Common chimney repairs include repointing loose brickwork, resealing the cap, and replacing the flue liner. In order to reduce the risk of a home fires, chimneys have to be cleaned and inspected routinely. Let’s go over some of the common language of chimneys and fireplaces.
Cap – A chimney cap is the covering on top of the chimney with a mesh screen that keeps animals and rain out and reduces the risk of fires.
Chimney sweep – A chimney sweep is a person who removes soot out of chimneys using such cleaning equipment as brushes and scraping tools.
Chimney stove – A chimney stove is attached to the flue and uses wood or gas to create heat.
Cleaning log – Cleaning logs are easy to use because all you have to do is insert them into the fireplace and burn them. This causes chemicals to release, which loosens soot buildup.
Flue – This is the long, inner part of the chimney through which the smoke travels. Flues are made out of brick or metal.
Hearth – The hearth is the floor area in front of the fireplace and is usually made of masonry. Its purpose is to absorb heat.
Relining – A common form of chimney repair, relining means that the flue’s damaged inner wall is replaced, often with stainless steel pipe.
Top-sealing damper – This device goes on the top of the chimney to seal the flue when you aren’t using the fireplace.
Fireplace veneer – The fireplace veneer, which is usually made out of stone blocks, is the fireplace’s exterior and serves aesthetic purposes.
Ventless fireplace – Electric and gas “ventless” fireplaces don’t need to release smoke into the environment.
There is nothing cozier than a gas or log fireplace on a cold winter's night, but it's important to make sure that fireplace and flue are safe from smoke and fire before starting them up. One component to a safe fireplace, whether brick or stone, is to keep up with equipment inspection and repair. It is also important to clean the fireplace and flue, also inspecting them for damage regularly. In addition to your repair and maintenance, proper use of your stove or fireplace will ensure your home is safe and warm.
Choosing a chimney sweep for fireplace cleaning and repair involves a bit of homework. You want to find a masonry company that is experienced and highly trained in your style of fireplace. It is also important to find out what is in the cleaning package, such as inspecting the damper and chimney cap, cleaning the insert and brushing out the pipe. If the current fireplace liner must be removed due to damage, find a company experience in relining as well.
A quality chimney sweep company should be experienced in both gas and log stoves, and know how to clean and inspect all of the parts of each type of fireplace, including the damper, vent, liner and flue. They should have membership in a professional chimney sweep association and have strong references to provide. They should also be fully insured, in case any damage happens to your fireplace or your home while they are on the job. The right chimney sweep company will keep your fireplace - and your home - safe from smoke and fire all year long.