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What is a Chimney Liner?

Chimney Flue Liners

Your chimney and fireplace system is made up of several components. These components help it to work as efficiently and safely as possible. One of the most important components of your system is the chimney liner. Its importance was not realized until almost halfway through the 20th century when the National Bureau of Standards (NBS) tested masonry chimneys for safety reasons. The test results led the NBS to recommend that all masonry chimneys be lined at the time of construction.

If you live in a home that was built before the 1930’s, your masonry chimney may possibly be unlined. Since the NBS results influenced the majority of local building codes to mandate chimney liners, your unlined chimney fails to meet these codes. We can bring your unlined chimney up to modern standards by installing a new stainless steel liner. If your masonry chimney has a clay tile liner that needs repairing, we offer Flue Repair and Restoration services. Making sure your chimney liner is in good condition is important! This is because it serves three important functions, and we would like to tell you more about them.

In the 1940’s and again in the 1980’s, masonry chimneys were tested by the National Bureau or Standards for durability due to rising concerns about their performance and safety. The tests revealed that unlined chimneys were so unsafe that researchers characterized building a chimney without a liner as “little less than criminal”.

Chimney liners serve three main functions:

  • Protecting the house from heat transfer to combustibles. In the NBS tests, unlined chimneys allowed heat to move through the chimney so rapidly that the adjacent woodwork caught fire in only 3 1/2 hours.
  • Protecting the masonry from the corrosive byproducts of combustion. In the tests it was determined that if the flue gases were allowed to penetrate to the brick and mortar, the result would be a reduction in the usable life of the chimney. The flue gases are acidic in nature and literally eat away at the mortar joints from inside the chimney. As the mortar joints erode, heat transfers more rapidly to the nearby combustibles and dangerous gases such as carbon monoxide can leak into the living areas of the home.
  • Providing a correctly sized flue for optimum efficiency of appliances. Modern wood stoves and gas or oil furnaces require a correctly sized flue to perform properly. 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.

Protects Your Home from Heat Transfer

Without a liner in place, the extremely hot temperatures that are produced during a fire can easily transfer to the combustible parts of your home. This includes the wooden structure around your chimney. According to the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA), the NSB found that heat transferred so quickly through unlined chimneys that the adjacent woodwork was ignited in flames within three and a half hours.

Prevents Damage to Your Chimney Masonry

You also need a chimney liner to keep the corrosive gases of combustion from eating away at the bricks and mortar joints of your chimney. This prolongs the life of your chimney by preventing masonry damage, but it also increases your safety! What happens when the mortar joints of your chimney begin to erode? Toxic gases, like carbon monoxide, can leak into your home through the gaps and cracks left behind. Your chimney liner keeps you safer by reducing the risk in your home for carbon monoxide poisoning.

Provides A Properly Sized Flue

You may be thinking about updating your old fireplace by having a new fireplace insert installed in its opening. Most of these inserts are too small for large masonry chimneys, and this size difference can cause your insert to not work as efficiently. You may also experience chimney draft problems if there are mismatched size issues between your appliance and chimney.

Patriot Chimneys takes great pride in being a locally owned and operated business with a foundation built on providing superior service for not only our local customers but the entire North Texas community we proudly serve. If you are in need of Chimney Cleaning, Chimney Repair, Custom Chimney Caps, Firebox Installation, Dryer Vent Cleaning or Dryer Vent Repair we invite you to contact us now or call (817) 689-5840 and let Patriot Chimneys be your locally trusted Chimney Experts!