Some chimneys are in such bad shape they must be relined in order to be used. There are several different methods of relining and we do a few of them and hope to add others as we can. Currently our most common method is putting a stainless steel liner down the chimney and connecting it to an appliance like a fireplace insert or wood stove. The picture above shows the stainless steel liner prior to being smoothed in with Chamber Tech. It is essentially adding a new safer chimney inside a damaged one. This reduces the cost considerably over the entire replacement of a new chimney.
YOUR FIREPLACE INSERT CAN KILL YOU!
Fireplace inserts are notorious for needing to be relined. Most relining is to repair a deteriorated chimney and make it serviceable, however when it comes to fireplace inserts you can have a brand new chimney in perfect condition but it is too big for an insert. Most inserts have a 6-8″ exhaust port and that size needs to be maintained to the top of the chimney. Chimneys are much larger and as the smoke exhausts from an insert it lingers in the larger chimney and deposits on the cooler chimney and smoke chamber walls. In our more than 30 years in business, we have seen very few properly installed except the ones we have relined ourselves. With few exceptions, most inserts are just stuffed or slammed into a fireplace. The danger is hidden out of sight and out of mind … until a chimney fire erupts. Most of those who sell inserts usually are only interested in the sale and/or do not know how to safely install them or do not care about a safe installation. That is changing some what due to the damage an unsafe installation can cause. Don’t believe us? Then watch this video about the dangers.
We routinely remove anywhere from 30-60 gallons of creosote from insert chimneys. One-half to three-quarters of a gallon of creosote is all it takes to start a good bad chimney fire.
Fireplace inserts are very popular because the fire can be controlled very easily by adjusting the draft controls to limit the amount of air getting to the fire. But that convenience comes at a very steep cost. For a fire to burn cleanly it needs to have plenty of air(like an open fireplace offers). When you shut down the air controls on an insert it starves the fire of air. This creates a copious amount of smoke, which is essentially air-borne creosote. As it meanders through the cavernous smoke chamber and chimney it builds up on chimney walls. Each succeeding fire adds a layer of creosote until it becomes very dangerous. Within a short time, even as little as one heating season, the creosote will build up to a very serious level.
The way inserts are commonly installed is asking for serious trouble with devastating results. Many of insert customers reported having chimney fires each in their units over the years. It leads us to believe if you have an insert and have not had a fire yet you are lucky. Because a low fire that this is not very hot will not save you. Low fires mean lots of smoke and creosote and it is just postponing the inevitable.
Unless you take the step to have it properly installed and maintained regularly you are putting your family in danger. We can take care of that chore for you and keep you safe.
If you have previously had a chimney sweep “clean” your chimney without removing the insert-Ask for your money back because THEY DID NOT DO THEIR JOB! To properly clean the chimney of an insert it has to be pulled. There is no way around it. Properly installed, the insert has its own chimney connected to the insert and exiting from the top of the surrounding chimney. This way there is no place for creosote to hide and is easily removed without having to remove the insert each time it is cleaned.
Our favorite way to line chimneys is with ForeverFlex which has a forever warranty. That means no matter how long you live in your home, the chimney is warranted…even against a chimney fire. If the liner is damaged you get a new liner*. *Reinstallation charges are not covered by the warranty.