What is a smoke chamber?

The smoke chamber sits just above the firebox and damper. It serves as a gateway to the chimney flue. In traditional masonry fireplaces, the smoke chamber is angled on the sides and front and vertically flat at the back. This construction is intended to serve as an upside-down funnel.

How do you build a chimney smoke chamber?

Smoke Chamber Video HD – YouTube

Where is the smoke chamber in a fireplace?

The smoke chamber is the part of your chimney system that is located just above the damper and connects the firebox to the flue. It’s shaped like a reverse funnel and is designed to guide smoke from the fire up into the flue so that it can quickly and effectively exit the home.

What is a smoke box in a fireplace?

The smoke chamber is the area above the fireplace firebox (where you build your fire) just below the flue. This space is used to allow smoke to mix and curl in a circular motion and rise into the flue. … The use of angled walls in conjunction with good fireplace design and maintenance helps facilitate this.

How do you clean a chimney smoke chamber?

Peel back a small portion of the poly sheeting and use the long-handled brush to clean the smoke chamber. Use the noodle brush to remove all the soot from the smoke shelf. Then switch back to the long-handled brush to clean the sides of the firebox. Finish by vacuuming the entire firebox.

What is the purpose of smoke shelf?

Smoke shelf

Located between the firebox and smoke chamber (see below), the smoke shelf’s job is to collect any rainwater or debris that may have entered the chimney. The smoke shelf also helps to prevent downdrafts from sending smoke and toxins into your home.

Why do people Parge smoke chambers?

When done correctly, parging offers several benefits: Improved safety of the chimney, Increased structural integrity of the smoke chamber area, Improved draft and fireplace performance, which lowers the amount of creosote that builds up within the chimney system.

What does it mean to Parge a smoke chamber?

The most common repair to your chimney’s smoke chamber — which serves to funnel smoke from the fireplace opening into the flue — is parging. Parging is a coating of mortar applied to the brick to give the smoke chamber a smooth surface. … During a chimney fire, the parging is often cracked and damaged.

Is smoke chamber parging necessary?

When smoke chamber parging is needed

The CSIA recommends that all smoke chambers have smooth walls, and most building codes require it. … In the case of an uneven, or corbeled, smoke chambers, the CSIA recommends parging. Additionally, parging can be recommended when the bricks of the smoke chamber break down.

How much does it cost to Parge a smoke chamber?

Cost to Parge Chimney

Chimney parging coats the smoke chamber with mortar and costs $1,000 to $2,000. Parging smooths over the smoke chamber so that any residue that lies in uneven crevices doesn’t leak out or combust.

How hot does a smoke chamber get?

How hot does it get? Testing in our industry shows that chimney fires can reach well over 2100 degrees, and many get as hot as 3000 degrees, as in a test by the Midwest Chimney Safety Council did several years ago. After the fire is out, the chimney continues to heat up.

How do you Parge a smoke chamber?

What’s involved with parging a smoke chamber – YouTube

Do chimney cleaning logs really work?

Many homeowners wonder if the chimney sweep logs or creosote sweeping logs really work to clean out fireplace flues and get rid of creosote residue so that the fireplaces are safe to use. The short answer is no, they don’t work. At least, not well enough to completely clean out the flue the way it should be cleaned.

How can I tell if my chimney needs cleaning?

Here are seven tell-tale signs that indicate your chimney or fireplace needs cleaning:

  1. Your fireplace smells like a campfire. …
  2. Fires burn oddly. …
  3. It takes more effort to get a fire going and keep it going. …
  4. Smoke fills the room. …
  5. The fireplace damper is black. …
  6. Fireplace walls have oily marks. …
  7. There’s evidence of animals.

How often should a chimney be swept?

You should have your chimney swept at least once a year as a bare minimum. This ensures your chimney is kept as clean as possible and prevents buildup that will become harder to remove if you leave it.

Is a smoke shelf necessary?

A fireplace does not need a smoke shelf to keep it from filling the room with billowing smoke. … The entire fireplace (except its foundation and chimney top) should be inside the house. Even though the flue is toward the front of the fireplace, the backsurface of the fireplace does get warm.

Is a smoke shelf needed in an outdoor fireplace?

Outdoors the slightest wind can downdraft your fireplace and force smoke forward of the hearth. To reduce this, a “smoke shelf” must be designed into all wood burning fireplaces, your flue sizing must be calculated properly, and chimney height must be tall enough to encourage proper draw.

How do you make a smoke shelf?

A smoke shelf is created by filling the void behind the firebox with brick or rubble, creating a large thermal barrier. At that top of that filled void is a flat or concave area that is parge coated to form the smoke shelf.

What is the chimney crown?

The chimney crown is a slab of concrete that tops the masonry chimney. It’s sole design is to prevent water from running into the chimney. It reaches from the liner to the outside of the chimney with a slight taper to allow water to run off the chimney.

How much does it cost to parge a chimney?

The average cost to parge a chimney is between $1,000 and $2,000. Parging is done in the smoke chamber. The process involves applying mortar around the interior of the smoke chamber, giving the entire chamber a smooth, balanced surface to improve structural integrity.

What is chimney damper?

A chimney damper prevents conditioned (warmed or cooled) house air from escaping through the flue when you’re not using the fireplace. You need to open the damper when you start a fire to allow for proper airflow and let the smoke out.

What is the best parging mix?

For a quality parging mix its best to use a mix of about about 3 parts sand to at least 1 part portland cement. You can add 1/4 to 1/2 part lime powder to make it a little easier to spread or apply. This is mixed with enough water to get a nice consistency, not too runny.

What is a fireplace chamber?

The fireplace chamber (where the fire or stove is located) is an important but often overlooked part of the fireplace. … It doesn’t matter what kind of fire you have in the chamber, the finish you choose will still play an integral part in the overall appearance of your fireplace.

Is parging necessary?

The importance of parging

Parging is vital to any wall to protect its surface from external forces such as rain, wind, ice, and snow. This protection removes the potential risk of moisture seeping into a masonry wall, as this can expand when frozen and crack the installation.

How does a smoke guard work?

Smoke guards and fireplace doors work by lowering the top of the fireplace opening, adding extra space for the smoke as it collects prior to passing through the damper. This solution often helps reduce or eliminate constant fireplace smoking.

Can a chimney fall down?

It is very common for bits to fall down a chimney. This is most common if you have a gas fire, an electric fire or don’t use your fireplace at all. Chimneys are often lined with what’s called ‘pargeting’.

How do you fix a chimney that is separating from the house?

A common and cheaper temporary fix that could have been done to hold the chimney in place is to fill the gap between the leaning chimney and main house structure with mortar or some type of caulking or expanding foam insulation. The chimney could also be fastened into place with metal straps.

What is repointing a chimney?

Repointing or tuckpointing is a process that helps to renew the outer parts of mortar joints. Over time, chimneys become increasingly exposed to various external elements. This makes the structures prone to damage and decay. … If these gaps let water into your chimney, they can cause a myriad of problems for homeowners.

Where unlined the smoke chamber walls shall be what thickness?

According to NFPA 211, the walls of smoke chambers should be 6″ thick if lined with firebrick or 8″ thick. If no firebrick is present and the inside surface of the smoke chamber should be smooth.

What is refractory mortar?

What is refractory mortar? Hydraulic refractory mortar is a specially-engineered blend of specific cements and aggregates that gives the mortar unique heat-resistance and thermal characteristics for use in high-temperature applications such as chimneys, fire pits, barbeques, and pizza ovens.

Does burning potato skins clean chimneys?

Burning the potato peels will not eliminate all soot or creosote buildup, but they will reduce it. A normal and regular chimney cleaning is still needed to keep the fireplace working properly and safely.

Will burning aluminum cans remove creosote?

Heating the cans causes an increase in heat in a chimney which can help prevent creosote from building up on a clean chimney. However, aluminum oxides are very stable and do not react to high temperature. This means that there will not be much of an impact on built-up creosote.

Will a hot fire remove creosote?

Creosote is a natural byproduct of burning wood in a wood stove or fireplace. … One method to loosen crusty or tarry creosote so it flakes off and falls down into the firebox or fireplace is to burn aluminum cans in a very hot fire.

What happens if you dont clean your chimney?

When your chimney is not cleaned for a long time, a substance called creosote keeps building up in the flue during the use of the fireplace. This creosote is highly flammable and can lead to a dangerous chimney fire (an uncontrolled 2000 degree fire burning inside the chimney).

How often should you have your chimney swept with a log burner?

If you are burning wood, ensure your chimney is swept at least twice a year, this can be reduced to once if you are using multi-fuel in your stove.

How much is it to clean a chimney?

The typical chimney cleaning cost is between $129 and $377. Wood fireplaces that receive regular maintenance price $85 to $100 per cleaning. Those with build-up from years of neglect could total as much as $800. Chimney cleaning kits run between $50 to $100.

Do chimney sweeps make a mess?

The dust is contained within the fireplace area. … There’s not always soot in chimneys – sometimes there are pieces of chimney lining and brick dust that comes down the chimney. But under most circumstances, there shouldn’t be any mess at all when we sweep your chimney.

Is it the landlords responsibility to have the chimney swept?

However, a chimney’s primary function is to carry dangerous flue gases from the fireplace or wood burner safely out of the property. … This responsibility includes all flues and ventilation, therefore under this Act, it is the Landlord’s responsibility to have all chimneys swept annually in a rental property.

Do you need a certificate for chimney sweep?

All qualified chimney sweeps provide a certificate on completion of their work. This is for the homeowner’s peace of mind and to fulfil insurance conditions.

What is a smoke shelf?

Definition of smoke shelf

: a shelf or baffle in a smoke flue designed to prevent downdraft.

Why does smoke come out the front of my outdoor fireplace?

Every fireplace will tend to smoke out the front while the flue is warming up or cooling down. That is a principle of thermodynamics. Heat rises, but smoke has some weight that is influenced by gravity and air pressure, rising heat creates an advantage at the top of the chimney to draw more smoke up the flue.

How do you draw an outdoor fireplace?

1 | Ensure a fast, hot start to the fire

By starting the fire with pieces of wood of fast-burning wood types (poplar, pine, willow, alder, etc.) and a lighter block, a warm air flow through the chimney is quickly developed. The warmth will create the draft in the fireplace and keep the fire going.