What is Flue-lining And Why is it Needed
A lining is a structure, usually made of metal, clay tile or cement casting, installed inside the chimney. It functions as a protective membrane and is designed to keep flammable materials and toxic gases contained in the chimney. Chimney liners protect against overheating or your residence fire. Liners also keep gaseous carbon monoxide from penetrating the chimney structure and seeping into your home.
If you have an old house, chances are that your fireplace is furnished with terracotta or terracotta tiles. These sleeves are not built to handle emissions from a wide variety of fuels such as coal, wood, liquid propane and natural gas, used to power more energy-efficient appliances today.
Even well-built coatings are prone to deterioration in the form of cracks, gaps and loose and damaged tiles. In addition, years of wood burning leads to the accumulation of a highly flammable substance, called creosote on the surface of coatings. The decay and decomposition of chimney linings present the risk of fire or may lead to toxic poisoning.
Whether you use wood, propane, natural gas or any of the many other fuel sources, most fireplaces today liners are designed to meet building code requirements as well as specifications of home appliance manufacturers.
If you have an old house, or if your chimney was not built properly, you may need to have a new liner installed. Your budget and personal preferences will be the fundamental determinants of the type of lining you choose.
Types of coatings
There are essentially three types of fireplace coverings: stainless steel, tile-in-place and clay. The stainless-steel coatings, which are available in rigid or flexible pipe, come in several widths.
Where possible, you must use a rigid liner because of the durability of the material. Usually, rigid liners are used for straight runways. Flexible stainless steel pipes are best used for chimneys that have a lot of lags and elbows.
In some cases, both rigid and flexible stainless steel linings can be used for the project. Stainless steel liners are typically, pulled up by the chimney and held in place.
Fireplace fittings cast in place require an inflatable form to be installed in the fireplace. A cement type material is pumped between the shape and the wall of the chimney. The material fills the openings and cracks and coats any broken tiles. After the cast coating is healed, the form is removed.
Chimneys can also be re-edged with terracotta tiles. Although tiles are not very expensive, the work can be quite expensive because of the tedious nature of the work.
Have your chimney cleaned and inspected. Look for bricks cracked or lacking mortar. If you see spots on the bricks, it may be an indication that the gases are escaping through the liner walls and chimney. Hire an expert from the chimney to make a pressurized smoke test. The test will reveal if there is no leak in the liner. The expert can also advise you on the options that are available if you need your chimney to bring it up to the relining codes.