To the untrained eye, chimneys are pretty simple. It’s a concrete tube that vents smoke from the fireplace out of the house. Nothing else to it, right? Actually…you’d be surprised to learn that chimneys are pretty complex. There are many different parts that all must be present and functional for the chimney to perform its job. Missing or damaged chimney parts cause your system to operate inefficiently and lead to leaks, fires, and other hazards.
If you want to learn more about the anatomy of your chimney, you’ve come to the right place. C&C Chimney has a team of professionally trained and certified technicians ready to educate Tulsa homeowners about their chimneys. We can also perform any maintenance, services, repairs, or installation tasks to make sure your chimney is functioning properly in time for the holidays. Read below to learn more, then give us a call at (918) 396-8296 to schedule an appointment!
The Anatomy of a Chimney
When relaxing by the crackling fire, you only see part of your chimney and fireplace system at work; there are many components both seen and unseen from indoors that allow the chimney to properly vent smoke out of your house. The hearth and firebox are two clearly visible chimney components. The hearth is the brick area in front of the fireplace and the firebox houses the active fire, as its name implies.
Those two chimney components are visible from inside the home, but they are just the tip of the iceberg. Directly above the firebox is the damper, which opens the fireplace when it is in use and closes it during dormancy. Above the damper is the smoke chamber, which is a brick area that funnels smoke up through the flue. The flue is the tube that the smoke travels up as it exits your home. The flue’s interior must be lined with a stainless steel or terra cotta liner to prevent chimney fires.
There are also exterior components, especially several sitting at the top of the chimney. The chimney itself is usually constructed of brick that gives it a beautiful aesthetic. On a prefab chimney, the chase cover sits at the top to shield it from the elements. Conversely, masonry chimneys have caps and crowns at the top. The crown is brick and designed to protect the rest of your chimney system, while the cap closes off the flue from outside entrants such as water, debris, animals, and more.
What Could Go Wrong?
Even though chimneys are very durable and built to last for many years, they are still suspect to the occasional problem or breakdown. When one of the aforementioned components is damaged or missing, it puts your entire system at risk. For example, a damaged damper blows smoke back into your home instead of out through the chimney. Additionally, a missing cap, crown, or chase cover leaves the top of your chimney exposed. An open chimney allows water, animals, sticks, twigs, and other debris to enter your system and wreak havoc. These materials can block the flue and prevent proper airflow, or catch ablaze and start a chimney fire. Over time, masonry crumbles and deteriorates due to the constant exposure to the elements. This is not only a major eyesore but can damage the entire system. The smoke chamber must also be lined with a smooth mortar to allow for proper ventilation, and a rough chamber is also a fire hazard. Similarly, the flue liner must be smooth and existent to allow smoke to properly vent out of your home.
Creosote buildup, leaks, and chimney fires are the three most common problems resulting from chimney components or neglected maintenance. Creosote is a highly flammable hazardous byproduct of wood-burning fireplaces. This is a black tar-like substance that builds up over time and sticks to the interior of your chimney. Leaks are often the result of missing or damaged caps, crowns, or chase covers, and it is sometimes hard to detect a leak without an inspection. If left unchecked, leaks cause extensive damages throughout your entire home.
What Chimney Services Do We Offer?
All of these problems are not only major inconveniences for homeowners but significant safety hazards as well. Fortunately, we can handle any chimney maintenance and fix or replace any damaged components!
At C&C Chimney, we offer a variety of chimney and fireplace services for homeowners in the Tulsa area! Whether it is a certain component breaking down or general maintenance, we’ll take care of it! For example, we offer parging services to smooth the smoke chamber, can install new caps, crowns, or chase covers, and can re-line your flue! We also offer broader and all-encompassing services such as sweepings, inspections, water damage repair, product installation, dryer vent cleaning, and more.
Schedule an Appointment Today!
To schedule an appointment with C&C Chimney, call (918) 396-8296 or fill out our online contact form! We can’t wait to help you!