There are many parts that make up a working chimney. If these parts are missing or damaged…your chimney may not be working properly. Many homeowners won’t even know the chimney has a problem because much of the system is hidden from the untrained eye. In fact, the largest part of the system–and one of the most important–is hidden completely from view. That is the liner.
The Liner’s Job
The chimney liner is a lot like the skin of a human. It provides a protective layer between the heat/fire and the masonry. It also helps with optimum airflow by providing a smooth surface for the flue interior. The large and heat-resistant flue liner has many jobs. The variety of materials it is made up of helps it to do its job.
- The liner protects the masonry from the fire.
The chemical byproducts produced by the fire are harmful to masonry. In fact, if soot and creosote is allowed to sit on the masonry, it will corrode the mortar, especially during humid weather.
- The liner keeps toxic gases in their place.
When fuel is burned, carbon monoxide and other hazardous vapors are produced and vented by the chimney system. Because of the porous nature of the masonry, these gases would be able to move through the masonry and into the home without a liner. The liner keeps the gases from getting into the house, preventing smoke inhalation, carbon monoxide poisoning, and other respiratory issues.
- The liner protects the house from heat exposure.
Masonry is a conductor of heat. If not for the liner, the heat from the chimney would transfer to building materials in the house, slowly drying beams and boards, making them brittle and weak, and even causing flammable materials to ignite. The liner’s refractory qualities keep heat from escaping the chimney’s masonry.
- The liner provides for smooth airflow.
No matter what type of liner you have, it should be smooth, and sized appropriately for best airflow. If the chimney is too large for the capacity of the fire, air can stall and cause draft issues. A liner can resize the flue for best ventilation. An old clay tile liner with gaps and buildup can obstruct airflow. Relining systems like Heatshield can restore a damaged liner to the smooth and durable surface needed for a safe chimney.
Types of Liners
Depending on the age of your home, and the fuel type, there are a few different types of liners that may be in your chimney. Older masonry chimneys have clay tile liners, a cheap option that doesn’t last long. These liners are either repaired with Heatshield refractory sealant or replaced with a stainless steel liner. Clay tile liners are not safe for use with gas fires, so if you’re thinking of converting, you will need to talk to a professional about relining.
Worried about your liner? Contact White Glove today. Call us today or request an appointment online.