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Chimney Fires, Cracked Tiles
In most cases cracked tiles are caused by thermal shock. This severe temperature change is common when creosote ignites in a chimney during a chimney fire. Imagine the same type of cracking when you put a hot glass into cold water, causing the glass to crack and shatter. Although rare, cracked tile liners can also be caused by lighting strikes or a settling house.

FAQ: Are hairline cracks in my tiles serious?

Yes, they are! Tile liners expand and contract as they heat up and cool down. This means that when your chimney inspection is done, your tile liner is at its coolest point, and therefore, the cracks are at their smallest point. When the tiles heat up again, the cracks will enlarge, leaving your home vulnerable to the gases and heat from inside the flue.

In most cases, in order to reline a chimney with stainless steel that was formerly lined with terracotta tile, the tile liner must first be removed. This is done to ensure that the proper amount of insulation can be installed around the new liner. Many companies will either reduce the size of the liner or use an insufficient amount of insulation (i.e., an amount that is not in accordance with NFP211 codes).

When lining or re-lining a chimney that is attached to a wood-burning appliance, we use either a Rigid Liner or Heavy-Wall Flex Liner.

Warning: When installing a liner for a wood-burning appliance, sizing is important! You want the same size liner as the appliance outlet in order to achieve the proper draft (allowing your appliance to burn efficiently) and to reduce creosote build-up. In fact, it is against code (see NFP211) to vent a wood-burning appliance with a liner that is smaller than the appliance outlet (i.e., if the stove outlet is 6 inches in diameter, you must have a liner that is no smaller than 6-inches).