Chimney Repair Questions, Including Caps & Dampers
Q. Is the inside brickwork and masonry simply for appearance? A. All parts of a fireplace or other heating appliance contribute to the comfort, safety and security of the home. That includes the brickwork and masonry inside a home along with the base on which a heater sits. While preventing heat and fire from radiating out, these also prevent air and fumes from moving from the room to the chimney at the wrong time. Even moderate cracks or holes can kill the fuel-efficiency and push unwelcome and dangerous fumes into living spaces.
Q. Is it possible for the metal cap on the roof to blow off (and does it matter)? A. Yes, high winds, animal activity or simply the aging of metal components may allow a metal chimney cap to shift or even blow off. While repair or replacement isn’t a significant expense, the consequences of an open chimney flue are not good. In come animals enter looking for shelter or even to nest. Down comes rain, melting snow and leafs that affect the system’s operation. Here is where the wise homeowner calls in Fresh Sweeps before problems become expensive or dangerous.
Q. Something’s not right with the damper. Now what? A. At a mechanical level, the damper is a metal plate that moves up and down or back and forth to change the flow of exhaust air up a chimney. While it sounds basic, it is vital to the safe, efficient operation of a heating appliance. In combination with other intake vents on a stove or fireplace, it moves air smoothly into and from the heating. When it doesn’t work properly, fuel is wasted, heat outcome is compromised and toxic fumes are pushed back into the living space.