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A liner is now considered an essential part of a chimney. Because they keep the heat coming from the fireplace leaking into the exterior of the chimney and avoid chimney fires. Most old chimneys are without a liner which is why they damage the exterior structure of the house. Chimney contractors can install or replace the liner of your choice to make your chimney safer. Because even your chimney has a liner, it may need a replacement after 15-20 years.

There are different types of liners such as clay tile, cast-in-place, and metal. In metal liners, you may have seen stainless steel liners and aluminum liners. Let’s learn the difference between these two types of metal liners.

Stainless Steel Liners

These have been around for about 20 years and becoming popular for their durability.

Supports All Types Of Fireplaces And Chimneys

Stainless steel liners can be used for all kinds of installation be it gas, oil or wood fireplaces. They don’t corrode as aluminum does with some gases. For wood or oil burning fireplaces and stoves, there is nothing better than stainless steel liners.

Stops Liquid Creosote

Creosote is formed due to burning. During the process, because of the heat, creosote is in liquid form. Stain steel stops liquid creosote from seeping into the walls of the chimney.


Stainless steel liners are more expensive than clay tile and aluminum liners. However, their price justifies their durability.

Aluminum Liners


As mentioned, aluminum is more affordable than stainless steel. If your budget is less but you need a metal liner, you can choose aluminum.

Only For Gas Installations

Aluminum is a study material but it corrodes with heat and gases. This is why the right combination for aluminum liners is gas fireplaces. If you have any wood or oil burning fireplace, spend some more money and choose stainless steel liners for the safety of your family.

It also can’t stop liquid creosote from seeping into the mortar. Due to this reason, it corrodes over time with gases.

Average Lifespan Of Chimney Liners

On average, metal chimney liners can last for as much as 20 years. After this time period, make sure to get the liner replaced.

Moreover, some factors can shorten or extend the lifespan of liners.

First factor is the type of chimney liner. The chimney liners with best lifespan are stainless steel liners and cast-in-place liners. They last longer than other types and protect your house from hazards.

Furthermore, the life of a chimney liner also depends on how well-maintained it is. If the chimney and fireplace are regularly inspected, cleaned, and repaired on time, they will work more cleanly and improve the life of the liner.

What About Cast-In-Place Chimney Liners?

Cast-in-place chimney liners are the most durable liners and also the priciest of all the types of liners. They are lightweight cement that also improve the structural integrity of the chimney. They are a permanent chimney liner solution and can keep working well for 50 years. It serves well for all kinds of installations and lasts twice as much as stainless steel liners. These also don’t have any joints or seam, so gases and creosote don’t have any place to seep in.

When To Replace A Chimney Liner?

Although we have learned that stainless steel chimney last for 20 years, but you should be attentive towards your chimney and look for signs to replace the chimney liner.

A big sign of liner problem is when you see your chimney walls deteriorating at a faster rate than normal. Because when your liner is damaged, the gases and heat begin damaged the walls of the chimney. If the exterior of the chimney is damaged a lot, you may also need to repair the chimney other than replacing the liner. So, it’s better to let the contractor inspect the chimney a provide you can estimate of the damage.

Final Word

When we compare stainless steel and aluminum liners, stainless steel is a winner because it doesn’t corrode and is suitable for every kind of installation. If you want chimney relining services Columbia MD to install the best liner, they may recommend cast-in-place liners. But make sure you can afford the time and money it takes for the installation of this material. Otherwise, it’s the best option.


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