What Is a Smoke Chamber? How To Repair It?
A properly functioning chimney is an essential component of any home with a fireplace or stove. The chimney chamber, located above the fireplace and below the flue, is an area where smoke and gases gather before exiting through the chimney. However, over time, the chimney is damaged or deteriorated due to various factors, such as exposure to heat, acidic byproducts of combustion, and general wear and tear. As a homeowner, it’s essential to recognize the signs of a damaged chimney chamber and take prompt action to repair it to maintain the safety and efficiency of your fireplace or stove.
What Causes Chimney smoke Chamber Damage?
The chimney chamber can become damaged or deteriorated due to various factors, including:
The heat generated by your fireplace or stove can cause the bricks and mortar of the chimney chamber to crack or crumble over time.
Acidic byproducts of combustion:
The byproducts of combustion, such as creosote and soot, are acidic and can corrode the lining of the chimney chamber, leading to damage.
General wear and tear:
The chimney chamber may become damaged due to general wear and tear over time, which can occur due to regular use, exposure to the elements, or poor maintenance.
Signs of Chimney smoke Chamber Damage
It’s crucial to recognize the signs of a damaged chimney chamber to take prompt action to repair it. Here are some common signs of chimney chamber damage:
- Smoke coming into the room
- Foul odours coming from the fireplace
- White or brown staining on the fireplace or chimney
- A build-up of creosote or soot
- Crumbling or cracked bricks or mortar in the chimney chamber
- Chimney Chamber Repair
One of the most significant factors that affect the cost of smoke chamber repair is the extent of the damage. Minor repairs, such as replacing a few bricks or patching small cracks, can typically be completed relatively quickly and at a low cost. However, if the damage is more extensive, such as a complete rebuild of the chimney, the cost can be significantly higher.
Another factor that can impact the cost of smoke chamber repair is the materials used. Brick is the most common material used for chimneys, but there are other options such as stone or concrete. The type of material used can affect the cost, with stone and concrete generally being more expensive than brick. Additionally, some types of brick may be more expensive than others, such as handmade or antique bricks.
The location of the smoke chamber can also play a role in the cost of repair. For example, if the smoke chamber is located on the roof of a multi-story building, the repair may be more complex and require specialized equipment, which can increase the cost. Likewise, if the smoke chamber is located in an area that is difficult to access, such as a steep hillside, the cost may be higher.
If the damage is minor, such as small cracks or creosote buildup, the smoke chamber repair cost may be relatively low. In such cases, a chimney sweep can perform the repair by applying a sealant to the cracks or removing the creosote buildup. The cost of these repairs may range from $150 to $500, depending on the size of the chimney and the severity of the damage.
If the damage is more extensive, such as large cracks or deterioration, the chimney smoke chamber repair cost may be higher. In such cases, the chimney sweep may need to rebuild the smoke chamber using specialized materials such as refractory mortar or castable refractory cement. The cost of such repairs may range from $500 to $2,000 or more, depending on the size and complexity of the repair.
If the smoke chamber is damaged to the point where it is no longer safe to use, a complete rebuild may be necessary. The cost of rebuilding a chamber can vary widely depending on the size of the chimney, the materials used, and the location. On average, a complete rebuild can cost between $3000 to $4300.
In addition to the actual repair work, there may be additional costs associated with a fireplace smoke chamber repair. For example, if the chimney is located on the roof, scaffolding may need to be erected to provide access for the repair crew. Additionally, if the chamber is damaged due to a chimney fire, the cost of repairing any damage to the interior of the home may need to be factored in.
Overall, the cost of repairing a chimney smoke chamber can vary widely depending on several factors. Minor repairs such as re-pointing can typically be completed relatively quickly and at a relatively low cost, while more extensive repairs such as a complete rebuild can be much more expensive. Homeowners should consult with a professional chimney repair company to obtain an accurate estimate for the cost of repairs based on the specific needs of their chimney.
Safe proof your place with a Heat Shield
HeatShield is a cerfractory (ceramic/refractory) sealant that is designed to restore the integrity of a damaged or deteriorated fireplace smoke chamber. The smoke chamber is the area of the chimney above the fireplace and below the flue where smoke and gases gather before exiting through the chimney. Over time, exposure to heat and acidic byproducts of combustion can cause the smoke chamber to deteriorate, leading to structural damage, reduced efficiency, and potential safety hazards.
HeatShield works by creating a smooth, airtight surface that fills in gaps and cracks in the smoke chamber, restoring its structural integrity and improving its efficiency. It is a cost-effective alternative to rebuilding the smoke chamber, which can be a complex and expensive process.
The HeatShield system typically involves three steps:
Cleaning: The smoke chamber is thoroughly cleaned to remove any soot, creosote, or other debris that may be present.
Resurfacing: A special foam applicator is used to apply the HeatShield cerfractory sealant to the interior surface of the smoke chamber. The sealant is carefully troweled to create a smooth, even surface that fills in gaps and cracks.
Inspection: The smoke chamber is inspected to ensure that the sealant has been applied correctly and that the integrity of the smoke chamber has been restored.
HeatShield is a safe and effective solution for restoring the integrity of a damaged or deteriorated smoke chamber. It can help improve the efficiency and safety of your fireplace or stove, while also reducing the risk of chimney fires and other potential hazards.