It’s a crisp winter evening, and like many folks in Norcross and Metro Atlanta, you are enjoying the subtle warmth and the crackling flames of your brick masonry fireplace. Suddenly, smoke is pouring out of the fireplace. This smoke signal alerts you to several problems that could arise in your chimney’s smoke chamber.
Only some homeowners may be aware of its existence. But nestled above the firebox is the smoke chamber. This section, which resembles an upside-down funnel, channels smoke and fumes up the flue to safely vent out of your chimney and into the open air. The smoke chamber can cause several problems without regular chimney cleaning, turning your warm and cozy home into a three-alarm fire hazard.
Here are some warning signs that there may be a problem with your smoke chamber:
Smoke in the house is a tell-tale sign that your fireplace needs attention. When smoke blows back into your living room instead of gracefully exiting the chimney, there’s likely an obstruction restricting airflow through the smoke chamber. It could be excessive creosote along the interior walls, leaves clogging the vent, or a goose stuck in the chimney.
If you’re having trouble starting a fire or noticing weak flames, it could be due to soot and creosote buildup in the smoke chamber. This buildup can hinder the natural upward draft, making it difficult to light or maintain a fire. If you’re experiencing this issue, it’s a sign that a smoke chamber problem needs inspection.
Creosote buildup is the most common cause of fires in Cobb County, GA. It is a sticky, tar-like material that develops every time you burn firewood, and it is highly flammable. The longer creosote lingers in the chimney, the more explosive it gets. Hardened creosote is also very difficult to remove. But without immediate professional removal, it can ignite, leading to a dangerous chimney fire that could result in the loss of your home.
Many older and historic homes, like those beautiful Victorian mansions in Grant Park, have chimneys built with a corbeled brick design. This outdated technique attracts creosote like a magnet with its sharp, jagged edges. Creosote and combustion gases cause cracks in the smoke chamber bricks, compromising its integrity and allowing smoke and harmful gases to leak into your living space. Parging your smoke chamber smoothly, per National Fire Protection Association standards, helps reduce creosote buildup in this chimney area.
If your Atlanta home boasts the charm of an older construction, chances are your chimney features corbeled brickwork. While aesthetically pleasing, these uneven surfaces act like creosote magnets, significantly increasing the risk of buildup and chimney fires. That’s why fire safety standards now require corbeled chimneys to be parged smooth. Our professional chimney sweep uses a specialized material explicitly developed for smoke chamber parging. We apply this material by hand, creating a safer and more efficient path for smoke to travel up the chimney.
Is there a hidden problem developing inside your smoke chamber? Our chimney cleaning and inspection service includes the smoke chamber. You can call us today to schedule an appointment in the Metro Atlanta or Chattanooga areas. Call 770-255-1300 in north Georgia or 423-551-9912 in Chattanooga, TN. Alternatively, you can fill out our simple contact form to book your appointment.