Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Common Problems with Chimneys

There are many depressing things in life, and one of them is going home on a cold evening, starting a roaring fire, and having smoke fill the room. If this happens to you, you will have to identify the issue and hire a professional to fix it.

The following are common problems and solutions of chimneys.

  • Obstructed or Dirty Chimney: Have it inspected and swept by a professional so that it may be checked for any possible obstructions like tree branches or birds' nests. Dirty chimneys may also prevent smoke from properly exiting the chimney.
  • Tuckpointing: The bricks and mortar composing a chimney often take substantial amounts of damage because they are exposed to extreme weather conditions. If you notice cracking, flaking, or breaking bricks, or if your chimney has started leaning to one side, it is imperative to hire professional tuckpointing services.
  • Closed Damper: Before you start a fire, ensure the damper is open completely. When unsure, shine a flashlight up your chimney so as to see if its metal damper plate is still open.
  • Fuel-Cut firewood should be aged at least one year. It ought to be kept sheltered from rain in order to dry out.
  • Fire Grate Placement: Fire grate is where you place the wood in the firebox, and it should be put as far back in firebox as possible. Often, it is necessary to raise it with bricks. This will get more air under it for better circulation while raising the height of fire.
  • When the Chimney is Not Built to Proper Dimensions: Oftentimes, the chimney opening is just too tall or large, particularly in relation to its flue size. This may make the smoke go up the chimney, or back into the room. The answer can be adding a metal smoke guard to the top of the chimney’s opening, because it shrinks the opening’s size. When the fireplace lacks adequate height, you might need to raise its height to improve the draw.
  • Central Heating System: When the heater is running, you’ll lose the draw from chimney and this will trigger drafting issues. This is due to the fact that central air furnaces are quite strong even if air intake vent for central heating system is not found in the same room as the chimney, it’ll suck outside air down the fireplace and will cause it to smoke when there’s a fire going. Don’t run your heater when the chimney is in use!
  • Air Pressure Difference: Since houses are build much tighter now, air pressure inside your house may be different from the outside, and won’t allow for efficient draw of air via the flue. This is going to occur when the house is retrofitted with new tighter doors and windows. To minimize its smoking problem, you should crack open a door or window, preferably on the same level as the chimney or in in the same room.


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