The Different Chimney Parts Explained
If you have a chimney in your house, it is important that you be aware of all of its various parts so as to be able to identify any problems with them if and when they arise.
It is necessary for your own safety and that of your house and family. Here are some of the major parts of an average chimney:
As the name suggests, the crown is present at the top most part of the chimney. It is essentially a slab of concrete which covers the whole of the chimney except for a little part which is left open to let the smoke escape.
It works to keep rain, smoke, and other debris out and away from your chimney and so needs to be ensured as undamaged at all times.
You will have to purchase a cap for your chimney as it does not come pre-installed. A cap ensures that no rain, snow, rodents, or debris enters your house through the chimney.
The flue is the vertical portion of the chimney through which the smoke and byproducts exit. It is prone to becoming glazed with soot and creosote which is a hazardous and flammable substance, often becoming a cause of house fires if not cleaned on a timely basis.
In order to make the flue safer, a lining may be installed so as to ensure that there is minimum accumulation of creosote. It is often made of stainless steel as it does not rust.
On the part where the chimney meets the roof, a metal flashing is present to prevent the moisture or water from entering your house and causing any damage.
It needs to be checked often and thoroughly to ensure it is not rusted or damaged as a minor leak can cause major damage to the house.
A chimney damper often consists of metal plates right above the firebox in your fireplace. They are operated with the help of a lever or pulley.
The damper needs to be opened when the fireplace is to be used and closed when it is not as the chimney would suck up all the warm air in the room otherwise. As such, the damper helps to prevent heat loss through the chimney and conserve energy.
The Smoke Chamber
Located between the damper and the flue, the smoke chamber is the compartment where the combustion byproducts are compressed to fit a smaller space such as the chimney. It often has sloping walls to help the byproducts on their way up to the exit.
Unkempt chimneys that are not looked after properly are a hazard to your safety. Being aware of the different parts of the structure ensures that you are better equipped at identifying any issues and explaining them to the relevant authorities such as chimney sweepers and repairers when the need arrives.