Do You Know Your
If you have a fireplace chimney then it is important
that you get to know your chimney and learn how to maintain it.
There are several unique parts to any chimney and the more you
know, the better equipped you will be at keeping it clean and
safe. So keep reading to learn more about your fireplace
The main part of your chimney is the flue. This is simply
the vertical shoot that allows smoke and debris to escape from
your home. Each heating appliance in your home should have its
own flue. A brick chimney can have more that one flue but a
metal chimney will have a single flue.
One of the most important parts of your chimney is the
chimney cap. This is basically a cover for the top of your
chimney. Without this cap you would get rain, downdrafts,
birds, squirrels and a host of other things coming down your
chimney and possibly into your home.
The chimney crown is at the very top. This crown has a
gentle slope that will help drain water away from your
fireplace chimney. Chimney flashing is where the chimney rises
above your roof. The flashing is also designed to keep water
away from the chimney to prevent water damage.
A chimney damper is a metal plate or plates that are inside
the flue of the fireplace chimney. A damper can be closed when
you are not using the fireplace to help keep out drafts.
Unfortunately, over the time the metal plates rust and do not
maintain a good seal.
Every fireplace chimney should have a liner to protect the
bricks and mortar. These liners can be constructed of stainless
steel, aluminum, cast in place or terra cotta. A liner will
make cleaning jobs easier and will improve the performance of
A fireplace chimney should be checked once a year for
cleanliness, deposits, and any damage. This is very important
to keep it safe and functioning. If you need your fireplace
cleaned and repaired, you should hire a professional to do it
for you. Check with your neighbors or friends for
recommendations. Look through the yellow pages for a
A fireplace chimney is an important part of your fireplace.
Keep it maintained and inspected and you will able to safely
enjoy a crackling fire on those cold winter nights.