The Most Common Chimney Installations & Replacements
The chimney installations and replacements you encounter will depend on the type of furnace, fireplace, or wood stove you have. However, we have found that there are several things that come up for homeowners over and over again. Here are the chimney components that most commonly need to be replaced from time to time:
Chimney Flue Caps
The flue cap is the covering at the top of your chimney flue that keeps water, birds, and debris out. Unfortunately, a flue cap can wear out, rust, or even be blown off by strong winds. Thus, it’s a very commonly needed installation/replacement.
A top-sealing damper is a damper that sits at the top of the flue, rather than down in the throat of the chimney. Top-sealing dampers work to keep the flue closed off when the fireplace is not in use, and can prevent downdrafts, energy waste, moisture leaks, and animal/bird intrusion. When traditional throat dampers rust or wear out, many homeowners opt to replace with a top-sealing damper because it’s such an effective and energy-saving alternative.
Metal Chimney Surrounds
Chimney surrounds are a great solution for covering up that big metal pipe sticking out of your roof. Unfortunately, older chimney surrounds may become deteriorated or rusted over time and need to be replaced.
Before and After
Smoke Chamber Repair
Inside your masonry fireplace, there is an area called the smoke chamber, which is located above the firebox and at the base of the chimney flue. It is in this area that smoke gathers before it is exhausted up and out the chimney. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), defective smoke chambers are the third leading cause of chimney-related house fires. To protect the integrity and efficiency of your fireplace:
- Gaps, cracks, and jagged edges should be filled and smoothed out with an insulating, high-temperature mortar. Because the smoke chamber is a “high-heat” area, any gaps, cracks, or holes can allow excessive heat to attack surrounding wood or combustibles.
- The corbelled areas of the smoke chamber should be coated with an insulating, high-temperature mortar. The jagged corbelling slows the draft and will provide more surface area for highly-combustible creosote and soot to form.
We use a high-temperature cerfractory mortar to repair smoke chambers. The product is either hand parged or applied mechanically to seal holes, gaps, and cracks and to smooth the jagged and corbelled brick edges. It restores the integrity of your fireplace. But more importantly, it increases the safety and efficiency of your fireplace.
Smoke Chamber Repair
Factory-built fireplace (prefabricated/zero clearance) systems have a covering at the top called a chase cover. Over time, some chase covers develop holes allowing water to penetrate the system and cause water damage. It is a good idea to replace an old chase cover with a stainless steel cover, rather than a galvanized steel cover, because stainless steel will resist this damage and last a lot longer. At Clean Sweep of Anne Arundel County, we will measure and custom fabricate a new stainless steel chase cover that’s correctly sized for your chimney and designed to shed water.