Fireplace Information Blog

  1. How to Install a Chimney Damper

    A chimney damper is a necessary accessory for homes with a chimney. It allows all of the smoke and soot to go out, without letting anything down the chimney itself. This means rainwater, pests, and more. A chimney damper is also a great device to close off your chimney flue and help keep heat and cooling in your home instead of leaving right up and out the chimney flue. 

    A chimney damper is a fairly simple device; it is used to close or partially close off the flue. When the damper is in the open position, it allows the smoke away to exit out. In the closed position, the damper helps prevent outside air from entering or your conditioned air from exiting the house. This will help to make your home more energy-efficient.

    They are constructed of metal and can withstand the heat of the fire and still function properly without damage. They are controlled by a handle, pull chain, or latch. Once you buy a chimney damper online, you'll need to install it yourself. Don't worry! This is well within the ability range of nearly everyone, whether you excel at DIY home tasks or not. Installing a chimney damper does not require any special tools. The damper will fit right up into the flue system and should sit above the smoke chamber. Getting the damper to stay in place is as easy as tightening the screws that come with the damper into the walls of the flue system.

    If you have a round chimney, there is more good news because installation is even easier! After locating the appropriately sized damper through our online catalog, you simply need to push the damper down into the flue system. The chimney damper should fit snugly. While you're there, you'll want to seal the edges with silicon to ensure

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  2. The 3 Main Chimney Cleaning Tools

    It's probably no surprise that chimneys get so dirty. Technically it isn't "dirt" per se, but actually creosote exposure.  Creosote is that heavy sticky black substance that you see inside your chimney. When you burn wood in your fireplace, the unburned wood particles, tar, smoke, and other debris that goes out of your home through the chimney combines with water vapor to create creosote. If you have a chimney, you're going to have to clean it!

    When your chimney is not cleaned for a long time, the 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. Your chimney could actually catch on fire and burn uncontrollably! An unattended chimney can also gather a lot of ash and tar, which may eventually find its way back to your house. This mixture of ash and tar may cause severe breathing problems for you and your family.

    Clearly, this is something you need to do. You should inspect and clean your chimney at least once a year. If you use your fireplace regularly year-round, you will need to clean it more often than this. Heavy use of a wood burning fireplace will cause soot and creosote to build up quickly and need to be cleaned more often than once a year. Whenever creosote glaze is present, it needs to be attended to. The question is, what do you use to clean it? 

    1. Wire chimney brush

    Chimney sweep brushes, a trusty wire brush, attacks hard-to-reach nooks and crannies. These are especially effective for cleaning masonry chimneys with clay flues. Chimney sweeps have been using brushes like this for hundreds of years! Now, modern wire chimney brushes come in round, square, rectangle, and

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  3. Learn the Top 3 Chimney Liner Benefits

    A chimney liner is exactly what it sounds like, a lining that goes inside of your chimney. You might be wondering, “Why would I need to line my chimney with something, isn’t that what the chimney is made to do?” Most homes with a chimney were originally constructed with clay or ceramic liner. These are often used when a home is first built because they’re inexpensive and work well with a brand new fireplace and chimney. However, clay chimney liners are not the most durable and can crack and erode under extreme weather changes and conditions.

    Do you really need a liner, though? Yes! A chimney liner might not seem like an important part of your chimney, but in reality, it’s extremely important and improves the safety of your fireplace and home. Additionally, a chimney liner is often required to be present to pass inspection to sell your home. It isn't just a rule; there are many benefits to installing a chimney liner. Just a few of these include:

    #1 It takes smoke and toxins away from your family

    A metal chimney liner is a conduit installed inside of your chimney. It is intended to contain the combustion products, direct them to the outside atmosphere, and protect the chimney walls from heat and corrosion. Chimney liners create a clear and direct path for smoke to exit your home safely and efficiently. Without one, your chimney walls will eventually deteriorate and contaminates will be able to seep through any cracks. When it comes to smoke and fire, it's always better to be safe than sorry! 

    #2 It's cheaper in the long run

    Installing a chimney liner, especially one of metal, will protect your flue from the transfer of heat i

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  4. How to Fix the 5 Most Common Chimney Problems

    Your chimney isn't something to simply ignore. Just like your hot water heater or your HVAC unit, it does its job without an issue...most of the time. But then, there's a problem. The sooner you recognize the issue, the more likely it is to be a simple DIY fix. For this reason, it's important to not only know what the most common chimney problems are, but also how to fix them. Here's a great list to get you started:

    #1 Obstruction or blockage

    Animals like birds, raccoons, rats, mice, and squirrels often try to make their homes within chimneys. After all, it's pretty warm and cozy! These animals can enter and block a chimney without a cap. A chimney cap plays an important role in your home’s chimney system. If your home doesn't already have one, now is the time to order one. 

    #2 Masonry damage

    You don't always have a fire going. Water can enter the surface of your chimney, freeze and expand. This leads to damage to the masonry structure. Left unrepaired, this damaged masonry will further deteriorate, leading to serious structural problems for your home. Thankfully, this is easy to prevent with certain measures, like installing a chimney cap and waterproofing the structure. Major masonry issues, such as cracks or damaged mortar, can be repaired by a professional in order to prevent added problems down the line.

    #3 Flue damage

    A flue is the channel or pipe through which gases and smoke travel from your fireplace to the outside environment. It's easy to see why the chimney flue would undergo a lot of stress. High temperatures and creosote deposits can eventually cause damage. Too much stress can lead to cracking o

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  5. 4 Reasons to Install a Chimney Cap

    A chimney can be intimidating. After all, it’s not something you have ever thought much about and it’s not exactly the easiest to-do on your home maintenance list. Should you just ignore it and assume it's fine? Definitely not! This "forget it" mindset could have dire consequences when it comes to your family’s safety. Though it’s not pleasant to think about, house fires do happen. It's best to learn what your chimney needs in order to be safe and clean. 

    One of the most important things to consider is a chimney cap. A chimney cap plays an important role in your home’s chimney system. If your home doesn't already have one, here are just a few of the reasons why you should consider installing a chimney cap:

    #1 It stops sparks and embers

    You may have heard some people refer to a chimney cap as a "spark arrestors." This essentially means that the chimney cap helps to prevent lit embers or sparks that travel up the chimney from landing on the roof. The reason you want to avoid this is pretty obvious. Your home could catch on fire!

    #2 It prevents debris build-up

    Smoke goes out of your chimney, but what comes in? If you don't have a chimney cap in place, you can't really know. Leaves, branches, twigs and other debris can enter your chimney and build up, causing a big problem down the line.

    #3 It reduces moisture

    You don't always have a fire lit. A chimney cap will keep rain water from coming down your home’s chimney. Rain water can damage chimneys with stainless steel liners, chimney dampers, and chimney mortar joints. Beyond the damage from the rain itself, moisture fr

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  6. Understanding the difference in flue liners

    A flue liner has to be able to stand up to the stresses and strains of being pulled and pushed down a chimney. It also needs to be impervious to continuous high temperatures and bursts of immense heat.  The best brands will ensure that any moisture or tar that runs back down the liner goes straight into the stove without leaking out of the fitting whereas cheaper options might fail to do so. There are different grades of liner available, an average one used for most domestic uses but there are higher grades on the market which are more suitable for higher temperatures, possibly for industrial usage.

    If you have a chimney then a chimney flue liner is what you require but if you have a stove then you are more likely to require a stove flue pipe. The chimney liner is made of a flexible material which can be fitted into any shaped chimney and then an insulator is usually poured down the sides. Conversely, a stove flue pipe is usually made up of solid pieces of tubing in standard lengths. You buy as many lengths as needed then join and seal them together to make one long flue pipe. The individual pieces come in different shapes and different diameters so they can suit your requirements.

    When buying flue liners, it is important to make sure you get the correct one to achieve an efficient heating system.

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  7. How important is a chimney liner?

    If you have an open fire or a wood burner, it is very important that you keep your chimney clean. It is recommended by experts, that you have it cleaned at least once a year, if not more in certain circumstances. Chimneys that aren’t lined can be very difficult to maintain and clean because of the nature of the stone or brick they are made from.

    There are many places where soot and tar can build up which are difficult to get to with brushes and other cleaning tools. If you ‘line’ your chimney with a chimney liner then the flue becomes a continuous, smooth tube with fewer surfaces for the soot or tar to condense onto. If any tar does form, it can easily slide back into the fire and be re-burnt. The liner will also prevent any smoke or harmful gases from seeping out of the cracks in your masonry.

    Another advantage of lining your chimney is that the smaller, consistent diameter of the flue maintains the velocity and flow of the flue gases in the system which means that the gases will travel faster up your chimney giving them less time to deposit tar and this will automatically improve the draw of your fire, making it more efficient at heating. So for a more effective and cleaner chimney, lining is the way to go!

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  8. Does Your Chimney Need a New Stainless Steel Liner

    Many homeowners who have never replaced their chimney liner are probably unaware if they even have one already. When a fireplace needs a new chimney liner, it's recommended you go with a stainless steel option because of its durability overtime. There are several benefits to installing a new chimney liner, the biggest of which is safety.

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  9. How to Fix Your Chimney’s Nasty Odor

    How to Fix Your Chimney’s Nasty Odor

    One of the biggest complaints about fireplaces from homeowners is that from time to time, an odor can be smelled coming from the chimney. Not only does this bad smell fill up your fireplace but also the rest of your house. Closing the windows and turning your AC on is often a solution most people opt for. However, without a doubt, that won't work. In fact, it makes the stench even worse!  For you to eliminate this smell, you will have to start at the source. For a fact, all chimneys produce a little odor that is unnoticeable due to the air that eliminates the odor on the top side of the stack, but when something smells out of place, here's what to do.

     

     

    HIRE A PROFESSIONAL

     

    Hiring a professional is the easiest way to deal with the stench that comes from the fireplace. The professional will conduct an annual chimney cleaning and safety inspection. Of course, this isn’t the cheapest option, but it’s the most effective. If you try to go the DIY route, you may end up spreading the stench throughout your house.

     

    Nonetheless, if you’re experienced, there are a couple of things you may do to ensure that the odor is eliminated. The first thing would be to remove the excess creosote and debris. Not only does this protect your home but it also keeps it safe from burning. Secondly, you may close the damper to ensure it’s sealed while cleaning up the chimney.

     

    REMOVE CARCASSES OF DEAD ANIMALS

     

    Carcasses of dead animals such as bats or owls can lead to a smelly fireplace. Removing any dead animal inside removes the odor. However, once you remove the dead animal, there will be some bad smell coming from the chimney, but it will certainly end.

     

    Note that Chimneys are warm and dry so small animals may take advantage of living there. Leaving the stench to spread without removing the animal may be toxic for you and your

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  10. How Much Does It Cost To Reline A Chimney?

    How Much Does It Cost To Reline A Chimney?

     

    The cost of relining a chimney varies. Typically, the cost can be anything between $2,500 and $7,000. Ultimately the cost will be determined by the type of lining you would want to have installed. Knowing what lining is can help you understand the cost involved.

     

    Types of Chimney Liners

     

    Surprisingly, if you live in an old home, the chimney might not have a lining of any kind! For several decades, liners have been a constant requirement for operating fireplaces. This is attributed to the fact that they do a better job of channeling gases up through the chimney top. Houses that lack a liner will not be able to do this effectively. The liners also help in fire prevention by blocking heat from getting to materials that are combustible. The types of liners are:

     

    Clay Tile Liners

    The least costly liners are clay tile flues. Maybe that is why they are a traditional favorite. If it is installed properly, this particular type of lining may last for more than five decades! The only maintenance required in this case is regular cleaning. Their advantage is withstanding deposits and heat of corrosive byproducts when you burn all types of fuel.

     

    Cast-in-place

    Poured-cement processes causing cast-in-place liners can create a new flue. Such flues will be able to withstand all harmful effects of acids, condensation, and heat. Cast-in-place flues offer excellent insulation properties while helping the fireplace burn cleaner. This in turn reduces accumulation of creosote.

     

    Metal Flue

    Preferred by many installers and recommended by fire-protection experts are stainless steel flue liners. One of the reasons they are popular is their durability. There are other types of metal liners in this category.

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