Do you know what’s inside your chimney? Many homeowners assume that the chimney structure itself is all that’s needed to vent smoke from their fireplaces and keep their homes safe from a chimney fire. But it takes more than a hollow chimney tube to protect your chimney: Your chimney needs a chimney liner.
Why You Need a Chimney Liner
Since the early part of the 20th century, properly constructed chimneys were built with chimney liners inside. In a traditional chimney, liners are built from specialized clay tiles, though prefabricated fireplaces often include metal chimney liners that are optimal for the appliance. Chimney liners are responsible for several important functions including:
- Keeping your home safe from a chimney fire. Chimney liners insulate the chimney from the rest of the home to keep the building materials surrounding the chimney from igniting. In fact, in laboratory tests, construction materials abutting unlined chimneys ignited within four hours of lighting a fire in the fireplace.
- Protecting your chimney structure. The soot and creosote that build up within your chimney are damaging to masonry materials. A chimney liner helps to protect your chimney structure from breakdown due to soot and creosote.
- Creating a proper draft. When the inside of your chimney isn’t the optimal size, shape, and height for your fireplace, smoke won’t flow properly up and out of your chimney and can leave your house filled with smoke.
How To Know if Your Chimney is Lined
It’s crucial to know that your chimney is lined and that your chimney liner is in good shape. All chimney liners can break down over time, cracking from exposure to extreme heat or crumbling due to exposure to moisture. The only way to be sure that your chimney is lined and in good condition is to have your chimney swept and inspected at least once per year. If you’ve never had your chimney inspected, your chimney sweep can confirm the presence of a chimney liner and that the liner is solid enough to continue protecting your home. Regular, annual chimney inspections ensure that any deterioration within the chimney liner is spotted
What To Do if Your Chimney Liner is Damaged
If your chimney is unlined, or the liner has been damaged to the point of no longer being safe, you don’t need to worry! Lining — or relining — a chimney is a relatively simple process. An unlined chimney, or a chimney with a damaged liner, can be quickly lined with a stainless steel chimney liner. Or, if you have a damaged clay tile chimney liner, it can be fixed easily with a specialized refractory cement. If you’re concerned your chimney doesn’t have a liner or if you’re concerned that your liner might be in disrepair, call A to Z Chimney Services to schedule an inspection today!