Parging A Smoke Chamber Benefits Performance, Safety And Longevity
If you’re not in the chimney industry, there’s a good chance you’re not wholly clear on what a smoke chamber does, and an even better chance that you’re not familiar with the concept of “parging.” But smoke chambers and parging, if you’re a chimney owner, are definitely subjects that are worth talking about.
What Is A Smoke Chamber?
Your smoke chamber is situated right above the firebox (which holds your fire) and serves to encourage the gases and byproducts from your fire up into the narrower flue, and up and out of your home. Being right above the firebox and the fire itself, the smoke chamber is also under extreme stress from heat. Given that placement and that role, the smoke chamber’s design and condition can either inhibit or enhance draft in your chimney.
All that explained — you’d logically assume two things: that the smoke chamber would have some built-in protection against that heat, and that it’d include a smooth surface that allows air to flow easily, thus encouraging draft. Unfortunately, however, chimneys were built for years and years where neither of these were the case.
Most smoke chambers are built with bricks that are corbelled, stepping down to the volume of the flue. As you might guess, this corbelling creates flat areas that impede air flow. And while the flue is protected, the smoke chamber generally hasn’t been in the past — which is why we often see masonry damage right around the smoke chamber.
A Parged Smoke Chamber Means Better Protection, Better Draft
Parging the smoke chamber smooth solves both of these issues. Using refractory mortar, we can smooth out the corbels to create a clean surface that allows for better air flow, and better draft. Refractory mortar, which is designed to stand up remarkably well against the effects of high heat, also provides an ample layer of protection, strengthening the smoke chamber, and with it, strengthening the chimney.
We may recommend parging your smoke chamber if you’re experiencing draft issues, or if we’re noticing the beginnings of masonry damage in that area (look for discoloration on the exterior). It’s a relatively small investment that makes a big difference in the performance and longevity of your chimney.
Do you think your chimney would benefit from a parged smoke chamber? Call The Chimney Care Company at 513-248-9600 or click here to schedule online! We’ve got the skills and know-how to guarantee a job well done!