Having an unlined chimney puts your house at danger. Installing a liner is necessary for you to reduce the possibility of a chimney fire. It's good to be self-dependent, but some works are so difficult that you need a professional's help to accomplish them.
Installing a chimney liner falls into this category. Only a professional knows the key functions of a liner and its importance. Having said that, there's no harm in knowing all the details of how to install one.
- A rope, the length of which exceeds your chimney. The length should ideally be twice the length of your chimney.
- An angle grinder with metal cutting wheels, or a tin snip. Don't use a hacksaw as it is difficult to wield.
- Hand-gloves, masks, goggles and dust-proof clothing for two people.
- A nosecone
Even for an experienced professional, installing a flue liner may appear daunting enough to retreat right from at the outset.
The factors that make the work difficult are:
- The height of the liner. If the liner is 6" long, then you might face a difficult time fitting it, especially if your chimney is tight. Go through a chimney liner sizing guide if you are not sure which liner to pick.
- Acrophobia. Homeowners, who have it are strongly recommended to hire local roofers or chimney professionals.
- Naivety. Most homeowners are not familiar with the tools, required for fitting an installer. Inexperience makes it a must for them to abandon the thoughts of DIY and call up a professional.
The most common method is glissading the liner into the flue from the top. The flue shouldn’t contain any soot, or else the roofer/chimney professional will end up being covered in it.
The professional will first identify which pot belongs to your fireplace. If he carries out sweeping without identifying the right pot, your entire room could be filled with soot. When sweeping the chimney, cover your fireplace opening so soot doesn't emit to your house.
For chimneys with liners
If the chimney already has a liner, then it needs to be removed. The liner installer can remove it in two ways; drag it up from the top or down from the bottom. Most experienced sweeps recommend the latter for safety reasons because carrying an approximately 10-meters long tube while standing near the chimney stack at the rooftop could be risky.
Your liner arrives
A fresh new liner normally arrives at a home coiled like a boa constrictor. Don't get afraid seeing it (pun intended). The installer will unroll it and then unroll the insulation wrap too. He'll spray adhesive onto the wrap, and then attach the liner to the insulation. Next, he'll tape them meticulously and pull the wire mash and assemble the liner.
The installer and his helper will then carry the liner to the roof. Since this part is risky, ordinary ladders are not recommended. A mechanical ladder or a cat ladder is what the installer should use.
Shoving the liner
If the installer is doing it from the rooftop, his helper needs to be in the room near the bottom of the chimney to grab it, or likewise. The liner needs to be shoved gently, so the one at the bottom could get a hold of it easily, and prepare the tee connection. The removal of the stove for a time being is necessary. After preparing the tee connection, the stove could be put back in place.
The installer might come across some unprecedented problems. The liner might get stuck on a bend when he drags it upward or he may mistakenly lift the wrong side of the liner up. By following the recommended practices, he can prevent such problems from arising.
At the end
There's always something to learn. Installing a liner is not an exception to this rule. Even if a professional takes care of the work, you can always observe how he's addressing each part of the work and learn how to install a chimney liner.
This way, if you reline your chimney in the future, you’d be able to handle the work yourself and won’t need help from anyone.
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