How To Replace A Chimney Liner

Here is how to replace a chimney liner.

Maintenance repairs on chimneys are common especially for those which have been in use for a significant period. This is an ongoing process that necessitates the replacement of faulty components.

One of such components we’ll be discussing is the chimney liner.

What does it take to have the liner replaced? What are the signs that it needs to be replaced? What’s the lifespan of a chimney liner?

These questions and more will be fully answered as you read through this article.

Types of Chimney Liners

Before a liner replacement job is performed on a chimney, the need to know the liner type is crucial.

There are multiple types of chimney liners. These range from metal liners (consisting of aluminum and stainless steel), cast-in-place liners, and clay tile chimney liners.

What’s the difference between these liners? We’ll need to take a look at each type starting with metal chimney liners.

  • Metal Chimney Liners

Metal chimney liners could be made from either steel or aluminum.

Each type has its uses and is most ideal for a particular fuel type. For example, steel liners are most appropriate for, wood-burning, gas, or oil devices.

Aluminum liners on the other hand are mostly used for medium-efficiency gas systems. Whatever metal liner type you have replacement will be determined by the type of appliances using such liners.

In other words, appliances do change with time. As such, there need to be some alterations of existing liners to meet up with new improvements. Metal chimney liners tend to outlast the building.

This simply means they’re durable and will serve for long.

  • Cast-in-Place Chimney Liners

As the name suggests, cast-in-place chimney liners are installed or cast within the chimney.

They’re built to last and provide efficient insulation. With fewer heat leaks, the chimney tends to be hotter which in turn reduces the amount of creosote buildup as there’s better combustion of gases and soot.

With cracks appearing in this liner type, the need to have it relined increases. This attracts significant relining costs.

  • Clay Tile Liners

Clay tile liners have been in use for a significant amount of time. It’s more common with older buildings and costs more to replace than other liner types.

Due to the cost implications, homeowners prefer to have clay tile liners replaced with other types.

Reasons For Replacing A Chimney Liner

Every chimney liner replacement job was borne out of the need to solve a problem. A homeowner may decide to change a liner type (such as clay tile liner) with metal liners or other types.

Such decisions are always driven by the cost of the process.

Replacing a clay tile liner at the same time is mostly capital intensive. As a cost-cutting measure, a switch to another liner type goes a long way to cut down on cost.

Also, breaches and cracks could be another determinant for chimney liner replacement. Such cracks when ignored increase your exposure to fire hazards. Most times, liner replacement is advanced for such situations.

Another possible reason for chimney liner replacement can be attributed to improper liner sizing. This is a common problem that results in drafting issues as well as soot and creosote deposits.

Any of these situations may call for chimney liner replacement.

  • Other Possible Reasons For Chimney Liner Replacement

Asides from the reasons given above, a chimney liner may be recommended for replacement when there’s a condensation problem where flue temperatures are low. Under such circumstances, poor airflow is mostly the cause.

This can be improved with chimney flue replacement, thus guaranteeing more heat and less creosote buildup.

Fireplace conversion is another possible reason for chimney liner replacement. In some situations, a fireplace insert may be installed while at other times, a wood-burning fireplace may be converted to a gas fireplace.

Metal flue liners come in handy under such circumstances. These serve both inserts and also vented gas fireplaces. The old chimney liner will need to be replaced with a metal flue liner.

Chimney Liner Lifespan

All chimney liners are built with an expected lifespan. These could range from 5 years to as many as 50 years. The lifespan of a liner largely depends on the type.

For stainless steel liners, expect a lifespan of about 15 to 20 years before it’s due for replacement.

This is quite different for cast-in-place liners and clay tile liners. These liner types should easily last half a century. Certain liner types are known to be substandard and won’t last for long.

You’ll need to avoid these by seeking expert advice. Substandard liners will last less than a decade.

Signs You Need To Have Your Chimney Liner Replaced

Before chimney liner replacement is determined, there needs to be clear evidence pointing to the signs of a faulty liner. Venting problems usually signal the need for immediate maintenance action.

Not all chimney liner replacement actions are due to problems.

For example, when heating systems are replaced with high-efficiency models, a chimney liner replacement may be necessary.

For chimneys that have long been ignored without inspections, having a liner replaced could be a possibility.

  • Venting Problems

When venting issues become common or too frequent in a chimney, it’s a sign that the liner needs to be replaced.

You’ll have to all for inspection and possible confirmation of your fears. The necessary maintenance action to perform here is chimney liner replacement.

  • Replacement of Heating Systems

A great deal of progress is made in developing energy-efficient heating systems. With new and more reliable systems, a homeowner may decide to replace the old with newer models.

For best results, a complete replacement of the venting component (chimney liner) is performed.

  • Rarely Inspected Chimneys

Improper maintenance of a chimney is likely to lead to its steady deterioration.

The extent of the problem might be evident when a chimney technician is eventually called to inspect. It shouldn’t be surprising to find out that certain components (such as the chimney liner) need to be replaced.

Replacing a chimney liner involves a whole lot of processes as seen above. Certain questions need to be answered and appropriate actions taken based on findings.

You should be able to call for immediate help when problems appear.

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