Homeowners will often tell you that they forget about certain parts of their home until they either need to use it or something bad happens. Unfortunately, fireplaces and chimneys often end up in this category because they are not used year-round. However, it’s important to realize that improvement and maintenance requirements are a part of owning a home and that includes these appliances that are infrequently used. If you refuse to maintain appliances like fireplaces and chimneys you could easily end up with costly repairs and potentially dangerous occurrences.

One of the most common things you may run into is a situation where your chimney will need relining. Relining is usually considered the easiest and most economical way to maintain and repair a chimney that either has a damaged liner or no liner at all, which is common in older homes. Also, since houses settle with age, small areas of damage to your chimney can occur that is difficult to notice. Other causes of chimney damage are lightning strikes, hurricanes and chimney fires. Again, many older chimneys either were improperly lined or not lined at all. In other situations, the liners have deteriorated or simply need replacing.

If you have had harsh weather recently, it would be a great idea to have your chimney checked to see if there has been any damage to the liner. If so, it might need to be relined. If your chimney is older, a chimney inspector should be called to examine it, and determine its condition and find out if it needs lined or relining. If you suspect your chimney has creosote or chemical build-up or you have an unusual smell coming from the chimney, a chimney professional will be able to determine whether it needs to just be cleaned properly or possibly relined. Chimney liners alleviate creosote build-up, which makes them a very good and important investment for your home. If you are converting your wood fireplace to gas, it is recommended that your reline your chimney as part of the conversion process.

There are multiple kinds of liners to choose from. They each serve a specific function. Stainless steel is installed using a round liner. They can be either flexible or immobile. You’ll find these liners in homes with a woodstove, and also in homes with a furnace. Cast-in-place are installed with a rounded frame, also called a bladder. Casting is poured around the frame, securing it in place. After it settles, the frame is removed, revealing a new flue. This is recommended for owners of fireplaces and certain types of furnaces. You’ll find cast-in-place liners in older chimneys that have been relined because of the support they provide. Aluminum is typically only used in homes with specific types of gas appliances. You see flue tiles used in newer homes with advanced appliances.

Relining should be considered a necessary part of owning a chimney at some point since the heat and wear will eventually wear the liner thin. You should have a chimney professional inspect your chimney to determine if relining is needed. If you’re facing a relining situation, the professional will be able to recommend the specific liner for your needs. Don’t let affordable repairs snowball into large ones later on down the road.