Taking care of your chimney involves more than just regular cleaning, you must ensure your fireplace components are in working order and up to code. This article will help you figure out the lifespan of your fireplace chimney liner and the factors to consider when getting a replacement.
This component serves two important purposes: it keeps carbon monoxide from leaking into your home and prevents the overheating and scorching that can cause a fire. Since a masonry chimney cannot accomplish these two things alone, a liner is essential for safety. Not only do they protect your chimney, most fire codes require them.
On average, they last between 15-20 years, with some continuing up to 50. If your liner is at least a decade old, get it inspected to determine its condition and estimate its lifespan.
The material a chimney liner is made from will have the greatest impact on its lifespan.
- Clay tile chimney liners: As the most common material, clay tile is cheaper and easier to acquire, but doesn’t absorb and distribute heat as well as others. The lifespan also varies based on the construction and composition, ultimately lasting anywhere from 5 to 15 years.
- Metal chimney liners: Usually made from stainless steel or aluminum, these are easy to install thanks to their light weight. While more expensive than clay liners, metal ones’ safety and durability lasts between 15 and 25 years.
- Cast-in-place chimney liners: Due to being constructed of cement, this type actually improves the structural integrity of a chimney. While harder to install and more expensive than the other options, these liners last an average of 50 years.
Which type of chimney liner you should get depends on your priorities. If you don’t mind a more expensive installation to avoid premature repairs or replacements, then a cast-in-place liner will be ideal. However, if you don’t have the extra cash to spend upfront, clay tile or metal are still good options.
Whatever you use, make sure the material is of high quality to maximize its lifespan. You’ll pay more upfront, but it will last longer and you won’t have to deal with the potential of a fire hazard or code violation.
Do You Need Chimney Repair? Not sure if your chimney liner needs fixing up? Read this guide to find out if a repair is necessary.
Creosote builds up in your chimney as you burn wood over time. Since it’s highly flammable, chimney fires are particularly dangerous and difficult to extinguish.
To avoid this, clean your chimney at least once a year, depending on how often you use your fireplace. If you only build a couple of fires each winter, you probably don’t need to clean your chimney that often, but you should still have it inspected for structural integrity on a yearly basis.
Remember that cleaning is only part of maintaining a fireplace. If your chimney liner is old, worn, or broken, it won’t retain and distribute heat properly and could contribute to a fire.
A safe and high performance fireplace system requires more than a properly functioning chimney linker. Regular chimney maintenance, including cleaning, is critical for your safety. If you’ve owned your home for a while, and can’t remember the last time you maintained the fireplace, now’s the time to call a professional. Futhermore, if you’ve recently moved into a new home and are unsure of the last time it was worked on, a standard inspection from a professional can give you peace of mind and pinpoint any problems..
If you’re not sure about the type or condition of your chimney liner, get an inspection to learn both. If anything needs to be repaired or replaced, Approved Home Improvements can help.
We specialize in chimney-related maintenance, including chimney liner installation. We’ll also make recommendations for chimney repairs and restoration where necessary, or if you need other services, like tuckpointing or a chimney sweep. Contact us today for a free consultation.