The Northwest Pacific's Premiere Mason
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At Cliff Townsend Masonry, our fireplace contractors specialize in new fireplace construction and existing chimney repairs. The basic principle behind a functioning fireplace is hot air rising, taking the smoke with it. If your fireplace isn’t working properly, here are some of the most common causes:
Chimney Repairs: Call an Expert and Stay Warm
- If there is not enough heat, the smoke will not rise up the chimney. Years ago they would pre-warm the chimney by holding a lighted newspaper in the throat of the chimney to warm up the flue.
- The fireplace and the flue are not compatible; i.e. the firebox opening is too big, which means the flue is too small that it won’t draw properly.
- The furnace heat return vent is too close to the fireplace and it is competing for air supply with the fireplace, making a back flow down the chimney. Some states require by code that air vents are installed in new fire boxes to add an air supply to the firebox.
- Down draft above the chimney. If the prevailing wind direction comes over an obstruction, like a taller home or big tree, this may make a down draft above the chimney.
- Bad fireplace chimney design, making a bad transition from fireplace to chimney, or the chimney being too short or too tall.
- Wet or damp flue; water penetration through the brickwork, stonework or stucco that would make for a cold flue and hold back the hot air rising up the flue.
- Your home could be too airtight and stop your fire from drawing. Or your wood could be too wet and be making more smoke when burning, and the chimney flue can’t take it quickly enough.
These are some of the most common signs that a fireplace could be malfunctioning; there many others and a combination of any of the above could also be possible. Professional fireplace contractors can normally assess the situation and advise on necessary chimney repairs.