A Chimney can be considered an elongated window that serves as a portal from inside to outside. It is made from masonry, clay or metal and is a channel for generating airflow to fuel combustion. A chimney generally serves as a passage for smoke from a fireplace, furnace, stove, or boiler. The outside is generally brick while the interior column – the flue is made from clay tile or steel. The primary function of a chimney is:
The chimney is the engine of the stove and without a well-functioning chimney the stove will not burn properly. A chimney draft creates an upward airflow that enables the chimney direct smoke outside the property. The draft results from the difference in temperatures between air or smoke inside the chimney and the temperature outside.
Steel chimneys are generally regarded as a better option to brick chimneys as they are faster and easier to heat. When deciding on how to replace the chimney, having sufficient chimney draft is an important consideration. The location of the property, surrounding buildings and trees affect the height of the chimney. For the stove to work effectively a good chimney is a necessity.
Components of the Chimney
Chimney Breast is the portion of a chimney on the interior wall that covers the fireplace.
Flaunching is the sloping layer that forms the base for the chimney pots
Chimney Stack is the visible part of the chimney that is seen above the roof.
Chimney Pots are the ceramic pots on top of the flaunching that add beauty and character.
Chimney Flue is the interior chamber of the chimney directing smoke away from the property.
Chimney Cowl is designed to protect the chimney. Stops rain entry, keeps birds and vermin out.
To keep your chimney in good working condition you should arrange regular inspections by an experienced chimney specialist or a competent local roofer. Through the inspection any issues with your chimney should be dealt with promptly.
Key tips to maintaining your chimney include:
Chimney repair are all the tasks necessary to keep your chimney functioning properly. It ranges from maintenance tasks like chimney sweeps to chimney flashing, repointing, and flue installation. A chimney not functioning properly is a danger as they release poisonous gases that can lead to long term health issues.
Your chimney is subjected to harsh weather conditions like heavy rainfall, snowstorms, and high winds. Overtime the impact of weather elements results in wear and tear of your chimney. With regular inspections, a good maintenance and repair programme, your chimney will last longer and save you from the costly chimney rebuilding tasks.
Common chimney repair issues
Repairs should be carried out by experienced chimney specialists or qualified local roofers offering chimney services. They are equipped with the tools and expertise to do a professional job. We briefly explain some of the key repair tasks.
Chimney sweep means removing soot and ash from the chimney so that there is a clear passage for smoke and other gases out of the building. This means your chimney is clear and clean. A chimney sweep should be done by a qualified chimney specialist equipped with a chimney sweep kit. They would complete the job with little mess as they work from bottom up.
It is recommended that you have a chimney sweep once a year. For wood-burning chimneys, at least 2 to 4 chimney sweeps should take place in a year.
The estimated cost of a chimney sweep is between £50 and £100. £100 is usually for the London area.
The flashing is the metal object that connects the chimney stack with the roof. It should be watertight to prevent leaks into the chimney. Two common issues with the flashing are the impact of wear and tear which means they must be replaced and if the flashing was fixed incorrectly at the beginning. Heavy rains, high winds and storms affect the chimney flashing.
Either way replacing the flashing is necessary to prevent further damage to the chimney structure. A competent chimney specialist should be used for all flashing repair and installation jobs.
The estimated cost of replacing the chimney flashing for all 4 areas is between £400 and £700 excluding scaffolding costs. With scaffolding the total cost will be between £700 and £1000.
Chimney repointing means fixing the mortar joints of the chimney thereby renewing the structure and appearance. The mortar joints are subjected to adverse weather elements which lead to wear and tear. The mortar joints get weaker and the brickwork may be damaged meaning water can get into the chimney.
If the mortar joints and brickwork are not attended to promptly, they will continue to deteriorate and in this instance chimney rebuilding becomes the only option.
Always use a chimney specialist for a chimney repointing job. On average it will cost £500 for a small chimney and £1000 for a large chimney.
Chimney Flue Installation
Repairing the exterior of the chimney is a much simpler task compared to the interior. The chimney flue is the internal chamber of the chimney and is a passage for smoke. The flue maintains the fireplace and should be energy efficient. If the flue is faulty then the flue liner needs to be replaced.
The cost of replacing the flue liner is affected by several factors including the size of the job, the materials required and the location of the property.
A good chimney specialist will install a stainless-steel flexible flue liner for between £400 and £800.
To get the best out of your chimney, having a regular maintenance programme with chimney inspections is the way to go. Any issues that arise can be dealt with at the early stage which will prevent major damage to the structure that could lead to costly chimney rebuilding. Always use a chimney expert or a local roofer with experience working on chimneys.