That Can Be Fixed!
A fireplace is a joyous addition to your home. It brings warmth and a cozy ambiance, and can even help save on your heating bills. It has few parts and is simple to maintain, but if something goes wrong, you should address it directly. Aside from the danger of fire, a fireplace that has components that are dirty, broken or in poor working condition, can cause cold and dampness to enter your home.
Your fireplace is composed of a firebox, where the firewood is burned, a chimney, where the flue is located, and the damper which controls the amount of outside air that can get into your home. The damper is contained in the flue, which is simply a chute for the smoke to escape.
When your fireplace is working properly, you start the fire and the smoke goes up the flue and out of your home. But if something isn’t working properly, cold air can enter your home and bring with it the dampness from outside.
If you start your fire and the smoke comes in your home, first check to see that the damper is fully open. Many people think that if they partially close the damper, it will heat the house better, but that isn’t true. The damper must be fully open for the fireplace to work properly.
If you feel cold air or damp air coming from your fireplace when you don’t have a fire going, it could be that you forgot to close the damper after the last use. The damper is a flap that sits inside the flue. Its purpose is to prevent cold air from entering your home and to control the intensity of the fire in your fireplace by limiting the amount of oxygen that gets to your fire.
If the chimney breast is damp, you could have other issues. There could be a crack or split in your chimney stack mortar that is allowing moisture to get into your home. You could have a chimney pot that is blocked. If the chimney pot gets blocked, it will create condensation that will roll down the chimney stack. You may notice that the base of the chimney breast is damp. If this is the case, the pot needs to be unblocked, or, to prevent this from happening in the future, you may want to install a ventilated cap.
Either way, whatever the problem, a chimney professional can handle the problem and return your fireplace to good working order.