Chimney Liners

Anatomy of Your Chimney

Regardless if your chimney is used to vent a woodstove, fireplace or furnace, most have clay flue tiles stacked on top of one another, forming a liner called the flue. Your flue liner should be sealed tightly to protect your chimney. Over time, dangers can develop that compromise the efficiency and safety of your home’s chimney. The chimney liner must be maintained and kept in good condition or else smoke, heat, and CO will enter the airspace of your chimney and walls causing serious safety concerns, including, but not limited to: carbon monoxide poisoning and fire beyond the designated fire walls.


Terra Cotta Flue Tile

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Terra cotta flue tiles are commonly used to line chimneys because they are cost effective and readily available. When terra cotta flue tiles are stacked, they are to be bonded together using a non-water-soluble refectory cement. Unfortunately, we often find that basic mortar was used. Basic mortar cannot withstand the harsh interior environment in a chimney, especially during Connecticut winters. Over time, most of these will break, crack or be washed away leaving large gaps between areas of flue tile.

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Thermal Shock & Cracked Terra Cotta Flue Tiles

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Clay flue tiles can’t absorb the rapid rise in temperatures within a chimney. During a chimney fire, the interior of the terra cotta flue tile will expand and heat up significantly faster than the exterior area of the flue tile. The unequal expansion can cause the flue tiles to begin to crack and split apart. While these cracks may appear to be small when the tile isn’t in use, they have the capability to open back up once the tile is heated.

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Three Main Functions of a Liner

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  • They protect the home from heat transferring through to combustibles. Inadequately lined chimneys allow gasses and heat to pass through into walls and living spaces which can cause extensive property damage and fires.
  • They keep the masonry safe from the corrosive byproducts and humidity of combustion. The gasses are very acidic and high in water vapor content. When the gasses aren’t venting correctly/efficiently, they cool and condense into acidic water which will eat away at the mortar joints from the inside of the chimney out. As the joints disintegrate, heat transfers quickly to the nearby combustibles and dangerous gasses, such as carbon monoxide, can leak into various areas of the house.
  • Lining your chimney correctly provides the right sized flue for maximum efficiency of appliances. Today’s wood stoves and gas/oil furnaces require a correctly sized flue to function properly. It is the role of the chimney system to provide a safe passage for the products of combustion to escape. An improperly sized flue can lead to substantial creosote buildup in fireplaces/ wood burning stoves, and produce crippling amounts of structural damage due to condensation with natural gas appliances.

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Stainless Steel Chimney Liner

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Stainless steel chimney liners are typically used to re-line chimneys that are cracked, broken or contain deteriorated terra cotta flue tiles. These liners are also used during the installation of a new high-efficiency gas powered appliance in which a smaller flue size is needed. Properly installing a UL Listed, tested and properly sized stainless steel chimney lining system is the most popular way to retrofit a chimney that is in need of repair or relining. Neighborhood Chimney Service of Wolcott, Connecticut only installs chimney liners produced by manufacturers that use only the highest quality, certified mill alloy.

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316L Stainless Steel Chimney Liners

Flexible with high acid fighting capability. Listed and tested by UL Laboratories to UL 1777 and ULC-S635 standard for zero clearance installation. 316L liners can be used to vent wood, wood pellet, coal and non-condensing gas and oil fired appliances with efficiencies of 83% or lower. These characteristics make it the best choice for venting all standard efficiency installations. All stainless liners we install come with a Lifetime Warranty from the manufacturer!

AL294C

Used to vent Category I liquid fuel bringing appliances with efficiencies of 84% or higher.

Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA)

According to the CSIA (csia.org), problems such as gaps, cracks and spalling in your chimney’s flue can present serious risks to your home and family, because your chimney can no longer perform its intended function – to safely contain and vent the products of combustion to the outside.

Building Codes

Building codes and fire standards require that chimneys are structurally sound, durable, smoke tight and capable of conveying flue gases to the outside completely and safely.

National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)

“If the flue liner in a chimney has softened, cracked or otherwise deteriorated so that it no longer has the ability to contain the products of combustion (i.e., heat, moisture, creosote, and flue gases), it shall be removed and replaced, repaired or relined…” NFPA 211-Standard for Chimneys, Fireplaces, Vents and Solid Fuel-Burning Appliances (2006).

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