Smoke Chamber Reconstruction | Smoke Chamber Parging
Chimney Solutions can reconstruct or parge your chimney’s smoke chamber. People all across Atlanta, Buford, Duluth, Lawrenceville, Norcross, Woodstock, Marietta, Cumming, Kennesaw and the surrounding areas have turned to us to ensure the safe operation of their chimney and fireplace systems.
One of the most important components of your chimney system is the smoke chamber. This area of your masonry chimney starts right above the damper and continues up to where the flue tiles begin. This transitional area between the firebox and flue is often overlooked or forgotten by homeowners, but it is also where approximately 60% of all chimney fires start. Many times, the smoke chamber is constructed of corbeled brick or block work that starts wide at the base then narrows at the top where it becomes the support for the flue system.
Most smoke chamber issues occur because of improper construction. Typically, masons leave this area unlined. Since common brick is low in reflective properties, the area ends up radiating as much heat as it receives. Over time, heat that is absorbed into the brick will transfer into framing or nearby walls which can dry out the wood. This makes for a potential fire hazard since dry wood can ignite easier.
After years of use, mortar throughout the smoke chamber will begin to deteriorate due to acids produced from combustion. Small holes may begin to develop which will compromise the integrity of the smoke chamber and may eventually cause a chimney fire. Even if you own an older home that has been grandfathered into construction code, it’s a good idea to have a certified chimney sweep parge your smoke chamber to increase its efficiency and to ensure that it is safe to use. The National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) now requires all masonry smoke chambers to be parged, so it’s best to meet this requirement before it becomes an issue.
What is Parging?
Since new construction codes require that all masonry fireplaces be parged, it helps to have a good understading of parging consists of. Parging is when a chimney contractor seals the inside surfaces of the smoke chamber with a layer of mortar so that all holes, gaps, or jagged edges are smoothed out. This allows heated flue gasses and carbon monoxide to flow correctly out of the chimney without escaping into the surrounding walls, attic, or open living areas.
At Chimney Solutions, we use a highly specialized material developed just for smoke chambers. Chamber-Tech 2000 is a U.L. listed masonry cement that is designed to stop heat transfer to help protect nearby framing from dangerous heat transfer. The material is applied by hand, so generally during installation, the throat style damper will be permanently removed and a top sealing damper will be installed in its place.
Parging a smoke chamber can also increase the performance of a fireplace by reducing the amount of turbulence and increasing the amount of air flowing through the system. If you have a masonry fireplace with an unlined smoke chamber, don’t take chances. Call Chimney Solutions so we can send our qualified chimney technicians to address your smoke chamber needs.