Chimney Liners in Atlanta
Chimney liners, or flue liners, are what the inside of your chimney is made of or covered with. It actually refers to several different products, depending on whether your chimney is masonry or metal, and even what part of the country you live in. Atlanta has all kinds.
You need a chimney liner period. If you don’t have one, you could have a fire or toxic gas hazard on your hands.
Putting a new chimney liner in an existing chimney is called relining. If you are building a new chimney, then the liner had better already be included or someone should get sued.
Masonry Chimney Liners
For brick or other masonry chimneys, the flue liner is usually some type of fired clay or composite material. These used to be terra cotta, but lately some new formulations have come on the market that claim to have better heat and cracking resistance.
Either way, they usually come in 2 to 3 foot long sections of pipe. As the chimney is built, the bricks are laid on the outside, and the flue pipe sections are stacked up one atop the other as the chimney builds upward. The joint where each section joins the next, should meet exactly and have mortar in the joint to seal it. However, sometimes the flue has to curve, so the joints aren’t always perfect. But if the chimney is built properly, there should be plenty of mortar material around the flue pipe, as well as the outer layer of brick to seal everything in.
If you have a chimney fire, the extreme heat can overcook these flue tile pipes until they crack completely into pieces. If that happens your chimney becomes unsafe, period. In that condition it may leak combustion gases and smoke into the house or walls. In addition, it would be very weak if you had another chimney fire at a later time. It is very important to have a chimney inspection after a chimney fire.
What Happens if I Need a New Chimney Liner?
Well, you can replace the terra cotta flue tiles. You may have to take the chimney down and rebuild it to do this. Sometimes, the flue tiles can be redone all from the top, but not that often.
The quickest, easiest method on your house and budget, is stainless steel relining tubing. This is a continuous flexible stainless tube that goes all the way from the fireplace to the top of the chimney. The old broken tiles are removed, then the tubing is pulled right up through the opening. It can usually be done in a day or two, without tearing down the chimney.
Make sure of one thing.
If you have this stainless reliner installed, make sure you stipulate that the chimney must function before you pay. In other words, it should draw properly. Sometimes not enough attention is paid to the size of the new flue pipe compared to what was there before. The new tubing should be large enough to handle the volume of smoke coming from your fireplace, just like the original was.
Pre Fab Metal Chimneys
Having a metal chimney relined is usually not nearly as traumatic as with a brick chimney. Many times you only have to replace the inner pipe of the double pipe chimney stack. Whether they have to take off the siding or not depends on how large your chase is.
We don’t install chimney liners at this time, but we highly recommend having us inspect your chimney first so you don’t get taken to the cleaners by one of the many unscrupulous companies out there.