Your Chimney’s “Inside Story”

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Parts of a chimney

The Need to Know on Getting Your Fireplace Ready for This Winter

The outside of a chimney is a facade of brick, cinder block, or stone. Marble and brick are popular materials for mantels. Some chimney parts are metal, including:

  • Lintels
  • Damper
  • Hearth (not to be confused with the hearth extending into the house)
  • Flue cover or cap
  • Flue liner
  • Crown
  • Grate
  • Flashing

Your chimney may have some or all of these parts. Many also have an ash dump, a chute under the grate which leads to a basement or crawl space. The top of the chimney also has a number of components:

  • Fire box
  • Throat
  • Smoke shelf
  • Smoke chamber
  • Flue
  • Chimney stack

Inner workings of the fireplace

How To Avoid The Most Common Mistakes When It Comes To Fireplace Chimney Safety

The grate is a raised rack inside the firebox where the fire is lit. It increases air circulation to the fire. (Gas fireplaces are designed the same way, but have a valve to allow gas to flow from a tank reserve.) Hot fumes rise past the lintel, which supports the chimney wall, into the throat. The throat is an opening between the firebox and smoke shelf. The smoke shelf is located inside the smoke chamber. The chamber compresses and guides smoke from the fire, up the chimney to the flue.

A damper can close off the chimney when the fireplace is not being used. The smoke floats through the tunnel-like flue to escape from the chimney stack. The stack, flashing, cover/cap and crown prevent hot embers from starting roof fires and keep soot from building up around the chimney. Caps also prevent rain, elements, and animals from getting inside.

Proper maintenance

Techniques in cleaning your chimney

All parts of a chimney should be inspected, cleaned and repaired at annually. Soot, creosote, and cracks build up, changing air flow and creating a breathing hazard or a deadly house fire.

Dr. Duct has the experience to inspect and service any type of chimney; please call us today at (613) 558-5868. For chimney cleaning in Ottawa and surrounding communities, we’re the professionals you can trust.