Is HeatShield® Relining Right for You?
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Fireplaces have been around – in some form or another – as long as humans have been using fire to heat where they’re living. That said, fireplaces of the past weren’t always built with safety in mind, and they certainly weren’t equipped with features that are now a standard part of the models made today.
Take, for instance, the chimney liner. It wasn’t until the early-to-mid 1900s that chimney liners were even put in use regularly. Based on the knowledge we have now about the dangers of using an unlined chimney, this seems unthinkable, but for those living back then, this was simply the norm.
Fortunately, nowadays, we know better, and the team here at Wolfman is proud to ensure homeowners throughout the San Antonio area are equipped with a sturdy, reliable liner that can bring them years of quality protection. And if you need any other repair services completed, we can help with those too.
Call now or book online with us to get started.
Do I Need a Chimney Liner?
So, here’s the big question… Does a chimney really need a chimney liner, or is it just an extra feature that can help improve efficiency?
Yes, every chimney needs a liner – and if it doesn’t have a liner it’s incredibly dangerous to put the fireplace to use.
Why do chimneys need to be lined?
Chimneys need to be lined because, without a liner in place, your home and masonry are left a whole lot more vulnerable. This is backed by clear-cut evidence too. Back in the 1940s (when chimney liners started being put to use more regularly) and then again in the 1980s, the National Bureau of Standards (now known as the National Institute of Standards and Technology) did some tests to see the true impact liners played.
And the results? What was found was that chimneys without liners were so unsafe that researchers deemed omitting one in the building process as “little less than criminal.” In fact, it was revealed that heat could move through the chimney and ignite adjacent woodwork in only a matter of a few hours. Yikes.
The Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) has named three big reasons why chimney liners are such an essential:
1. They protect your home from heat transfer that could cause areas to eventually catch on fire. Note the stats above about the heat and flames reaching adjacent woodwork. Having that barrier will prevent an event of this nature from occurring.
2. They protect your masonry from acidic fumes and corrosive byproducts. As your fires burn, they give off gases that can break down your bricks and mortar. A liner is a simple and reliable solution for keeping your masonry better protected.
3. They promote high levels of efficiency. Correctly-sized and installed chimney liners result in a much higher level of performance from your fireplace. If there’s anything to know about fireplaces it’s that proper draft and airflow are vital – liners guarantee everything can move through the system as smoothly as possible.
How Do I Know If My Chimney Needs a New Liner?
How can you know if you’re due for a new liner? Easy – schedule a chimney inspection with a certified chimney sweep. There’s no way to know for sure what state your liner is in and what type of relining services you’ll need unless you get an expert’s eyes on the situation.
In the meantime, though, here are a few questions to consider that could mean a new liner will be in order:
- Are you currently missing a liner? Now, obviously, if you know for certain that your chimney doesn’t have a liner, getting one installed as soon as possible (and refraining from using your fireplace until it’s in) is a must.
- Is your current liner damaged? If you glanced up your flue and saw obvious signs of damage, like missing flue tiles or sizable cracks, then you shouldn’t light any more fires until a professional has taken a look.
- Is your fireplace’s performance suffering? If you’re not experiencing as much efficiency from your system, there could be any number of things causing this – and a faulty liner is one of them. Call in a sweep right away to get to the bottom of it.
- Have you recently switched fuel types? Changes in fuel can trigger different liner requirements. If you’re switching fuel types, be sure to ask our sweeps about your needs to ensure everything is functioning as safely and as efficiently as possible.
- Have you switched appliances types? Like with switching fuels, venting requirements can change after updating your appliance type as well. Again, just make sure you check with us to ensure everything is up to par.
How Can Wolfman Restore My Chimney Liner?
Here at Wolfman we’d be happy to reline, restore, or rebuild your current chimney liner. We do this with products from HeatShield®, which we are trained and certified to use and implement.
HeatShield® is a great option for flue tile systems that are showing damage – even significant damage – but it’s not for everyone. Other options for liners include aluminum or stainless steel types, which can also be quickly and efficiently installed.
Aluminum is known for being cheaper, but it’s also a lot less reliable and is bound to break down sooner. Stainless steel options typically come with lifetime warranty (if professionally installed) and are known for their strength and durability.
What Is HeatShield® Relining?
HeatShield® is a great relining method for chimney liners that are damaged or broken down in an otherwise structurally-sound chimney. It eliminates hazards and reduces any draft problems or inefficiency struggles that may be present due to things like cracking, gapping, or spalling.
HeatShield® uses a specially-formulated Cerfractory Sealant to offer three different levels of repairing or relining your chimney. These levels or options are a Joint Repair System, a Resurfacing System, and a CeCure Sleeve Relining System.
What is HeatShield®’s Cerfractory Sealant?
All of HeatShield®’s relining and repair methods involve filling in any gaps, cracks, or holes that are present within your system. So, ensuring we have a reliable product to patch these areas up is important – cue the Cerfractory Sealant.
Not only does this product effectively fill in your chimney’s flaws and imperfections, but it keeps them protected for the long haul too. Once we’re through applying it, you’ll be left with a smooth and streamlined chimney interior that’s well equipped to protect your home, safeguard your masonry, and keep your fireplace running efficiently for the long haul.
Which HeatShield® option is right for me?
We’ve mentioned that HeatShield® has three different methods – one that repairs, one that resurfaces, and one that relines. So, which is right for you?
- Joint Repair System: Is your damage relatively minor? Then, this may be the right path for you. We’ll take a custom foam applicator blade that’s been specifically fitted to your chimney, place it below the gaps and damages, then add the Cerfractory Sealant on top. As we pull the blade up the chimney, the sealant will fill in the damaged areas, smoothing your chimney out and getting it back in good shape.
- Resurfacing System: If your damage is more significant, then consider the Resurfacing System. During this, a custom applicator plug will be placed in your chimney at the bottom (below the damage). Then, like with the Joint Repair System, the Cerfractory Sealant will be poured in. As the plug is pulled up, a ¼-inch layer will be applied to the entire interior surface of the chimney.
- CeCure Sleeve Relining System: Is your liner’s damage too severe for basic repairs – or is it not lined at all? Then, we’ll use the same applicator plug that we would in the Resurfacing System to apply the Cerfractory Sealant, after which a thin ceramic insulation sleeve (that’s reinforced with stainless steel) will be lowered in. Once that’s locked in, we’ll go back in with the applicator plug to add another layer of sealant, after which you’ll be all set.
When Should I Replace My Chimney Liner?
When you’d need a chimney liner replacement will depend on the current type of liner you have and whether or not it has faced damage. Stainless steel liners, for example, often come with a lifetime warranty, so if this is what you’ve been equipped with and there are no obvious issues present, your liner should be just fine.
Aluminum liners, on the other hand, typically need to be replaced more often, as they’re more prone to break down – especially in systems that see a lot of use or aren’t well maintained.
And if you have a clay tile liner? Well, then if it’s showing clear-cut signs of decay or deterioration, it’s likely some professional attention will be in order.
If you have any suspicions that your chimney liner is in rough shape or isn’t performing as well as it should be, here’s what we suggest – call in a professional sweep for a chimney safety inspection. You simply won’t know where you stand until a professional has had a good look and can suggest appropriate solutions.
In addition to this, never put your system to use if you suspect bigger issues may be present. A damaged liner, especially, can invite some dangerous and devastating hazards, such as carbon monoxide leaks or house fires. When it comes to lighting a fire in your home in Boerne, New Braunfels, Seguin, Canyon Lake, San Marcos, or anywhere else in the area, playing it safe is a must. Trust our team for the expert insight you deserve.
Can I Install a Chimney Liner Myself?
Like with most chimney and fireplace services, while this may be technically possible, it’s never going to be an approach we recommend. There are simply too many hazards that a faulty or improperly done installation can invite, all of which put the health and safety of your home – as well as the people in it – at risk.
Trusting a certified team of professionals, like us, guarantees a job well done, so you don’t have to stress about hazards and inefficiency. Still not convinced? Here are a few big reasons why trusting a professional is always the way to go.
- Trusting a professional lowers the risk of fire hazards. It doesn’t take much for flames and heat to reach the woodwork near your chimney – which is why having a quality barrier installed (by a tech who knows their stuff) is imperative.
- Trusting a professional lowers the risk of gas leaks. Like with flames, gases, smoke, and other fumes can easily work their way through any gaps, cracks, or openings and enter your living space – that is, unless a properly installed liner is there to block them.
- Trusting a professional ensures heightened efficiency. If you’re operating a fireplace in your home, you want to get the most from it. Sitting around a fire that doesn’t produce enough heat isn’t a great experience for anyone.
- Trusting a professional ensures building codes are followed. If you find out later your system isn’t up to your local coding rules and regulations, some restoration work will be in order – nobody wants to deal with that.
- Trusting a professional ensures your warranty won’t be voided. A lot of chimney services and products come with warranties, but only if the job is completed by a certified tech.
Long story short? Don’t take any chances. Hire a professional from the start and rest easier every time you light a fire.
We’d Love to Help You Out Soon
There’s nothing we love more than ensuring our clients throughout Kyle, Austin, Schertz, Spring Branch, Helotes, and more are getting the highest level chimney care possible. We’re Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA)-certified, HeatShield®-certified, members of the National Chimney Sweep Guild (NCSG), and we value education and training. Our sweeps are always investing in new learning opportunities and staying on top of any industry advancements.
On top of all that, we always put our customers’ safety and satisfaction first. If you need relining services, masonry repairs, leaky chimney repair services, some annual maintenance completed, or something else, we’re ready and equipped to help you out.
Give us a call at 830-620-9130 or you can start scheduling your appointment online now. We’d love to help you out soon.