How to Repair a Smoke Shelf in Your Fireplace?
If you’ve noticed a stench in your fireplace, you should contact a certified chimney sweep. It could be a sign of smoke shelf damage. You may have a draft problem, or it could be due to animal droppings. Either way, it’s best to get the issue fixed quickly. Luckily, the Chimney Pros can fix these issues without having to tear down your entire chimney.
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One of the most common problems in smoke chambers is that the smoke shelf becomes coated with soot. When it’s not properly cleaned, this can cause a reverse draft that will push smoke up into the living space. The odorless gas carbon monoxide can also leak into the home if the chimney is dirty.
The smoke shelf can also be a breeding ground for bacteria. Over time, varmints like squirrels can build up a large amount of droppings on the surface of the smoke shelf. These droppings can deteriorate the metal of the damper, causing it to malfunction. In addition, animals have been known to make homes in chimneys.
Other common causes of smoke shelf damage include water and heat. This can lead to deterioration of the bricks and mortar of your fireplace. Water can also cause damage to your metal smoke shelf. And the intense heat in your chimney can lead to masonry deterioration, too.
Depending on the extent of the problem, you can use a specialized product to restore the integrity of your smoke shelf. For example, if the problem is in the mortar joints, you can use a sealant to fill the gaps. Alternatively, you can opt for a corbeling repair. During the corbeling process, the mortar is reshaped to mimic the steps of a staircase. Using this technique is important because it can prevent fumes from backing into the living area.
Parging your smoke chamber will also help improve its performance. This is a repair method that uses refractory mortar to smooth out the rough surfaces of your smoke chamber. By repairing the cracks and voids, you will be able to avoid expensive repairs in the future.
As with all other parts of your home, your smoke chamber should be inspected at least once a year. During this inspection, a qualified sweep will examine your smoke shelf for signs of damage and obstructions. They will also check the smoothness of the walls of your smoke chamber. While it is possible to clean the smoke shelf on your own, this isn’t the most efficient way.
A qualified professional will be able to identify the exact source of the problem and offer you long-term solutions. Smoke shelf repairs will be backed by a 20-year material warranty.
Even though your smoke shelf is a vital part of your chimney, it can be difficult to reach. That’s why a certified chimney sweep will be able to pinpoint the specific cause of the smoke and recommend the right course of action. He or she will also be able to recommend a reputable and experienced contractor for any smoke shelf repairs.