Smoky Fireplace Repairs
If smoke is backing up in your Indianapolis home when you use your fireplace, the problem may be relatively minor. It could also be relatively major and require the assistance of a licensed chimney professional.
Chimney Solutions of Indianapolis evaluates many smoky fireplace and chimney issues, and we’re always able to determine the cause and then resolve the problem.
Smoke in your home is no good, but worse is the carbon monoxide that’s present in smoke. This gas is invisible and odorless, but it can be fatal when inhaled in sufficient amounts.
Let’s look at seven things that can cause smoke to back up into a home and what can be done about them.
1. Obstructions in the Flue
We always encourage our Indianapolis customers to have a secure chimney cap on the tops of their chimneys. A good chimney cap will block falling tree debris as well as squirrels, birds, rodents and other small animals that might build nests in the chimney. Nests and the bodies of the occasional dead animal can cause smoke to back up.
Solve this problem by having us install a chimney cap.
2. Creosote Buildup
Creosote forms when wood burns. Not only can this sticky, flaky or solid substance impede the drafting of smoke, it can also start a chimney fire.
Solve this problem with annual chimney sweeping by the Chimney Solutions team.
3. Incorrect Flue Size
A chimney flue liner must be the right size to properly vent the connected fireplace. Additionally, the chimney itself must be the correct height for smooth operation. If your liner was recently installed or your chimney was recently built, and that’s when you started noticing a smoky fireplace, incorrect sizing is the likely culprit.
Solve this problem by having our certified Indianapolis chimney inspectors take a close look at the chimney and the chimney liner. We’ll make the necessary modifications to allow for an efficient draft.
4. The Flue Is Too Cold
Air and smoke are warm as they leave the fireplace. During the icy winters we have here in Indianapolis, the air inside the flue waiting for the air from the fireplaces is often very cold. Warm air can’t move easily through cold air, and the result is often smoke backing up into the home.
Solve this problem by holding a burning, rolled-up newspaper up into the flue for a few minutes. You can also use a hair blow-dryer.
5. The Damper Is Closed
It’s easier than it may seem to forget to open the fireplace damper before using the fireplace. An immediate backup of smoke is a clue that a closed damper may be causing the problem.
Solve this problem by opening the damper. If you suspect that your damper isn’t operating correctly, let us inspect it.
6. Burning Damp Firewood
Damp firewood makes a lot more smoke than dry, seasoned wood. Six months’ drying time is standard after harvesting.
Solve this problem by burning only dry firewood.
7. Air Pressure Issues
In some Indianapolis homes, bathroom and kitchen exhaust fans can create negative air pressure, which can pull air down the chimney and push smoke out of the fireplace and into the room. Also, a house that’s too airtight may not send enough air flow to the fireplace and cause smoke to back up.
Solve this problem by turning off fans and cracking a window or two.
Call Your Indianapolis Chimney Experts Today
If you’re fed up with a smoky fireplace, we’ll put an end to the suffering. Speak with an Indianapolis chimney professional today at (317) 757-6979 or get in touch with our handy contact form.