So, Is Chimney Relining In Your Future?
Here’s a few key points to consider:
- There are a lot of specialty skills and tools needed to perform a proper chimney relining. Proper venting of appliances is crucial and should be done by a qualified chimney professional, even though other contractors may offer this as an “add on” service.
- The quality and durability between chimney liner brands varies drastically. Make sure the liner is listed to UL 1777 and make sure the contractor will be putting in the correct alloy for your fuel type.
- The CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep credential is a good minimum standard to consider when having someone do work on your chimney.
- The applications for aluminum liners are very limited. They’re only approved for certain types of gas appliances (not all), cannot be installed in a flue that previously vented an oil appliance, and are easily damaged during installation – especially if the chimney has an offset or a long run.
- Furnace flues are especially prone to need to be relined because the flue gasses have a corrosive effect on the original masonry linings.
If you’re not sure if you need to have your chimney relined, call for an inspection: (610)626-2439. The inspection charge can be credited towards the cost of any relining work, if applicable.
What Is A Chimney Liner?
A flue lining in a masonry chimney is defined as “A clay, ceramic, or metal conduit installed inside of a chimney, intended to contain the combustion products, direct them to the outside atmosphere, and protect the chimney walls from heat and corrosion.”
Most masonry chimneys are constructed with an inner liner of clay tiles. The purpose of this liner is to keep the heat of flue gases inside the chimney so the chimney can’t overheat the nearby combustible material, such as the framing and walls of your house, and possibly cause a fire.
The liner also keeps carbon monoxide, moisture, smoke, creosote, and other products of combustion from seeping through the bricks and mortar of your chimney and leaking into your home.
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Standard 211 requires that chimney liners be replaced if they are cracked, broken, or missing. Cracked clay liner tiles and the deterioration of mortar joints between liner tiles can lead to the leakage of flue gasses into the interior of the house.
Those flue gasses contain carbon monoxide, a deadly, odorless, colorless gas. Cracks in your chimney liner can also cause dangerous heat transfer to combustible material surrounding your chimney. Both situations can compromise the health and safety of your family.
Why Would Chimney Relining Be Needed?
A chimney relining system is what you need when the original clay tile liner was either never installed, or when the tile lining cracks, crumbles and deteriorates over time. Water damage, chimney fires, or just age can cause the deterioration of your clay liner.
When that happens the National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA) code 211 says it must be replaced. The most popular, effective and economical way to reline your chimney is with UL listed stainless steel relining pipe.
To have a truly UL Listed product, it must be subjected to Underwriters Laboratories for testing and later for their suprise visits to the manufacturing facility, and of course, the product must bear the UL trademark . Some companies test to UL Standards by another testing laboratory. Their product can’t be UL Listed because UL didn’t do the test. They often advertise as “Tested to UL 1777”.
Does Size Matter?
Properly sizing a liner to the appliance(s) it serves is one of the most important things to consider. Many companies install whatever they have in stock or whatever they can make fit, properly sized or not. According to the International Residential Code, all chimneys have sizing requirements that must be met.
Fireplaces, wood stoves, and gas or oil furnaces all require a correctly sized flue to perform properly and ensure optimum efficiency. The chimney is responsible for not only allowing the products of combustion a passage out of the house, but the draft generated by the chimney also supplies the combustion air to the appliance.
An incorrectly sized liner can lead to excessive creosote buildup in wood burning stoves, and the production of carbon monoxide with conventional fuels.
Who Should Perform My Chimney Relining Project?
There are many companies that install “liners”. Here are some things to look for in a contractor relining your chimney:
- Are they installing a “liner”, or are they using all of the required components to meet the listing? (Manufacturer’s cap, top plate, tee, etc.)
- Do they have any industry related certifications? (Some warranties require installation and annual inspection by a CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep)
- Are they installing a UL listed lining system or a liner “tested to UL standards”?
- Do they have this icon next to their name on the Chimney Safety Institute of America website?
- Do they have a valid Pennsylvania Home Improvement Contractor’s License?
- Do they have proof of liability insurance?
- Is there a lifetime warranty? Is it transferable?
Lou Curley’s Chimney Service specializes in relining furnace flues
If you are told that you need a new chimney liner for your furnace, or if you are unsure of the condition of your current chimney lining, contact us to set up an inspection. The inspection charge will be credited towards the cost of any relining that we perform.