If your house isn’t venting properly you need to clear the air – quickly!
We can help. We repair existing chimneys – making sure that each component is in good shape and in proper working order. We want you breath easy knowing you can heat your home safely all season long.
Are you a new homeowner looking to have a chimney rebuilt to code? Are you remodeling and looking to upgrade the value of your home? Are you just looking for something new, different, special?
A chimney can be a one-of-a-kind architectural piece of art (that also serves a key function in your home). We love helping you create a chimney that both works with the style of your home and makes your home special.
Call us today; we’ll look at what you have and give you options that will suit your style and budget.
A little chimney history:
A chimney is a structure for venting hot flue gases or smoke from a boiler, stove, furnace or fireplace to the outside atmosphere. Chimneys are typically vertical, or as near as possible to vertical, to ensure that the gases flow smoothly, drawing air into the combustion in what is known as the stack, or chimney, effect. The space inside a chimney is called a flue.
Chimneys have traditionally been built of brick, both in small and large buildings. Early chimneys were of a simple brick construction. Later chimneys were constructed by placing the bricks around tile liners. To control downdrafts, venting caps (often called chimney pots) with a variety of designs are sometimes placed on the top of chimneys.
As a result of the limited ability to handle transverse loads with brick, chimneys in houses were often built in a “stack”, with a fireplace on each floor of the house sharing a single chimney, often with such a stack at the front and back of the house. Today’s central heating systems have made chimney placement less critical, and the use of non-structural gas vent pipe allows a flue gas conduit to be installed around obstructions and through walls.
A chimney pot is placed on top of the chimney to inexpensively extend the length of the chimney, and to improve the chimney’s draft. A chimney with more than one pot on it indicates that there is more than one fireplace on different floors sharing the chimney.
A chimney cowl is placed on top of the chimney to prevent birds and squirrels from nesting in the chimney. They often feature a rain guard to keep rain from going down the chimney. A metal wire mesh is often used as a spark arrestor to minimize burning debris from rising out of the chimney and making it onto the roof. Although the masonry inside the chimney can absorb a large amount of moisture which later evaporates, rainwater can collect at the base of the chimney. Sometimes weep holes are placed at the bottom of the chimney to drain out collected water.
A chimney damper is a metal spring door placed at the top of the chimney with a long metal chain that allows one to open and close the chimney from the fireplace.
A characteristic problem of chimneys is they develop deposits of creosote on the walls of the structure when used with wood as a fuel. Deposits of this substance can interfere with the airflow and more importantly, they are flammable and can cause dangerous chimney fires if the deposits ignite in the chimney.Chimneys that burn natural gas drastically reduce the amount of creosote buildup due to natural gas burning much cleaner and more efficiently than traditional solid fuels. While in most cases there is no need to clean a gas chimney on an annual basis that does not mean that other parts of the chimney cannot fall into disrepair. Disconnected or loose chimney connections caused by rust and corrosion over time can pose serious dangers for residents due to leakage of carbon monoxide into the home. Thus, it is recommended — and in some countries even mandatory — that chimneys be inspected annually and cleaned on a regular basis to prevent these problems.
Liners have been standard in new construction for years, but they’re lacking in many old structures whose masonry has not been restored and updated. Liners help keep flue gases where they belong. They isolate combustible building materials from high heat, and they prevent creosote and other by-products of combustion from seeping through porous brick and mortar.
Other potential problems include:
- “spalling” brick, in which moisture seeps into the brick and then freezes, cracking and flaking the brick and loosening mortar seals.
- shifting foundations, which may degrade integrity of chimney masonry
- nesting or infestation by unwanted animals such as squirrels, racoons, or chimney swifts
- chimney leaks
- drafting issues, which may cause smoke inside building
- issues with fireplace or heating appliance may uause unwanted degradation or hazards to chimney