If Your Smoke Chamber Needs Parging, Let The Experts At American Chimney & Masonry Take Care Of It

It’s understandable if you aren’t all that familiar with the smoke chamber in your chimney system. It’s an incredibly important, but often overlooked, part, and its design and condition can affect the function and safety of the entire chimney system.

What’s The Big Deal?

The smoke chamber sits above the firebox and helps guide the gases and byproducts into the flue without allowing them to draft back into the living space. In many chimneys, the narrowing of the smoke chamber is achieved with corbels or steps that, brick by brick, lead to the smaller diameter of the flue.

Unfortunately, corbels and steps aren’t ideal and can inhibit proper air flow. Why is air flow so important? Your chimney works via draft — the difference in air pressure between the air outside the chimney and the air inside the flue causes a draft, which pulls the byproducts of combustion up and out of the home. For that to work well, air has to flow easily through the flue. But flat and blunt corbelling steps create resistance and inhibit air flow and draft. When air isn’t flowing easily past the smoke chamber and up through the flue, heat isn’t leaving easily either, which means higher temperatures in the smoke chamber. This can contribute to masonry damage, and damaged masonry can allow heat to access the combustible materials behind the masonry. The result: a serious fire hazard.

How To Best Improve Your Smoke Chamber

Smoke chambers are better and safer when they’re parged. Parging involves having a refractory mortar material applied to the smoke chamber interior, smoothing over those corbels to create a far more favorable surface for the gases to flow over. That refractory material is doubly beneficial, too: not only does it encourage air flow, which keeps temperatures from building up, it also provides a strong layer of protection for the masonry itself. Refractory mortar is designed to stand up to excessive heat, and with an ample layer between the heat and your masonry, you have a far better protected smoke chamber.

Is your smoke chamber helping or hindering the air flow, draft and safety of your chimney system? Let American Chimney & Masonry’s technicians markedly improve your smoke chamber by applying a high-quality parge coating. Call us at 503-644-0393 or click here to make an appointment!

Expert tuckpointing work can restore your masonry mortar joints to a safe operating state while greatly enhancing appearance.

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