People often wonder when the best time to replace a chimney liner is. At Capitol Chimney Corp, we always advise not leaving annual fireplace inspection and repairs until the last minute—or you may just miss out on the comfort of a blazing fire when those cold winter nights arrive. If yours needs replacing, spring or summer is the best time to schedule—when you know you won’t be using it for a few months and won’t have to pay extra for a rush job.

What Is A Chimney Liner?

Simply put, a chimney liner is a protective layer covering your chimney’s flue. It protects the flue from moisture damage and corrosion. Unprotected flues can transfer enough heat to your house to cause it to catch fire—A heat-resistant liner helps prevent that. It also helps route dangerous carbon monoxide up and out of your home.

Types Of Chimney Liners

There are three main kinds—what you have likely depends on when your home was built and how long it’s been in place.

  • Clay Tile
  • Metal
  • Cast-In-Place

Clay Tile

These are the most common type, especially in older homes. They’re cheaper than other kinds but are subject to cracking under uneven heating conditions. They only last for around 50 years and are hard to repair or replace. For this reason, when damage is detected, most homeowners will replace a clay tile liner with a different kind.


These are generally made of stainless steel and are the most popular option for homeowners needing a liner replacement. They can be customized for virtually any chimney, are easy to install, and are less expensive than cast-in-place liners.


These consist of a cement-type material poured directly into the flue to harden in place. The result is a highly insulating product that can resist extremely high temperatures. Damage to cast-in-place liners is rare, but if it happens, the entire thing must be removed and replaced. They don’t work in all types of chimney design.

Does My Chimney Liner Need Replacing?

If you notice any of the following danger signs, please call a repair company ASAP. You likely need a liner replacement.

  • Smoke Entering The Home
  • Creosote / Soot Buildup
  • Water Stains On Walls Or Near The Chimney
  • Less Efficient Heating Than Before
  • Bad Smells Coming From Chimney
  • Visible Deterioration In The Liner

Don’t Skip Your Annual Inspection

All fireplace owners should schedule an annual sweep and inspection. Ensuring your fireplace’s efficiency and your family’s safety is essential. Your inspector will look for liner wear and tear signs and other hazards such as cracks, blockages, and leaks. An annual inspection helps increase your chimney’s lifespan and allows you to take care of minor issues before they become major headaches.

March Through September Is Chimney Repair Season

The off-season is the best time to have your chimney swept and repaired. Companies usually have more availability, and warmer weather makes for easier access. You want to be ready to enjoy fireplace season worry-free when cold weather hits.

Leave Your Chimney Repairs To Us

If you’re in Chicagoland, you can trust Capital Chimney Corp to keep your fireplace system in working order. Whether you need a chimney sweep and inspection or believe it’s time to replace a damaged chimney liner, you can trust us to do the job right. Call us now to schedule a service appointment.

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