Some parts of your fireplace and chimney system get a lot of ‘publicity’ – everyone knows what the damper does, and the firebox is pretty self explanatory. Most people, however, think of the chimney as being just one big piece. Actually, there are several parts that make up your chimney. One part of the chimney that you don’t hear a lot about, and that plays a huge role, is the smoke chamber.
Function of the Smoke Chamber
The smoke chamber is located above the dampers and the throat of the chimney, but beneath the flue. The flue is a pipe or opening in your chimney that draws smoke up and out of the house, and the smoke chamber plays the role of guiding the smoke into that flue. It generally has a straight back and sloping sides and front; this shape makes it easier for the smoke to funnel through.
Maintenance of the Smoke Chamber
Because it’s important that the smoke has a smooth path to the flue, it’s important that the walls of the smoke chamber be as smooth as possible. Chances are your smoke chamber is made of bricks, so you may want to look into the process of parging. In most cases, the brickwork that makes up your chimney is corbelled brick. Corbelling is used in constructing the smoke chamber because it is a step like structure, causing the sloped surface which is needed to help funnel the smoke up. The problem with this system is that the ‘steps’ can be rough, and this may hamper in the smooth transfer of smoke up your chimney. The way to solve this problem is through parging, the process of covering these bricks so that the surface is smooth.
Cleaning Your Smoke Chamber
When you schedule your annual chimney inspection, one thing they’ll be checking is how much creosote has built up in the smoke chamber. The smoke chamber narrows so as to be more effective in funneling the smoke up, so it is a logical area for creosote to build. It’s important that this area isn’t clogged by creosote not only because this is a fire hazard, but also because it narrows the opening, which will cause a clogging of smoke and send some back into your living area. When you call a quality chimney sweep company like Chimney Sweep Plus, you know they have the tools to take the creosote out!
Chimney Sweep Plus
If you’re not sure if your smoke chamber needs parging, give Chimney Sweep Plus a call. They have had years of experience in making sure that smoke chambers are parged smooth, and take pride in the quality work that they do. They specialize in smoke chamber maintenance and repair, so if you’ve had more smoke coming back into the house or are worried that your smoke chamber has been damaged, give them a call today to come and make an appointment to have it checked out.