Flue liners are essentially a form of “pipe within pipe” that is used to connect, protect and extend the life of flues. Flue liners can also be placed inside chimneys without fireplaces for added protection from creosote buildup. These are typically made out of stainless steel or another heat-resistant material and installed using an anchor bolt system to ensure a tight fit and sturdy seal. Flue liners provide additional support and resistance to extreme temperatures so your masonry fireplace remains safe from fire hazards created by corrosive gases (from burning wood, gas logs, pellets) that can erode away at the internal lining of your fireplace over time.
Damaged Flue Liner
Many times you can see what appears to be rust (but is actually corrosion) in the flue. In older brick and mortar chimneys, this can spell trouble if it has eaten its way into the internal lining of your fireplace flue. A quick inspection with a flashlight or even just looking up the top of your chimney through the damper opening can tell you a lot about your fireplace’s health. If you notice major blackened streaks across the inside of your chimney where there used to be some shiny liner left, or worse yet, if you see exposed red brick showing through at any point around the firebox area, then it’s time to call someone for help before creosote buildup gets out of hand. Do not attempt to fix this yourself! You can also following Atlantic Brick & Stone guide on flue liner and possible solutions.
Flue Liner Repairs
Inspect your flue liner regularly, make sure it is in good condition and if you can see signs of rusting or creosote buildup, have a professional clean/replace the damaged areas before something goes wrong. If further inspection indicates that a full replacement is necessary, then it’s time to call the experts and schedule someone, to do this work for you. Be aware that even when repairing only one section of liner at a time there are strict rules on how this type of work has to be done if it involves gas lines. It requires special equipment and training unlike many masons who may not know how to do flue repairs with gas lines safely!
Steps involved to replace Chimney Liner
It is not as difficult as it may seem at first. Here are the steps you need to take when replacing your flue liner: But remember if you don’t have knowledge then you should not replace it yourself and hire some chimney expert to do this job.
1. First of all, you will have to find a suitable place for the new lining. To do this use the level and set it on top of a layer of plastic so that you can check if your measurements are precise enough not to cause any issues with the existing chimney structure or pipes nearby. Draw up a plan and sketch out where you want your anchor bolts placed based on how secure you want them to be.
2. When checking whether the line will fit properly, remember that in order for it to stay safely inside the chimney, you need to leave 2 inches at every side free.
3. After getting an idea how your new liner will fit inside your fireplace, it is time to get dirty – with concrete! Take a mixture of water and concrete to the bottom part of the line and start mixing them there. Use a paint roller or just put down some plastic around it so that it can take this mixture easily. In order to check if you have done this right, use a stick or something similar and try inserting within the area where you poured in concrete on top of clay bricks; if you don’t feel any extra resistance apart from the hardness of concrete itself, then everything should be fine. Concrete expands during hardening which leads to perfectly smooth surface.
4. If you think that the concrete is still too sloppy and cannot get up there, then you will have to come up with another solution. For example, you can use clay instead of cement if your top layer is made out of brick (not concrete). In addition, make sure not to pour away any extra mixture as it will be useful later on in step 6!
5. Place a temporary sheet over the flue mesh opening so that it is easier for you to transport everything next door without burning yourself on hot embers or getting dust from brick chimney on your clothes. Next thing you need to do is fix the new liner into place using expansion bolts which are going to create tight fit between it and outer bricks.
6. Now you need to add liner material onto the surface of it, in order to make everything look nice and professional. First prepare a mix of mortar (see instructions below on how to make this) which is going to be used for troweling over brick substrate; when using hot-mix mortar , apply it evenly into freshly exposed bricks so that they become shiny again after hardening. Once this second layer sets up overnight, you can start working with clay mix that should be applied over pieces of jute mesh (so as not to damage flue liner). Ensure your mixture does not contain any extra water which might cause cracking later on. In addition, before applying new layer check if there are any big gaps between existing parts of flue and liner; if there are, cover them up with cement mortar so that you have a smooth surface.
7. If you need to repair chimney cap, make sure not to pour hot-mix mortar into the flue without wrapping it in plastic first as well (especially when having a rectangular or round shape). In addition, always leave the old lining in place until your next step is done otherwise you will encounter problems later on! Again, this might take more than one day to harden depending on weather conditions.
8. Now you can remove all extra pieces of jute mesh and start finishing the surface with clay mixture – be careful to check layer thickness so that it does not exceed 10mm. Leave it drying for several hours (so that it becomes hard) before you try inserting anything there again. Of course, if you have some extra universal flue liner already prepared and waiting for installation, make sure to take it out first as this might be your last chance to do so!
9. If you are lucky enough not to encounter any major problems during this whole process, then keep in mind that the final look of your chimney depends solely on how neat and tidy everything is going to be installed next door. That’s why we recommend working with experienced professional who will use a few tricks like applying clay mixture onto all parts at once so that it bonds better (they also know exactly where every bolt must be placed). This way, new liner should stay wrapped around bricks for several years to come.
10. You can also use one final trick if you want, which involves inserting a special locking system so that liner does not move by itself; just don’t forget to apply clay mix over this part too! Otherwise insulating foam is going to be exposed and it will look awful. In addition, there should always be someone who could monitor temperature in the flue whenever you are working with broken liners as well (just in case).
11. Before applying any new layer of clay mixture on top, make sure your exterior flue is warmer than 20°C. This way you are allowing material extra time to dry out before installing nozzle plate. Also, never apply more than 30mm of clay at once (or you will get cracks later on). The next day, make sure to insert nozzle plate where it belongs and wait for everything to set in.
12. Finally, follow the instructions that came with your flue liner kit to see how exactly everything is going to be assembled into place and worked out properly. Make sure not to use thick mortar as this will cause cracking after application; also, once liner is back in check if there are any bolts extending past the surface of new layer otherwise it can ruin the look of raw brick chimney forever! If everything has gone well then you should be happy by now as well because we haven’t had any reports of serious problems associated with installing clay chimney liners!