Broken Damper? Downdraft Problems? High Utilities? We’ve Got The Best Damper Solutions For Every Homeowner In Tulsa & Beyond
When we’re out on the job, many homeowners complain of things like cold air coming down through their chimneys, smoke backing up into their homes when they have a fire going, and dampers that are difficult to reach and difficult to open and close.
As a family-owned and operated company with a passion for making life cozier, safer, and more enjoyable for other families in the greater Tulsa area, we pride ourselves on offering effective and affordable solutions to these problems.
Truthfully, they can all be traced back to the damper, a relatively small chimney component. Every fireplace, with the exception of a vent-free gas fireplace, needs a properly working damper, but it’s common for dampers to rust or break over time.
Here’s what you need to know about dampers before we go into the solutions…
What Does A Fireplace Damper Do?
The fireplace damper is a metal component in the throat of the chimney/fireplace that has a single function: to open and close the flue. If the damper isn’t open when you go to light a fire in the fireplace, the smoke won’t be able to enter the flue and exit the chimney, so it will have no choice but to come back down into your home.
Another reason you want to make sure the damper is open when you light a fire is that, if it’s closed, the fire will be starved for oxygen and unable to really get going.
Why Do Dampers Break Or Need To Be Replaced?
The most common causes of damper damage are moisture, age, and creosote buildup.
- Moisture can destroy just about every part of the fireplace and chimney system, including the damper. Whether the moisture is from the fire or from a chimney leak, it can rust and warp the damper, making it ineffective and difficult to open and close.
- Age and use can also do a number on the damper. Over time, it can simply break down completely, fall off its track, or lose parts.
- Creosote is a highly flammable and corrosive byproduct of combustion that can build up on flue walls, smoke chambers, and throat dampers. Creosote hardens and builds up over time, which can make the damper difficult to open and close, and can pose a serious fire hazard. If not removed, this substance can destroy the damper and result in a dangerous chimney fire.
If moisture has warped or rusted the damper or the damper is just old and beyond repair, we’ll probably need to install a completely new damper.
Drop-in dampers — which are dampers that “drop in” at the top of the chimney flue — can be a great solution. They have a cable that runs down the flue to the firebox, so they’re easy to operate. Plus, they give the flue added protection by closing near the top, rather than down in the throat of the system.
If repairs are minor, a new damper may not be necessary. We usually have commonly needed damper parts on our trucks, so if a small component is missing and needs to be replaced, we can make those repairs quickly.
If the damper is off its track, we can adjust it to get it back on track. And if creosote is an issue, we can clean the damper and use Poultice Creosote Remover (PCR) to get rid of the tougher stuff.
But simply repairing or cleaning a throat damper won’t solve the problems that homeowners frequently complain about, like cold downdrafts, smoke problems, and difficult-to-reach dampers. In those situations, we have a better fix.
The Top 3 Reasons You Should Replace Your Throat Damper With A Chimney Cap Damper
Here at C&C Chimney, we’re proud to also offer chimney cap dampers, which are far superior to the competition. Here’s why:
- Unlike the other dampers on the market, chimney cap dampers protect the entire flue. These act as a chimney cap and a damper, and are installed up at the very top of the chimney. Many feature screens, which keep animals and birds out, while also preventing large sparks from landing on the roof or nearby trees. These also feature rain caps to keep rain out (even when the damper is open) and provide a watertight seal when closed, so you get protection against damaging moisture at all times.
- Because chimney cap dampers close at the top, they also keep the flue warmer for a cleaner-burning, easier-to-start fire. Here’s a little secret: a warmer flue will make getting the fire going easy and will reduce the likelihood of creosote buildup. That’s a win-win, for sure.
- Chimney cap dampers provide an airtight seal and prevent heated air loss and cold downdrafts. We all learned in science class that hot air rises and cool air falls. That’s not ideal when it comes to keeping your home cozy with a traditional throat damper, because these metal components can’t provide an airtight seal, even when they’re new. That’s why you may feel cold air when you walk by your fireplace during the winter. You may also be cranking up the heat in the winter, only to lose a lot of that warm air up the chimney. Chimney cap dampers eliminate both problems, saving you money and making it easier to maintain a comfortable home environment.
And the best part is, chimney cap dampers are affordable! These typically pay for themselves in energy savings in just a couple of years, so if you’ve been looking for ways to save money and protect your chimney, this is it.
To learn more or schedule an appointment to have your damper repaired or replaced, simply call C&C Chimney at 918-396-8296. We’re Tulsa’s top choice for considerate, professional, and punctual service at reasonable prices. Call today or request an appointment online — we’re happy to help!