Fireplaces add a lot to the value of one’s home, but many homeowners find themselves not knowing how they actually work. While this may not be so concerning when things are running smoothly, once smoke pours into your home or you find yourself with less heat than you were hoping for, you may be wondering how to get these issues resolved.
Well, here at The Chimney Doctor, we are all about educating our customers on how their system works, along with ways to stay as safe as possible while operating it. Get some facts below, then invest in the professional care you deserve by working with our team today!
Draft & Airflow
Operating a chimney safely means ensuring you have a good draft and airflow occurring. If downdrafts are swooping through your flue, you’ll be left with smoke and unpleasant odors in your home, and you won’t have much success lighting fires, either. Unfortunately, this problem is all too common for countless homeowners, but we have solutions for you!
Why does this happen in the first place? Well, all homes should be balanced with negative air and positive air, and when this balance shifts, the chimney can send smoke and fumes back into the living space. You see, the warm air in your home rises and eventually escapes through any openings it can find. Meanwhile, cold air comes in from outside (through your chimney) to replace this air. This is called the stack effect, and it creates a Neutral Pressure Plane.
Now, some homes that are too tight and well-insulated can run into problems because the stack effect gets disrupted. The cold air comes in faster than the warm air can escape, and this leaves you with a smoke-filled living room, which is less than ideal. One resolution is to simply open a window when lighting fires to keep things better balanced.
Other times, the draft is affected by clogs or obstructions, in which case a sweeping will be necessary, and in some cases, it’s to do with the chimney construction. All in all, if you are experiencing issues, it’s time to get a professional’s eye on the job – count on the team at The Chimney Doctor for it all!
The Many Parts Of Leak Prevention
Now, another problem many fireplace owners face is excess moisture deteriorating their brickwork and causing damage within their home. There are multiple parts of the chimney that work together to prevent leaks and water damage, but they all need to be in tip-top shape in order to do an effective job.
As you can imagine, water-related damage can have a big impact on draft and airflow, and it can lead to hazardous fumes and gases (like carbon monoxide) entering your home. Fortunately, devices like chimney caps, flashing, top-mounted dampers, and chimney crowns all help to prevent such events from occurring.
The chimney cap sits at the top of your chimney, covering the flue opening so that no snow, sleet, rain, or excess moisture can get in. It also helps to prevent debris and animals from entering, as well as downdrafts. A top-mounted damper will work alongside the chimney cap to prevent anything from the outside coming in, and it offers a tight seal, guaranteeing you the best protection possible.
Unfortunately, neither of these devices can stop water from sneaking through that vulnerable area where the roof and chimney meet, which is why well-functioning flashing is so important. Flashing is a metal piece specially formed to fit this area so that no water can work its way in.
Finally, there’s the crown. It sits near the cap at the top of the chimney, and its slanted shape guides any water out and away from the sides of your masonry structure. This means less exposure to your brickwork and mortar and a longer lifespan all around!
Need help troubleshooting and resolving leaks and other issues of this nature? We’re here for you! Reach out now for the help you deserve.
The Importance Of A Well-Fitted Liner
Now, you likely know that a well-fitted liner plays an important role in protecting the interior parts of your chimney, as well as your home, from the intense heat of the fire, but did you know it has an impact on draft and airflow, too? A liner that isn’t fitted just right will prevent your system from drafting as efficiently as possible, and it will struggle to effectively guide all the smoke and fumes safely out of your home.
Think you need some relining work done? Give us a call. We’ll get a crew member in to check things over so that you can get back to using your fireplace with peace of mind.
We Are Here For You Through It All
We’ve mentioned just a handful of the many services we offer. One thing is for certain: if you have a problem, we’re here to resolve it! Reach out today, so we can get your chimney functioning as well as possible. The Chimney Doctor team has got your back!