A Safer, More Pleasant Fireside Experience Is Possible With Smoke Chamber Parging & Repair
Does smoke come wafting back into your home, ruining your fireside experience nearly every time you try to enjoy your fireplace? Then it’s time to have your smoke chamber inspected.
This area of the chimney system, which is located just above the firebox, is there for one reason: to funnel smoke up into the chimney so it can exit the home. Unfortunately, water damage, poor construction, creosote buildup, and heat damage can make the smoke chamber ineffective, causing smoke to linger in the fireplace or make its way back into your living space. You deserve a better fireside experience and we can help. But first, let’s look at what’s causing your smoke chamber issues.
What makes for an ineffective and unsafe smoke chamber?
- Water damage — If you’ve spent some time perusing our site, you likely already know that water can do a number on the chimney system. Well, the smoke chamber isn’t immune to the effects of chimney leaks either. Just as water can cause the brick and mortar of your chimney system to crack, gap, crumble, and otherwise deteriorate, it has the same effect on your smoke chamber. Why is a water-damaged smoke chamber a problem? Well, aside from the fact that a smoke chamber with a rough surface will slow the exit of smoke, there are other safety concerns to consider. Holes and cracks in the smoke chamber can allow heat, smoke, and hot ash to come into contact with nearby combustibles, damaging wood framing and, in some cases, sparking a house fire.
- Creosote buildup —Creosote is a highly flammable byproduct of combustion that’s formed as smoke cools inside of the chimney system. When acidic and flammable creosote builds up on the walls of the smoke chamber, it can cause extensive damage, slow the passage of smoke, and ignite, causing a house fire.
- Heat damage — Although the smoke chamber is made to take the heat, over time, the high temperature of the fire can cause the walls of the smoke chamber to deteriorate, leaving the surface rough and cracked. As a result, smoke may be delayed in its exit and heat, gas, smoke, and other byproducts of the fire may transfer to nearby combustibles or enter the air supply of the home.
- Poor construction — Sometimes a poorly performing smoke chamber isn’t the result of damage, but of poor construction. Many of the smoke chambers we repair here in the greater Grand Junction area were built by corbelling brick, which is the method of laying bricks atop each other like steps. This method is used to achieve the “inverted funnel” shape that smoke chambers should have, but the jagged edges of the stepped or corbelled brick actually slow the exit of smoke, which can lead to smoke problems and creosote buildup.
So what can you do if your smoke chamber is damaged? Call the service-oriented and friendly Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA)-certified chimney pros here at The Chimney Doctor. We specialize in smoke chamber parging and creosote removal. Here’s a little about each service and the problems they solve:
- Smoke Chamber Parging — Smoke chamber parging is the answer to a damaged, cracked, or corbelled smoke chamber. The process involves the application of Chamber Coat, a smoke chamber restoration system from ChimneySaver. This product is UL listed, highly insulating, resistant to temperatures up to 2550 degrees F, and meets all of the national and local codes. By applying Chamber Coat, we’re able to seal any cracks or holes, smooth jagged edges, repair any brick in the smoke chamber, and reshape the smoke chamber so it’s safer and more effective.
- Creosote Removal — We can also remove any flammable and acidic creosote that may have settled and built up within your smoke chamber using a powerful (yet safe and eco-friendly) product like Cre-Away or PCR. Both allow us to effectively remove even the toughest creosote, without damaging the masonry underneath, so you’re left with a safer chimney system.
Is It Time To Have Your Smoke Chamber Looked At? Give The Chimney Doctor A Call!
When was the last time you had your smoke chamber inspected by a CSIA-certified chimney inspector? The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommends annual inspections, and there’s no time like the present. So call The Chimney Doctor at 970-234-3330 or reach out to us here on our website and we’ll get your inspection scheduled ASAP. If an inspection reveals a damaged, corbelled, or otherwise unsafe and ineffective smoke chamber, we’ll take care of it for you — and we’ll do the job right, the first time around.
Our masonry repair experts are the perfect people to call for professional chimney rebuilds, restorations and extensions. Give us a try.