Smoke Chamber & Firebox Repair
The smoke chamber and firebox are subject to extreme temperatures and direct flame contact. Direct flame contact from a wood fire can reach over 1800 degrees F. Masonry brick can thermal transfer the heat from a wood fire to existing wood structures (ignition point of 525 degrees F. or lower) and combustible materials if thermal protection is not adequate. Fire brick is designed to block thermal transmission of heat (from 1750 degrees F. to 3150 degrees F.) depending upon grade and it is the material of choice for firebox construction.
Despite the NFPA having very rigid requirements for fireplace and chimney construction many fireplaces and chimneys exist with inadequate thermal protection. Common issues are improperly sized mortar joints, mortar joints filled with standard mortar rather than refractory or furnace cement, improper selection of firebrick for firebox and smoke chamber construction, and improper design.
We inspect and evaluate the condition of every fireboxes and smoke chamber during our NFPA level 1 inspection service. If minor deficiencies are found we can typically repair these onsite during the same day visit. If major deficiencies are found or drafting problems exist, we may suggest parging the smoke chamber or firebox with a insulating refectory cement product such as Chamber-Tech 2000 or Chamber Coat. Chamber Coat comes with a 20 year warranty and is designed to withstand temperatures up to 2550 degrees F. An application of Chamber Coat to the smoke chamber can smooth jagged edges and exposed corbels while reshaping the smoke chambers for a stronger, more efficient draft and help reduce creosote buildup.
Chimney flue liners are the passageway in the fireplace or furnace flue through which smoke, combustion byproduct, and flue gases (carbon monoxide) travel in order to safely escape your home. Chimney liners come in many forms, shapes, and sizes depending on manufacturer requirements. Chimney liners can be clay tiles mortared in place, rigid metal pipe, or flexible metal pipe. Many homes with chimneys built before the turn of the century do not have liner systems.
Wood burning appliances require 316ti stainless steel flexible liner systems or rigid stainless steel liner systems in order to draft properly and safely exhaust flue gases and combustion by product. Occasionally, damaged clay flue tiles must be broken into smaller pieces and removed in order to fit the chimney with an appropriately sized liner system.
Our chimney liner products carry a life time warranty when installed to UL specifications.
In order to use your chimney to exhaust or vent a new heating appliance your chimney must meet current code requirement which requires a functioning liner. Some installations require special insulation blankets or poured vermiculite based insulation around the liner to prevent thermal transmission beyond the flue walls and maintain proper flue temperatures.
Modern high efficiency furnaces are often incorrectly vented into older unlined or oversized clay lined chimneys causing extensive damage. The flue gases from most high efficiency furnaces are much cooler than traditional furnaces, thus the flue gases condense and collect inside these oversized and unlined chimneys causing acidic moisture damage (Efflorescence), accelerated mortar erosion and potentially life threatening carbon monoxide poisoning. Gas appliances require properly sized AL 29-4C liners, aluminum lined b-vent, or direct vent piping based on manufacturer requirements.
Tuck Point & Masonry Repair
Many older chimneys and fireplaces were built using a softer grade of mortar which was prevalent for the period. Over the years these soft mortar joints tend to soften and crumble away as they are exposed to environmental acids and moisture. Expansion and contraction of brick and natural harmonic vibrations also cause these older mortar joints to erode and fall apart. If older chimneys are not tuckpointed or have the mortar joints ground out and refilled with a new higher grade of mortar they can begin to lean and pose a major public safety hazard.
Without the use of specialty tuck point grinders with attached dust control systems, tuck pointing can be an extremely dirty and dangerously dusty repair. We grind out the old mortar joints (with a dustless tuck point grinder)to a depth of ½ inch to ¾ inch depending on brick or block construction, clean the mortar joints with three stage filtered vacuum, moisten, and repack the joints with a blended mortar of sand, portland cement, lime, and latex acrylic additive for superior bond strength and water resistance. Acid wash and mortar color matching is also available.
Tuck pointing can be an extremely dusty and dirty repair. Insist contractors use dust control equipment and carry full liability insurance.
Masonry Chimney Repairs
We offer a variety of masonry repair services both on the interior and exterior portions of your fireplace and chimney system. As HeatShield Certified Dealers we have a variety of UL listed products at our disposal to correct almost any fireplace or chimney deficency. Our services include, firebox rebuilds and replacements, smoke chamber repairs, chimney flue removal and reline, tuck pointing, chimney crown repair and replacement, damaged brick replacement, and full chimney tear down and rebuilds.
Have questions about repair solutions for your fireplace or chimney? Schedule a FREE phone consultation today!