In this blog post, we will explain the basics of how a chimney works. We will cover the different parts of a chimney, how it functions, and some common problems that can occur. Placed in the middle of the firebox, this door can easily allow you to remove ash from your firebox and into the ash dump. The space below the damper and above the firebox is known as the throat.
A charcoal chimney starter is basically a metal tube that you insert briquettes into (we’ll talk more about why this works in a bit). It has a grate toward the bottom that keeps the coals from falling through, and a couple of handles so you can pick the coal starter up when it’s hot. If you suffer from smoke nuisance, the reason may be due to inadequate cleaning and maintenance. All these types of appliances should have a minimum cleaning after each use.
The necessary measures will depend on the severity of the damage and the specific problems detected. Check for signs of water entry, such as water stains or dampness around the fireplace.
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Mesh is frequently used around chimney tops to keep animals like birds and squirrels out of your chimney. Due to its spark guard-like properties, this mesh can also assist in preventing fires in your home. The NFPA recommends that all chimneys be cleaned and inspected annually because if the system is compromised, it creates a fire hazard. It’s best not to merely assume that a chimney system is in good working condition, no matter the circumstances. They’ll also inspect the exterior of the chimney for potential hazards, like a damaged chimney cap or a loose roof flashing. You can purchase chimney cleaning products and do it yourself, or call a licensed chimney sweep.
But only a real wood-burning fireplace, with its deep crackle and glowing orange embers, is capable of sparking romance and comfort. However, having a wood-burning fireplace requires serious maintenance. A poorly maintained chimney can lead to a sooty, smelly home interior and a terrifying incident known as a chimney fire. You may consider DIY repairs for minor chimney masonry issues, such as small cracks or minimal mortar erosion. Before attempting any repairs, remember that this should only be done if you have basic masonry skills and feel confident in your abilities. Safety is paramount, and doubts about your capabilities should prompt you to seek professional assistance. Conducting a thorough exterior inspection is essential to identifying chimney masonry damage.
Some less obvious forms of damage can be leaks in the flashing and the masonry absorbing excess amounts of water. Some of the first signs of leaks can be staining or bubbling of the paint or drywall around or above your fireplace, or damp or dark spots in the attic or the underside of your roof. And if your masonry has absorbed too much water from the heavy rains and high humidity, you may notice white, chalky spots on the bricks. These are known as efflorescence, and mean that the water content inside of your bricks is high enough to absorb and redistribute salts that are naturally present in the masonry.
The flue is the part of the chimney that carries the smoke and hot air up and out of the house. It is usually made of metal or clay and is usually lined with bricks or mortar.
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It gives you a more confined fire and doesn’t require a chimney. Stoves that aren’t set up inside of an existing fireplace, with a chimney, require a twin wall system to carry the fumes out of the home. According to the National Fire Protection Association, chimneys should be inspected once a year, which is different from cleaning. The inspection process identifies whether a chimney actually needs cleaning, which is sometimes a mystery to the clients themselves. The tunnel through which smoke and exhaust can leave your house is the chimney flue. Since soot poses a fire risk, it’s crucial to have it inspected annually and professionally swept as needed.