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Why You Should Have Your Chimney Relined

After a chimney inspection or when installing a new heating appliance, it is not unusual for a homeowner to learn they need their chimney relined. A flue liner is a significant expense, causing many to ask, “Is chimney relining necessary?” Researchers on chimney safety have an answer to that question. After comparing statistics on lined and unlined chimneys, experts concluded that it is borderline criminal for a chimney to be built without a liner. A damaged liner is essentially as dangerous as not having one at all. Below, learn more about why it may be critical for you to have your chimney relined.

3 Functions of Chimney Liners

Chimney liners, three vital functions:

1. Liners protect combustible parts of a home from heat transfer that could ignite a dangerous house fire. Tests by the National Bureau of Standards (NBS) showed that heat in an unlined chimney rapidly transferred to adjacent woodwork and caused the woodwork to catch fire within 3.5 hours.

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2. Efficiency of a heating appliance is largely dependent upon proper venting. When a new fireplace or fireplace insert is installed in an existing fireplace, the flue must be the correct size for the appliance. For this reason, chimney relining is often necessary. Without proper flue sizing, venting will be inefficient. As a result, fires can’t provide maximum heat to the home. Another outcome is that toxic fumes may enter the home because of the mismatched flue size.

3. Chimney liners protect a chimney from erosion. The usable life of a chimney is greatly reduced if the brick and mortar are exposed to the combustion gases emitted by fires. Which again can lead to a house fire.


Due to their acidic nature, combustion gases literally eat away mortar joints inside a chimney. As a result of the erosion of mortar, heat from the chimney quickly transfers to combustible parts of the home and can ignite a home fire that spreads quickly. In addition, toxic gases can enter the living area of the home. Among those gases is deadly carbon monoxide, which is known as the “Silent Killer.” It is tasteless, odorless, and invisible. By the time symptoms of carbon monoxide exposure are evident, it is often too late for a person to escape.

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You Should Have Your Chimney Relined Due to Damage

Although chimney liners provide protection on several levels, they are also vulnerable to the extreme conditions inside a chimney flue. Damage to a chimney flue might be caused by use over a period of time. Even a well-maintained chimney is continuously exposed to the acids in combustion gases. The exhaust gases wear away a chimney liner, though at a much slower pace than brick and mortar are eroded.

Once even a small crack has developed in a flue, chimney relining becomes necessary. All it takes is one tiny breach in a chimney flue for heat to reach combustibles and for hazardous fumes to enter the home.

You Should Have Your Chimney Relined for an Appliance

Anytime you have a new heating appliance installed in your fireplace, the chimney may need to be relined. For an appliance to operate correctly, the flue must be the size indicated by the heating appliance manufacturer.

Contact the Chimney Specialists

Our trained, certified chimney technicians at Chimney Specialists, Inc., are trusted experts in Highland, Wisconsin, and throughout the surrounding area. At Chimney Specialists and sister store Dubuque Fire & Patio in Dubuque, Iowa, you can rely on professionals for chimney inspections and chimney relining services. Contact either of our stores today. Details are below.

Chimney Specialists Inc.

869 Main Street, Highland, WI

Phone – (608) 929-4887 / Toll Free (800) 395-6660

Dubuque Fireplace & Patio

925 Century Drive, Dubuque, Iowa

Phone – (563) 582-5156

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