the liner can be expensive, and if you have any bends in your chimney, the price is just going to go up. A professional will also need to determine if any existing chimney liners need to be removed prior to chimney relining. Also, as cracking develops, the process of relining is expensive and time consuming.
Metal Chimney Liner
Metal liners are by far the current favorite of the construction world. They come in a vast array or shapes and sizes, and can either be rigid of flexible. Installation and parts are generally inexpensive, and with proper maintenance metal liners often outlast the house. Also, as appliances within your home change and chimney liners adapt to meet these changes, replacing your chimney liner with an up to date metal liner is an easy and logical process.
Reasons for Relining
The largest reason for chimney relining is improper liner sizing. Improperly sized lining can lead to soot and creosote deposits and improper draft, both of which are safety hazards. Proper chimney lining size is a difficult variable to determine, so if you have any questions about the best size chimney lining for your home, contact a chimney professional.
The second largest cause of chimney relining is cracks and breaches in the lining itself, which is a large fire hazard. At the first sign of cracks or damage, call in a professional to ensure your home is safe. Remember, even if you stop using your fireplace, other appliances may vent into your chimney exposing you to potential danger.