Stainless Steel — The Safer, More Durable Relining Option
Finding out that you need to have your liner replaced can be disheartening — after all, it’s not exactly a “fun” expense. But there is a silver — er, stainless steel, rather — lining! Here at The Chimney Doctor, our CSIA certified experts are highly trained in relining. We carefully evaluate each individual chimney system and we have the knowledge and experience needed to make the best recommendation for your situation, and typically, that’s stainless steel.
What Makes Stainless Steel Liners Such A Great Relining Option?
While there are certainly other chimney liner options, like aluminum and clay tile, for example, stainless steel is a far better option for the following reasons:
- Stainless steel liners are durable — Aluminum liners may last for several burn seasons, but as a weaker metal, they certainly aren’t a “forever” option. Likewise, clay tile liners can be incredibly durable, but when they do crack or undergo damage, it’s not always possible (or cost-effective) to make repairs. Stainless steel liners, on the other hand, are highly resistant to corrosion and can provide a lifetime of service. Plus, installation is quick, which means you can get back to enjoying your fireplace or stove faster.
- Stainless steel liners are approved for use with all fuel types — If you have a wood-burning appliance and switch to gas (or vice versa) at some point in the future, your existing liner may not be equipped to vent the new appliance. Not all liner types can handle the combustion byproducts and heat of every fuel type, but stainless steel liners can safely vent all fuels – wood, gas, and pellet.
- Stainless steel liners come in a variety of sizes — The flue liner needs to be properly and proportionately sized to match with the attached appliance, and stainless steel liners make that easy because they come in a variety of sizes. Likewise, they are available in flexible and rigid models, which means that, even if your chimney is somewhat unique in its construction, we can find a stainless steel liner that will fit.
But not all stainless steel liners are the same or offer the same degree of durability and corrosion resistance. There are many different types of stainless steel liners available, including 304L, 316Ti, and AL 29-4C (which we highly recommend in gas applications, as common stainless steels are not capable of standing up to the corrosive condensate produced by gas appliances), and liners are available in flex, rigid, pre-insulated, and other options.
Our Stainless Steel ForeverFlex Liners Come With A Forever Warranty!
Here at The Chimney Doctor, our standard is the Forever Flex 316Ti stainless steel alloy chimney liner, which can resolve a whole host of issues and, when professionally installed and annually inspected by a CSIA certified chimney sweep, carries a forever warranty. These liners are UL tested and listed to the UL 1777 standard (Underwriters Laboratories), made of the highest quality metal available, and built to last!
While we generally install 316Ti liners as a baseline for longevity and reliability, your specific lining needs may differ. A professional level II inspection will be performed by one of our CSIA certified chimney sweeps to assess the state/condition of your system and determine which lining system will be best for you. No matter what option we recommend, you can rest assured it will meet the requirements of the UL Standard 1777 for safe use with your specific appliance.
Note: The lifetime warranties on our liner systems are only honored if the system is annually inspected by a CSIA certified chimney sweep.
Why Liner Insulation Is So Important
We also insulate our liners, and for good reason! Proper insulation:
- Increases draft & efficiency— Insulated stainless steel liners can warm up faster, leading to hotter fires and greater heat production for your home, less smoke production, and better draft. The better the draft, the better the performance and the less you’ll have to worry about smoke and other byproducts wafting back into your home.
- Boosts safety — Unfortunately, most masonry chimneys don’t have adequate clearance from combustibles, and determining whether one does or doesn’t can be time-consuming and require the removal of walls and other components. It’s safe to assume that your chimney doesn’t have adequate clearances, but insulating the liner can resolve safety concerns so you can rest easy.
- Reduces creosote and condensate — By keeping flue gases warmer while in the chimney, an insulated flue can prevent the build up of creosote and the damage caused by condensation, moisture, and the freeze/thaw process. This is especially important with gas appliances, as they produce greater amounts of moisture and push most of their heat into the home itself. With such a small amount of heat in the actual chimney itself, water vapor can cool and result in more condensation on flue walls and greater liner damage.
The type of insulation used and its installation is key to the safety and function of the chimney system, so don’t leave this work to the inexperienced. Trust The Chimney Doctor.
So when should you choose to reline with stainless steel?
Our experienced and knowledgeable, Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA)-certified chimney professionals will make recommendations and let you know whether or not stainless steel is the best option for your particular situation, but most commonly, we recommend stainless steel in these circumstances:
- the clay tile liner is beyond repair (relining with stainless steel is typically the most cost-effective option in this situation)
- you’re changing fuel types/appliance types or there’s a possibility you’ll change fuel types or appliance types in the near future (as long as your stainless steel liner is the proper size for your new appliance, you won’t have to invest in yet another liner when you swap appliances or fuels)
Of course, sometimes issues are a bit more extensive and require more than just the installation of a new liner. For example, when the chimney system is improperly constructed, doesn’t meet local building codes, or has other bigger safety and efficiency problems, it may be best to invest in the Ahren-Fire Fireplace Restoration system. This is an all-in-one system that is incredibly insulating and can bring a fireplace up to code, eradicate efficiency and performance issues, and make an otherwise unsafe and unpleasant fireside experience something wonderful. Learn more about Ahren-Fire here and more about when and why your chimney may need to be relined here.
Not Sure If Stainless Steel Is Right For You? Speak With One Of Our Experienced Chimney Advisors
If an inspection or chimney issue has revealed that it’s time for you to invest in a new chimney liner, give The Chimney Doctor a call at 970-234-3330. One of our experienced advisors can provide more information and help you determine whether or not a stainless steel liner is the best and most cost-effective option for your home. Call or fill out our online appointment request form to get started!