Chimneys can experience two different types of drafts: the draft that moves smoke up and to the outside, and the type that brings air — and even smoke — into your home. It doesn’t take much to figure out which one is the good draft, yet many homeowners accept the falsehood that, if you have a fireplace, undesirable air current is a given. That’s just not true, so why not have a professional diagnose your drafting issues?
A chimney drafting problem can be caused by something as simple as a broken or missing chimney cap or as extensive as installing a whole new chimney. A blockage may also be the culprit. There are also many other possible diagnoses that fall in between. The Chimney Safety Institute of American (CSIA) offers a number of reasons why your chimney may not work properly, but we’ll take a look at a few very common and solution-oriented problems right here.
- Chimney cap – A well-fitted chimney cap is secured at the top of your chimney to prevent the elements, debris, and animals from entering. If the cap is missing, loose, or broken, something this basic can be the reason for a drafting problem. It might be cold air moving in. Even worse, if there is a blockage, smoke may enter your home when you light the fire.
- Flashing – Flashing is an integral part of your home construction. These metal sheets provide a cover that keep rain and wind from moving in. Like chimney caps, flashing can become loose, and when a big storm comes in the wind will carry the rain right under the metal, making it appear that you have a roof leak. When the flashing around the chimney top is loose, that also will bring in unwanted breeze through the stack and into your home. You will need to contact a roofer to address flashing issues.
- Damper – There are two kinds of dampers, the older type called throated and the newer, top-mounted. Both close off the fireplace when you are not using it. The throated dampers, however, can rust, making it difficult or impossible to move, and preventing them from fully opening and closing.
- Bricks & Mortar— Even bricks and mortar, through aging and elements, begin to break down, chip, and flake, creating holes and gaps that may make a draft.
Old Dominion Chimneys will inspect your chimney to diagnose the cause of the drafting issue, then take measures to fix it. Our Level 3 video inspection goes to even the hidden areas of the chimney. Whether it’s replacing the cap or installing a top-mounted damper, our trained and certified technicians diagnose and treat, always with the customer in mind. Contact us today to schedule your appointment. Don’t live with warm air escaping and cold air flowing into your home this winter!