Chimney works best with flue liner

Three types to choose from

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Q: We bought a Queen Anne Victorian 10 years ago, but have never used the chimneys because the chimney sweep said pigeons had been pecking at the mortar. There is no chimney liner. I have been up on the roof and see where some of the mortar is missing, and think I could easily fix that. I tore out the plaster on the first floor covering the chimney, thinking I might just be able to repair it from the outside, but it all looks pretty good. We don't have a lot of money, so I usually try to do things myself. I read somewhere that there was a special high-heat mortar that should be used, but I haven't found a source for it. What would you suggest to make the chimney usable? A: The heyday of the Queen Anne was the 1890s. It's an architectural style characterized by pediments and porticos, dentil moldings and plenty of fancy trim known as gingerbread. In those days, heat was provided by coal. Your fireplace is probably one of several "coal heaters" gracing your home. ...