Chimney Liner 101 — What Is Chimney Relining & When Do You Need To Reline?

First things first: what is a chimney liner?

A chimney liner, or flue liner, by definition 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.”

The Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) lists the three main functions of a chimney liner as follows:

  1. Protect the home from heat transfer to combustibles.
  2. Protect the masonry from the corrosive byproducts of combustion.
  3. Provide a correctly sized flue for optimum efficiency of appliances.

Sounds simple enough, right?

But the bad news is: sometimes liners get damaged.

Historically, chimney liners have been made of terra cotta tiles stacked on top of each other and connected with refractory mortar. Trouble is, these liners aren’t impervious to the damage caused by thermal shock and freeze/thaw cycles, which is why they can crack, fracture, and form gaps and holes over time.

And as such an important part of the chimney system with such big jobs to do, a damaged flue liner can seriously impact the safety, efficiency, and performance of the whole system.

In fact, when cracks form, mortar joints deteriorate, or tiles fall down into the fireplace, the liner is no longer serving its purpose, which means it’s no longer keeping you and your home safe.

That’s why when damage is present, we recommend that repairs be made before the chimney is used again.

But damage isn’t the only reason to reline. You may also need to reline your chimney if these conditions exist:

  • The flue is inappropriately sized for the appliance it’s venting.
  • Your chimney doesn’t have a liner.
  • You’re switching fuel types and the liner you have installed is not suitable for the new fuel type or appliance type.
  • You’ve had a chimney fire.

Chimney Relining – What Are The Options?

We offer the very best chimney liner repair and relining options here at Wright’s Hearth, Heat & Home. Here’s what you need to know about each:

  1. FireGuard Flue Repair & Resurfacing — FireGuard is a patented system that uses ceramic mortar and pinpoint vibration to seal fractures and voids in flue liners and resurface flue liners. This system is the best performing ceramic flue repair system out there, and makes what was once impossible, totally doable and affordable. We might recommend this option if your clay tile flue liner is deteriorating in some spots or needs to be resurfaced, but is still structurally solid and appropriately sized for your appliance.
  2. Stainless Steel Liners — Stainless steel liners are great options for any fuel type and can address a number of issues, including draft issues, flue size issues, damaged liners, and missing liners. The stainless steel liners we sell and install come backed by a transferrable lifetime warranty, which makes them an excellent choice for just about anyone.

Does Your Chimney Need To Be Relined? Schedule Your Video Inspection Today To Find Out

If you have any questions about chimney liners or you’d like to have a video-scan inspection of your chimney flue performed to determine if any damage is present, give us a call at 828-687-9002.

Our certified, licensed, and insured chimney professionals have the tools, knowledge, and expertise needed to keep you informed. We’ll even provide written documentation of our findings, and when applicable, provide an estimate for any needed repairs for the system.

Give us a call or reach out to us here on our website to schedule your inspection today.


Smoke chamber repair is all in a day’s work for our chimney and fireplace repair crews, so give us a call and we’ll get you on the schedule.