The damper is a metal flap above the firebox that stops the draft when the system is not in use. It keeps moisture and debris out of the firebox when the fireplace is not in use. However, many homeowners are replacing the traditional throat damper with a top-sealing damper when the throat damper quits working, gets damaged, or rusts away. Top sealing dampers are a much more economical solution than trying to replace the throat damper.
The firebox is the opening of the fireplace where you stack and burn the wood. The walls surrounding the firebox should be made of firebrick. Sometimes they are built using standard bricks like the rest of the chimney. Homeowners should check the bricks inside the firebox and have a CSIA trained chimney specialist repair them when they notice cracks or crumbling.
if you have a chimney and fireplace you will likely want to keep the fire going throughout the winter in order to keep warm. However, you will want to keep the fire in the fireplace where it belongs, and not in the chimney. Many homeowners have the misfortune of experiencing a chimney fire.
These fires can easily degrade the chimney’s structure. It can even get out of control and burn part of your roof or other parts of your home. It is best to be fully aware of the common reasons why these fires start so you can prevent one from occurring in your home.
One of the main reasons chimney fires occur is because of a buildup of creosote. This substance forms whenever you burn some woods and the smoke cools inside the chimney. If a spark happens across this buildup it can easily ignite a fire.
Outside temperatures can play a role on creosote buildup. The cooler the exterior of the chimney the more creosote can build up. This is a problem if your chimney is located on the side of your home. If it runs through the center of your home, this will not be a factor.
The air supply inside the chimney will also be a factor in chimney fires. If there is not enough air flowing through the chimney smoke will not be able to escape efficiently. Therefore, creosote will build up as the smoke cools. To ensure there is adequate air running through the chimney, make sure you keep the damper all the way open when burning a fire.
The type of fire you burn in the fireplace is also important. Unseasoned firewood will lead to more creosote, so it is best for you to burn seasoned firewood instead. Avoid burning bigger fires because they burn more slowly and at cooler temperatures. It is best to burn smaller, hotter fires instead.
Make sure you only burn firewood in your fireplace too. If you burn newspaper or other paper items, bits and pieces of it could travel up the chimney and ignite creosote buildup easily.
Homeowners should also consider installing a chimney cap. Having one of these caps will help keep animals out of your chimney. Nests can obstruct the chimney and lead to a fire starting.
Chimney fires are very serious as they can easily cause major damage to your home as well as the chimney itself. Make sure you have your chimney inspected and cleaned regularly to help keep one from occurring.