What You Need to Know if Your New House Has a Chimney
May 13, 2023at7:00 AM
Whether you’re moving into a brand new house or you’ve lived in your home for years, a chimney or fireplace can be intimidating. Aside from a few holiday and winter fires, it’s not something we often think about. However, ignoring your fireplace is not something you should do.
This article will dive into what you need to know if your house has a chimney.
1. Know your chimney type
Not all chimneys are created equal. And knowing which type you have is essential to providing proper maintenance. These are the three main types of chimneys:
Single-walled meta: These chimneys take on the shape of a thin metal pipe sticking up through the roof with a circular top. They are most commonly found in older homes since newer buildings favor masonry.
Masonry: These are your standard brick chimneys that are typically considered the safest. They often come with a liner pre-installed for proper venting.
Pre-fabricated meta: This type is commonly referred to as “factory-built” and is usually used for commercial structures.
2. Keep an eye on the bricks
Fireplaces designed with bricks are engineered to withstand higher temperatures than standard bricks. The type of mortar used is critical to ensure your chimney holds together. However, it isn’t always guaranteed that firebrick or a special heat-resistant mortar was used to build your chimney. Homeowners should keep an eye on their brick to ensure it is not crumbling. If it is, it will likely need to be replaced with the correct materials.
3. Check your venting system
Your venting system, known as a flue, is typically a pipe found on the interior of your chimney liner. It allows smoke and other built-up gasses to exit your home safely. If you notice that your living room is unusually smoky during a fire or find droplets of water in your fireplace, it may be time to get your flue cleaned of debris.
4. Consider installing a chimney liner
Chimney liners help protect your home from heat and flammable materials produced by a fire. If your chimney is unlined, the warmth of a fire can cause nearby belongings to catch fire.
There are three different types of chimney liners you can choose from, although your chimney cleaner and inspector may have a preference for which to install. Clay tile liners tend to work best in open fireplaces. Metal liners are usually used when extensive repairs are needed in existing structures. And cast-in-pace liners are customizable and are a cement unit designed to fit your fireplace’s unique shape.
When you decide to purchase one, size tends to be the most important factor. Consider contacting chimney experts to help you make the right choice for your fireplace.
5. Invest in a chimney cap
A chimney cap can be essential for your fireplace. It’s a vented metal piece that sits inside the top of your chimney and helps prevent unwanted materials from coming inside while still letting smoke escape. It can keep heavy rains from seeping into your chimney and animals from nesting in your fireplace during the colder months.
Contact Capitol Chimney Service for fireplace and chimney inspections!
At Capitol Chimney Service, we provide chimney repairs, inspections, cleaning, and installations in the Washington, D.C. and Baltimore Metropolitan areas. With over 20 years of experience, our chimney experts are here to take on any chimney-related task you may need. Book an appointment with us today by calling (301) 962-0120 (DC Metro Area) or (410) 962-5551 (Baltimore Metro Area), or through our contact form.
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