Smoke Chamber Parging | Chimney & Fireplace Repair | Solving All Fireplace Drafting Problems

Smoke Chamber Repair

Masonry chimneys require routine maintenance, cleaning, and repair to efficiently remove the smoke and harmful contaminants from your home while the fireplace or heating stove is keeping you warm during the cold Washington DC winters. One of a chimney's most overlooked and critical areas is its smoke chamber. It is often neglected due to improper cleanings, poor construction, and regular use. So, there's a very high chance that your smoke chamber needs parging.

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The CSIA/NFI certified chimney sweep and repair professionals at Bethesda Chimney provide superior smoke chamber parging and repair services for homes, businesses, and government offices throughout the Greater Washington, DC Metropolitan Area.

What is the Smoke Chamber?

The smoke chamber is the narrow passageway above the throat damper at the base of the flue. Its upside-down funnel shape is designed to suck the smoke from the firebox like a vacuum as fresh oxygen is brought into the firebox. However, creosote build-up, debris, masonry damage, and improper construction can cause drafting problems that restrict the airflow, increasing the risk of a chimney fire and exposure to harmful contaminants, including poisonous carbon monoxide fumes.

Why Your Smoke Chamber May Need Parging

Most older and historic homes, townhouses, and buildings here in Bethesda, MD, and the Washington DC Metro Area have smoke chambers constructed with corbeled brick, an ancient and outdated technique. The corbeling or stair-step design creates jagged edges that trap creosote, soot, and debris. It also damages the brick and mortar, making it unsafe for you to light the fireplace or stove. As a result, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and most building codes now require smoke chambers to be parged smooth.

The only way to determine if your chimney’s smoke chamber needs parging or repair is to schedule a chimney inspection. So, if your fireplace is smokey, has an insufficient draft, smells like burnt asphalt, or it’s been over a year since your last inspection, contact us to schedule a chimney inspection to see if your chimney’s smoke chamber needs parging.

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Signs Your Smoke Chamber Needs Repair

  • Smoke is coming out of the fireplace.
  • You have trouble lighting or maintaining a fire.
  • Asphalt-like odor in the chimney.
  • You smell fumes in the house when using the fireplace.
  • It’s been more than 12 months since your last chimney inspection.

How We Do It

In the event that your smoke chamber was not sized during original construction, we may be able to correct the height by lowing the chimney flue thereby shortening the smoke chamber. Once we are sure your chimney meets proper standards, our certified chimney professionals apply a durable, refractory mortar compound inside the smoke chamber, smoothing any jagged or rough edges. This will increase the performance of your chimney's draft ensuring proper flow of smoke and combustion byproducts out your flue.

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It also seals any cracks in the brick and mortar. The refractory mortar used in the smoke chamber is the same durable material we use when restoring the firebox. Its high-heat resistance and strong, smooth surface will improve draft and fireplace efficiency, reducing home heating costs and increasing safety.

Smoke Chamber Parging in Adams Morgan, DC – Vienna, VA – Dickerson, MD

Yes, we can restore your aging chimney’s smoke chamber! Bethesda Chimney provides professional masonry repair services that will restore your chimney so you can use your fireplace or heating stove safely and efficiently. We serve residential, commercial, and government customers in Arlington, VA, Montgomery Village, MD, Gaithersburg, MD, Manassas, VA, Silver Spring, MD, Fairfax VA, North Bethesda, MD, Montgomery County, MD, Northern VA, and Washington DC. Call 301-969-4444 or 703-935-4444 to schedule a chimney inspection today!

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