All chimneys must have a liner. A chimney liner is defined by the Chimney Safety Institute of America 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.” Over time, the lining inside the flue in your masonry chimney can deteriorate. This is why an inspection by a certified chimney sweep is so important to the health of your chimney and flue.

Clay tile liners are one of the most common when it comes to masonry chimneys. The liner keeps gasses inside your chimney and prevents the heat of the fire from affecting the material of the chimney itself or the framing and walls of your house. A damaged or deteriorated liner can pose a great fire hazard to your living space.

Chimney liners not only help prevent fires, but keep moisture, smoke, carbon monoxide and creosote create as byproducts of fire from seeping through the chimney and leaking into your home. Though all modern chimneys are built with liners, if you live in a very old home it is worth having your chimney checked to make sure it has a safe, functional lining.

The Most Common Flue

Clay tile flues are cost effective, as the materials are fairly inexpensive and if installed properly they can last 50 or more years. You can prolong the life of your chimney liner by making sure the chimney is cleaned on a regular basis. Clay tile can stand up to virtually any type of fuel.

Clay liners are easy to install when a chimney is being built, but the downside of clay liners is that they are difficult to retrofit or replace. It is often necessary to break through the chimney walls, sometimes in multiple places to remove old tiles and install new ones. Sometimes, this means that though money is initially saved on materials, labor is more expensive.

A home inspector or a HVAC technician may look at the liner during a routine inspection of your home or heat pump, but they don’t have the training to spot small issues that may become big problems. It is always best to schedule a yearly inspection and cleaning with a Chimney Sweep Institute of America (CSIA) Certified Chimney Sweep.

Call me any time at 610-626-2439 to discuss your chimney’s flue or if you have any problems with your chimney. We’ll schedule an appointment for a consultation or inspection so I can see if anything is going on inside your chimney. I’ll inspect for signs of damage, creosote, animals, and a multitude of other issues that arise with chimney ownership.

As a homeowner, it is your responsibility to make sure that your home maintenance projects are handled properly. As a CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep, it is my responsibility to make sure that your chimney, flue, and fireplace are working properly. Together, we can rest easy knowing that as long as we each do our job to our best ability, your household will be a safe and warm place all winter long.