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All About Chimney Liners

All modern chimneys have chimney liners. Chimney liners play an important role in helping your chimney to operate safely and efficiently, minimizing fire hazards while also improving performance. Despite the important purpose that chimney liners have, however, most homeowners are unfamiliar with their purpose and function.

What is a chimney liner?

A chimney liner is “a clay, ceramic, or metal conduit installed inside of a chimney, intended to contain the combustion products, direct them to the outside atmosphere, and protect the chimney walls from heat and corrosion.”

What is the purpose of a chimney liner?

steel liner - Seattle WA - Pristine Sweeps

Chimney liners are a safety feature in your fireplace system; their primary purpose is to protect the building materials surrounding your chimney from exposure to the heat from the fireplace. Without a functioning chimney liner, tests conducted by the National Bureau of Standards have shown that framing, walls, and insulation around a chimney can catch fire in as little as three and a half hours.

Chimney liners also play an important role in fireplace function through drafting. A strong and seamless chimney liner that is correctly sized for the fireplace allows smoke and gas to easily pass up and out of the chimney. If the flue is too large or too small, byproducts of combustion may not draft properly, causing health and safety issues for you and your family. Relining the flue, however, is an easy way to ensure the size of the flue matches the size of the fireplace.

Types of chimney liners

There are three types of chimney liners. The type of chimney liner your home needs may depend on many factors including the size of your fireplace and the fuel source it uses. Below are the three most commonly used chimney liners.
  • Clay tile liners. Clay tile liners are the most common type of chimney liner and are the standard choice for most masonry chimneys. Clay liners can last for decades with regular maintenance; however, repairing or replacing the clay tiles can be extremely difficult because of their location within the flue. Because of this, damage to a clay tile liner often results in the chimney being relined.
  • Metal chimney liners. Stainless steel chimney liners are popular choice for chimney liners because they are strong, effective, and durable. High performance metal liners are often the best choice for gas fireplaces and can be used to reline an existing masonry chimney if a new insert is installed.
  • Cast in place liners. Cast in place liners are unique in that they are specially fitted and shaped to your chimney. The cement-like product is applied directly to the inside of the chimney, creating a seamless liner that can also help improve the structural integrity of a damaged fireplace.

Your chimney liner is one of the most vital components of your chimney system. If you have questions about your chimney liner or want to have it inspected, contact Pristine Sweeps today! If your chimney needs to be relined, our expert staff can help you find the right chimney liner for your fireplace – and budget.

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Fire Safety Tips

Fireplaces and stoves are excellent additions to any home. In addition to keeping you warm, these heating appliances can create a welcoming atmosphere that invites family and friends to sit down, relax, and stay a while.

However, it is important for homeowners to understand how to safely operate their fireplaces. The following fire safety tips can help keep everyone in your family safe around the fireplace.

1. Read the manualFire safety tips - Seattle WA - Pristine Sweeps

If you have a fireplace insert or stove in your home, it probably came with a manual. Instead of stuffing it into a junk drawer, take the time to read the manual. These instructional guides are a source of valuable information, including operating instructions and safety tips unique to your specific unit. Likewise, if you experience any problems with performance or usage, your manual can serve as a troubleshooting resource.

2. Keep hands – and paws – away

Thousands of children in the United States are injured by accidental fireplace burns each year. In addition to teaching children fire safety, the best way to prevent these types of accidents is by using a fireplace barrier. Decorative screens or glass doors not only keep little hands – and paws – away from the fire, but also serve as a way to keep coals and embers from popping out of the fireplace and onto your floors or furnishings. Likewise, movable barriers such as baby gates can also be used to keep children a safe distance away.

3. Regularly test smoke alarms

If you have a fireplace or other heating appliance in your home (and even if you don’t!) it is absolutely necessary to have working smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. These lifesaving alarms should be placed on every floor of your home, as well as outside sleeping areas. Test the batteries every six months; alarms should be replaced anytime they stop working or at least every 10 years to ensure they are up-to-date with safety and technology standards.

4. Burn the right materials

Fireplaces are only meant to burn the fuel source they are designed for: gas fireplaces should only burn gas and wood fireplaces should only burn wood. While it may be tempting to burn paper products in your fireplace, these fires can be dangerous in two ways. First, paper burns extremely fast which can cause fires to quickly get out of control. Next, many papers and cardboards contain dyes that release toxic chemicals when burned, affecting your home’s air quality. Instead, choose seasoned firewood for your wood burning fireplace.

5. Keep your fireplace and chimney maintained

Fireplace maintenance is an important part of fire safety; if a fireplace or chimney is allowed to fall into a state of disrepair it may not be safe to use. Instead, have your fireplace and chimney swept and inspected annually to make sure it is in good condition and free from the early signs of deterioration.

Following these fire safety tips can allow you and your family to enjoy your fireplace worry-free. For more information on fire safety or to schedule your next chimney sweeping, contact Pristine Sweeps today!