Important Chimney and Fireplace Terminology
Knowing basic chimney and fireplace terminology could help you better understand why scheduling a chimney inspection as part of your annual home maintenance is crucial. There are more components to chimneys, fireplaces, and heating stoves than many people realize. Safety is an essential consideration when you use a solid-fuel appliance since heating is achieved with open flames that produce toxic combustion gases and create other potential dangers. The following is important chimney and fireplace terminology, and an explanation of each term’s importance is included.
The flue cap or chimney cap is essential because it covers the flue so that rain, snow, sleet, and hail can’t fall directly into your chimney. Moisture causes tremendous damage to chimneys, fireplaces, and flue liners. The most effective chimney caps are outside-mount chimney caps that also cover the chimney crown.
The white part of the chimney at the very top is the chimney crown. A common type of chimney repair homeowners need is chimney crown repair or replacement. The crown’s function is to prevent water from getting between the flue and the chimney exterior, but harsh outdoor elements cause it to crack and deteriorate. Outside-mount chimney caps can help to reduce the ongoing costs of chimney maintenance because they protect the chimney crown and prevent debris from getting inside the chimney.
The draft aka chimney draft is what is supposed to safely move toxic combustion gases up and out of the home. If the chimney draft is not working as it should, you will experience a smoky fireplace. When a fireplace operates correctly, very little smoke enters the home. If there is a poor draft in your chimney, call chimney sweep experts, who can identify the cause—and there are several potential causes.
The ashes created by burning firewood need to be removed regularly. If the ashes continue to accumulate, fires won’t be able to get the air needed to burn efficiently. Masonry fireplaces are often equipped with a handy ash pit or ash dump underneath the firebox. Access is sometimes outside at the back of the firebox. The ashes are easily removed through a trapdoor and shoveled into the ash pit, where they can safely cool. Oftentimes, ash dumps are accessed in the basement.
The value of an ash dump is that it helps to avoid improper handling of ashes that can result in a devastating house fire.
Flue and Flue Liner
The passageway through which combustion gases move to the out-of-doors is the flue, and a flue liner is crucial for safety. Liners have been required since the 1940s, though enforcement didn’t happen until decades later. If the flue liner has even a tiny crack in it, repair or replacement is necessary before using the appliance again. Dangers associated with a damaged or non-existent flue liner include a house fire and exposure to carbon monoxide.
The metal on the chimney is the flashing. The job of the flashing is to create a waterproof seal between the chimney and the roof. Unfortunately, flashing is very difficult to install correctly. Chimney leaks and devastating roof leaks caused by faulty flashing are extremely common.
Our CSIA-certified chimney sweeps at Chimney Solutions will answer any questions you have while also providing top-notch chimney maintenance services in the Atlanta GA area. We are devoted to quality workmanship and unbeatable customer service. Give us a call today at (770) 574-6523 to schedule chimney services or for your questions related to your chimney, fireplace, or new heating appliance.