When you burn a fire in your fireplace, do you ever think about how the smoke from the fire gets out? It’s pretty obvious, right? It leaves through the chimney. However, which part of the chimney? It’s the smoke chamber! The smoke chamber is located above the damper and below the flue in your brick and mortar chimney. It receives the gases from the firebox and directs them up and then out of the house through the chimney flue. Why is the smoke chamber is so important? It compresses the gases while not creating a backdraft! Keep in mind though – if you have a factory built fireplace, there is no smoke chamber.
Why is a backdraft bad? When your chimney is working the way it’s supposed to, the fire will create an updraft. This causes the gases to go up and out of your chimney. A backdraft is just the opposite, causing the draft to move down instead of up. Why is this a bad situation? Smoke and any other toxins go into your home instead of out the chimney where they should go. Not only does the smoke chamber help stop backdrafts, it also helps promote a positive draft to get the smoke out!
It is very important to keep your smoke chamber clean! When the smoke chamber is dirty, the surface is rough. This rough surface makes it easier for particles in the smoke to cling to the surface. When this happens, more creosote will build up on the inside of your smoke chamber. Consequently, since creosote is a highly flammable substance, a chimney fire could occur. Having said that, have no fear! Call the professionals from Copper Top Chimney Service to come and inspect and clean your chimney. They will make sure that your smoke chamber is clean and smooth. Sometimes this means just giving it a thorough cleaning. However, at other times, it may call for parging.
The inside of your smoke chamber should be smooth. This is in order to keep the smoke flowing up and out of your chimney. Sometimes the walls are corbeled, which is when parts of the wall jut out. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 211 Code Book (2006) indicates that all surfaces of the smoke chamber need to be covered and smoothed with an insulating refractory mortar. Parging is the process of applying mortar to the inside of the smoke chamber, giving it a smooth surface that will allow for the smooth transfer of smoke.
Get The Job Done Right
The professionals at Copper Top Chimney Service are highly trained to evaluate whether your smoke chamber. They know if it is properly sized, when it needs a thorough cleaning, or if it is in need of parging. Give them a call now to schedule your cleaning and repairs, before the cooler weather of fall appears!