What is a chimney relining system?
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Frequently Asked Chimney Questions

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What is a chimney lining system?

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Do all chimneys have liners?

Not necessarily. Masonry chimneys built prior to 1940 did not have liners. If you have a house with a chimney built prior to that date, it may not have any liner at all. But remember, if you have a chimney that was not constructed with a clay tile liner, you can remedy that situation by having a HomeSaver stainless steel liner installed. It meets all the criteria for chimney safety spelled out in the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) code 211. HomeSaver is the answer whether you're original chimney liner is damaged or whether there never was a clay liner in you chimney to begin with.


Why would I ever need to have my original chimney liner replaced?

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Standard 211 requires that chimney liners be replaced if they are cracked, broken, or missing. Cracked clay liner tiles and the deterioration of mortar joints between liner tiles can lead to the leakage of flue gasses into the interior of the house. Those flue gasses contain Carbon Monoxide, a deadly, odorless, colorless gas. Cracks in your chimney liner can also cause dangerous heat transfer to combustible material surrounding your chimney. Both situations can compromise the health and safety of your family.


What's involved in getting a chimney liner replaced?

The most economical and popular option is to replace the original clay liner with a stainless steel relining pipe. This can be either a rigid or flexible piece of stainless steel pipe that is insulated and inserted into your chimney. Since there may be several difficult and complex steps to this process, it should always be done by a qualified chimney professional.


Is it expensive to reline with stainless steel?

It is actually the least expensive option - much less than the cost of rebuilding the whole chimney. The price, depends on the size of your chimney and how much work needs to be done to prepare the chimney before the liner can be installed. If your chimney is difficult to access, has several bends or turns, or needs other repair before the liner can be installed, that can add to the cost. Please consult a chimney professional for cost estimates related to your particular situation. Our web site can help you locate a chimney professional in your area.


Can't you just replace the original clay tiles?

It's possible, but a stainless steel liner is more durable than a clay liner and costs about the same.


Can I install a stainless steel liner myself?

Not unless you're an experienced chimney professional. There are too many things that if not done correctly could cause your chimney to violate the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Standard 211 code and prove to be a safety hazard for your home. It requires the skill, knowledge and experience only a seasoned chimney professional can bring to the job. We're happy to recommend a HomeSaver installer near you.


Why HomeSaver stainless steel liners?

All stainless steel liners, just like all automobiles, are not the same. HomeSaver is UL Listed, has a lifetime warranty, and has been installed in thousands chimneys over the past 20 years. It has a superb reputation and is solidly backed by us. Why are we so confident in our stainless steel relining systems? That's easy. They are engineered and manufactured by us to be tough, durable, and reliable for years. They're engineered to stand up to moisture, extreme temperatures, corrosive flue gasses, repeated cleanings, and daily use. It's our experience spanning over two decades with HomeSaver chimney relining systems installed in chimneys like yours all across North America that gives us confidence to offer the best Lifetime Warranty in the business. Remember, there is only one HomeSaver, be sure to ask for it by name.


How can I tell if my chimney has a liner?

You can have it inspected by a chimney professional; or, if you're able, you can go up on the roof and check it out yourself. If you look down into your chimney and see only bricks and no clay tile, it is not lined. Some chimney professionals who inspect your chimney can actually lower a video camera into the flue and either show you their findings on a monitor as they are inspecting your flue, or make a video tape and play it back for you later. That way you can see for yourself what the inside of your chimney looks like without having to go up on your roof.


How can I know if my chimney liner is cracked or damaged?

That requires a thorough inspection. This is a case where a chimney professional would most likely use a video inspection system of some kind so he could systematically inspect every tile in your chimney's flue. Such an inspection will be able to show any cracks, even small ones, in your chimney tiles and/or any damage to the mortar between the clay chimney tiles. Once again, you could then view the results of that video inspection yourself.


When should I have a chimney professional inspect my chimney?

If you are using the chimney to vent a fireplace, wood, coal or pellet stove or a gas or oil appliance, the flue should be inspected and cleaned, if needed, once a year. You should also have your chimney inspected if you know, or think, you have experienced a chimney fire. The sudden rise in temperatures within the flue associated with a chimney fire is often the main cause of tiles cracking. Because of this it is a good idea to have your chimney inspected after any chimney fire before you use that flue again.


What causes chimney fires?

Chimney fires are usually caused by the accumulation of creosote in the chimney. Creosote is a natural by-product of burning wood. It accumulates in the flue over time and is highly flammable. Creosote is especially likely to accumulate when wood is not burned at the proper temperature. Since creosote is flammable, when it accumulates on the walls of your flue, hot flue gasses can ignite it. The result is a chimney fire. Depending on the condition of your chimney, such a fire can pose a significant threat to the rest of your house. Flames from the fire can find their way through cracks in your clay chimney liner or mortar and ignite framing around the chimney. They can also spill over onto the roof and cause a fire there.


How can I prevent chimney fires?

The best bet is to have a qualified chimney professional inspect your chimney annually. He or she will be able to detect the accumulation of creosote in your flue and remove it. Burning your fireplace or woodstove at proper temperatures will also help prevent the accumulation of creosote. Burning at lower temperatures, such as when you restrict your damper opening at night in order to make the fire last longer, allows creosote to form inside the flue of your chimney.