What Type of Chimney Liner Should I Use?

Question: We own a really old house with an unlined central chimney. We want to add a liner to it. What types are available and what are the differences?

Answer: If a chimney has no liner or the liner is damaged, there are two basic choices for installing a functional liner. The first involves lowering a rigid or flexible stainless steel flue liner into the chimney. Before insertion, the liner is wrapped with a ceramic blanket that is held in place with a wire mesh. The blanket insulates the liner from the masonry and helps to keep the flue warmer, which promotes a better up-draft. As an alternate, a lightweight cement mix can be poured around the liner.

The second approach involves lowering an inflatable hose down inside the chimney. The hose is inflated and lightweight slurry is poured into the chimney around the hose. Once in place, the hose is deflated and removed. This method requires care in installing since the excess pressure could "blow out" a weak chimney.

Check your local business directory for certified chimney sweeps or chimney restoration services to get more information on your chimney's condition and options for lining.

Remember, these tips are only general guidelines. Since each situation is different, contact a professional if you have questions about a specific issue. More home safety and maintenance information is available online at housemaster.com.

This information is provided for general guidance purposes only. Neither DBR Franchising, LLC nor the local HouseMaster® franchise warrants its accuracy and assumes no liability related to its use. Contact the local franchise office and/or qualified specialists for advice pertinent to your specific house or circumstances. © Copyright 2008 DBR. Each HouseMaster franchise is an independently owned and operated business. HouseMaster is a registered trademark of DBR Franchising, LLC.

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