Trust Lords Chimney for Your Chimney Relining Services
At Lords Chimney, we believe that taking a proactive approach to chimney care is the best way to maintain your fireplace and chimney. With annual inspections and sweepings, you can find problems early on and save a lot of money on repair work down the line. All that said, while we much prefer it when chimney inspections are simple and we don’t uncover any complications, occasionally we do find a problem. One of the most common issues we come across is chimney liner damage. A chimney with a damaged liner – or without a liner – could put your home at risk.
For residents in Houston and Beaumont, Lords Chimney offers several relining options to get your chimney back up and running safely. Our sweeps are certified by the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) and are fully equipped to handle all of your chimney needs. Call or book online with us today.
What Is a Chimney Liner?
Whenever you burn a fire, the smoke it generates carries toxins – like carbon monoxide – that aren’t safe for you to breathe in. A chimney liner is a protective barrier that extends the length of the chimney. It prevents harmful gases and chemicals from seeping into your home through your chimney when your fireplace is in use.
Liners also protect your chimney from taking on too much direct heat. A healthy liner can extend your chimney’s lifespan by reducing the risk of chimney fires and by preventing the deterioration of masonry due to exposure to high temperatures and corrosive substances.
Does My Chimney Need to Be Lined?
A chimney liner is necessary for three main reasons:
It safeguards your house from heat transfer to combustibles.
- It’s been shown that adjacent woodwork caught fire in only three and a half hours in unlined chimneys. Liners protect chimneys from this rapidly moving heat.
It protects your brick and mortar from creosote and other byproducts of combustion. When highly acidic flue gases are left to eat away at chimney brick and mortar joints, there’s a reduction in the chimney’s usable life. Weakened mortar joints also allow heat to transfer more quickly to combustibles, putting homeowners at increased risk of house fires.
It provides you with a just-right-sized chimney flue for optimum efficiency and reduced creosote buildup. Depending on the type of heating appliance you have – a wood stove, gas insert, oil furnace, etc. – you will need to have a specific-sized flue for your appliance to perform at its best. This is so combustion products can safely escape your house while your chimney generates enough draft to supply the appliance.
My chimney wasn’t built with a liner, can I leave it like that?
In the past, unlined chimneys were the standard. If you own an older home, there’s a chance your chimney isn’t lined. If that’s the case, your chimney technician will let you know during an inspection.
But do you actually need to spring for a liner if it hasn’t caused a problem in the past? Yes! All chimney safety organizations recommend that a chimney be lined; in fact, in most states fire codes mandate chimney liners. These recommendations became more and more resounding following tests in the 1940s and 1980s by what was the National Bureau of Standards (NBS) – and is now the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). Chimneys were tested in response to questions about their performance and safety, and unlined chimneys were deemed so unsafe as to be a “little less than criminal.”
What Can Cause Chimney Liner Damage?
Chimney liner damage can occur due to several different reasons. Some issues may happen internally and will be hidden, while other damage can be seen clearly. These are a few common causes of chimney liner damage:
Creosote buildup: Creosote is a highly flammable substance that gathers and clings to the inner walls of your chimney. Creosote is a natural byproduct of fire burning and is unpreventable. Over time, it can corrode and damage the chimney liner, leading to cracks and deterioration.
Moisture: Chimneys are susceptible to water intrusion if they’re not protected properly (i.e. waterproofed, equipped with a crown and cap, protected with flashing, etc.). Water can cause rusting and deterioration of the liner, particularly if it’s made of metal.
Chimney Fires: Did you know that most chimney fires go undetected by homeowners? A lot of fires in chimneys are slow-burning and therefore quiet and undetectable unless a camera inspection is performed by a professional technician.
Corrosion: Corrosion is the result of the acidic byproducts of combustion, especially in wood-burning stoves or fireplaces. Corrosion weakens the liner material, making it more vulnerable to cracks and gaps.
Extreme Heat: A wood-burning fireplace can hit temperatures exceeding 1,500 degrees Fahrenheit. Any surface exposed to temperatures that high over long periods of time will be affected. Liners can experience warping and cracking due to heat.
Wear & Tear: Most materials naturally degrade as they age and chimneys are no exception. Even a well-maintained chimney liner will eventually deteriorate due to wear and tear.
Physical Damage: Falling debris – like a tree limb, for instance – can physically damage the chimney liner. Even small cracks or chips can compromise the liner’s effectiveness over time.
Incorrect Installation: If the chimney liner is not installed correctly from the start, it will not be able to properly withstand the conditions it’s exposed to. Poor installation can lead to gaps and misalignment.
Byproducts of Combustion: Different types of fuel produce varying levels of corrosive substances during combustion. For example, burning certain types of wood or using certain fuels can result in more acidic byproducts that accelerate liner deterioration.
Lack of Care: Regular chimney maintenance is extremely important for identifying and addressing potential liner damage early on. Without proper maintenance, small issues can escalate into larger problems. Be sure to call Lords Chimney to schedule annual sweepings and inspections to avoid expensive repairs.
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Chimney Liner Repair or Replacement: Which Is Best?
When we find evidence of chimney liner damage, you can have the liner repaired or simply replaced altogether. Which option is best depends on several factors, like the amount of damage and the type of liner. The best way to know what’s best for you is to call us out to assess your situation. Here are some basic guidelines to get you started.
When should I get my chimney repaired?
The damage is minor. If the liner has minor cracks and gaps, or the deterioration is confined to a small area, it may be possible to repair these issues without replacing the entire liner.
Cost is a concern. Repairing a liner can be more cost-effective than a complete replacement. It addresses specific problems without the need for a full overhaul. Although repairs can extend the lifespan of the liner, they might only be a temporary solution. If the liner is significantly degraded, a replacement might be necessary in the near future.
When should I opt for a liner replacement?
The damage is extensive. If the liner has extensive cracks, corrosion, or damage throughout, a replacement is likely the safer and more reliable option.
You’re planning to sell your home. It’s a good idea to invest in replacing a chimney liner if you plan to put your home on the market at some point. Chimney damage can impact a home’s ability to sell.
You need to comply with local building codes. Codes can vary depending on the city. You may be required to meet updated building codes or standards, so check with your local municipal office before moving forward with any chimney work.
What Types of Liners Do We Offer?
If our inspection reveals chimney liner damage that requires relining, there are two types of relining systems we offer – stainless steel and HeatShield®. Each option has its benefits and which one we suggest for you depends on the current state of your liner.
HeatShield®: We offer two methods of relining with HeatShield®. It’s more affordable than a new stainless steel liner and a relatively quick process to complete. However, it’s not a suitable option for all chimneys.
Stainless Steel Liners: If your chimney isn’t a good candidate for HeatShield®, we have another option for you. Our stainless steel liners are corrosion-resistant and can last a lifetime with proper maintenance.
Why Should I Choose Stainless Steel?
Stainless steel liners offer a lot of flexibility since they are compatible with oil, wood, and gas-fueled chimney systems. Stainless steel is noted for its longevity because it’s resistant to corrosion and rust. In older homes where fireplaces are used frequently, corrosion is a major concern as it can weaken your chimney system, increasing the chances of a chimney fire, gas leak, and carbon monoxide poisoning.
Another great benefit of choosing a stainless steel liner is how quick and easy it is to install. Depending on the condition of your chimney and any other repair work that needs to be completed, we can typically install a stainless steel liner in a day or less. So, there’s no need to worry about a long construction process that’s inconvenient to your family.
Although we are very passionate about how safe and durable stainless steel chimney liners are in wood-burning, gas, and oil applications, the truth is that your chimney may not require a stainless steel liner. If your chimney needs to be relined and isn’t currently outfitted with a stainless steel liner, there may be other options for your system.
A number of chimneys are still lined with clay tiles, which are affordable and perform satisfactorily. However, clay isn’t as exemplary at absorbing and distributing heat or containing liquid combustion products common to gas appliances. Also, in time, clay tiles will crack. Another option besides stainless steel is what’s called a “cast-in-place” liner, whereby a chimney is coated in a cement-like substance that reinforces it and protects it.
Is HeatShield® a Better Option?
If your existing chimney flue is in bad shape, oftentimes we can repair it without needing to reline your entire chimney. Having your chimney flue lined and free of gaps, cracks, and spalling is an integral part of an efficient and properly functioning chimney. However, the cost of a complete relining is not always necessary – nor is the construction mess that can be created by having all of your old clay tiles removed prior to relining.
By using a specially formulated product called HeatShield®, we can restore the integrity of your chimney’s flue so that it serves as an efficient way to vent hazardous gases from your home. HeatShield® is also environmentally friendly, made from recycled and naturally occurring materials, and comes with a 20-year limited warranty.
Lords Chimney has the only technicians certified to install HeatShield® in the whole Houston area. We are a name you can trust.
Our chimney technicians can show you photos and/or videos of exactly what the problem inside your chimney looks like. Our closed-circuit cameras mean you don’t have to just take our word for it when there’s a problem. We’ll also be able to use our camera to show you exactly where we’ve repaired your chimney after we’re done.
What are my options with HeatShield®?
If your chimney joints need repairing… HeatShield®’s Joint Repair system is perfect for tile-lined chimneys with defective mortar joints. To apply this sealant, we use a special foam applicator that’s custom-fit to your chimney. Using this tool we fill each gap in your chimney with the HeatShield® sealant mixture and then smooth it over with a blade. We then photo scan the area we’ve repaired and show it to you to verify the repairs of all gaps or voids.
If your chimney flue needs resurfacing… HeatShield®’s resurfacing system is great for chimneys with flues that are cracked or spalled. To resurface a chimney, we first remove any remaining dust with a “tie coat,” which also acts as a primer. We then apply a quarter-inch coat of HeatShield® over the entire chimney flue. Afterwards, we use cameras to verify the repairs and to show you your fully restored chimney.
How Long Should a Chimney Liner Last?
This depends on the type of chimney liner you have. Clay tile liners and cast-in-place liners can last as long as 50 years, while stainless steel liners typically last for 15 to 30 years (but most stainless steel liners come with a lifetime warranty).
The lifespan of a chimney can also be affected by how often you use your fireplace and what type of fuel you burn. Keeping up with regular chimney maintenance can help you get the most out of your chimney and all of its components. If we can identify an issue and repair it quickly, your chimney will last longer.
Can I Install a Chimney Liner Myself?
We don’t recommend installing a chimney liner yourself. Chimney work is dangerous and if you don’t have the right safety equipment to work on a roof, you could injure yourself. And remember – chimneys look indestructible, but it’s a structure that has an intricate system that allows it to function correctly. If you install your liner incorrectly, that entire chimney will be compromised and unsafe to use.
For the best outcomes, hire an experienced chimney service company for the task. Lords Chimney has provided services for homeowners in the Houston area for a few decades. Our sweeps are CSIA-certified and members of the National Chimney Sweep Guild (NSCG). There isn’t a chimney problem we haven’t seen – and fixed.
How Much Does a Chimney Liner Cost?
As you’ve probably predicted, it’s hard to answer that question without knowing more about your chimney. Costs can depend on what type of liner you choose, the size and age of your chimney, and if we find any other problems during our inspection. The easiest way to keep chimney expenses in check is to schedule annual inspections – even if you don’t use your chimney very often.
Need Your Chimney Relined? Lords Chimney Is Here To Help
When it’s time for your annual inspection – or if you need to book any other type of fireplace service – look no further than Lords Chimney. Our team is here and ready to get started. A customer representative will be happy to answer any questions you have. Don’t wait for your chimney to start showing signs of damage.
Give us a call now at 281-497-4000 or schedule an appointment on our website today.