We Won’t Overlook Your Smoke Chamber!
One of the areas of your chimney system that is most susceptible to cracks, damage and creosote buildup is the smoke chamber. This is the area of your chimney that receives the most direct heat, as it sits just above the fire. This can lead to cracked masonry, rapid creosote buildup, and a host of other problems that many other chimney companies won’t touch. But at Brickliners, we’re not afraid to go where others won’t! We know how important it is that your smoke chamber stays in peak condition, and we’re here to make sure of it!
What is A Smoke Chamber?
The smoke chamber is one of the most important and overlooked areas of your chimney system. It is the area just above the firebox that acts as the gateway to the chimney flue. The main job of the smoke chamber is to guide smoke and toxic gases up into the chimney where they can safely exit the home. If the masonry of the smoke chamber is damaged, or if the dimensions of this part of your chimney are not correct, it can make using your fireplace inefficient and dangerous.
Unfortunately, many chimneys have smoke chambers that are damaged and not up to current standards. Here are some of the recommendations that the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) lays out to ensure that smoke chambers are functioning properly:
- A smoke chamber should not be taller than the fireplace opening width
- A smoke chamber should not be deeper than the fireplace opening
- Smoke chamber walls should not incline more than 45 degrees from vertical
- The walls of the smoke chamber should be smooth to help reduce turbulence that can upset air flow
- The flue should start directly at the top of the smoke chamber and should be free of radical offsets or bends
Is your smoke chamber up to par?
Parging Can Make All The Difference
When it comes to repairing or correcting problems with a smoke chamber, parging can go a long way. Parging is the process of applying a specialized refractory mortar to the walls of the smoke chamber to give it a smooth surface. This allows the air and smoke to flow properly; it can also help redefine the dimensions if a smoke chamber was not built correctly.
Are there cracks and gaps in your smoke chamber? Parging it smooth can also help seal any voids in the masonry that could otherwise allow smoke, gases, and heat to escape into the surrounding walls and home. Parging is so incredibly beneficial that most building codes now require smoke chamber walls to be parged.
Don’t Let A Damaged Smoke Chamber Ruin Your Fireplace Experience
At Brickliners, we have years of experience inspecting, parging, and repairing smoke chambers. If you are having issues with your chimney or fireplace, or are noticing excessive smoke in your home when your fireplace is in use, give us a call at 802-872-0123. We can make the necessary repairs so that you can get back to enjoying your fireside experience. Click here to request an appointment online!