Fireplace and Flue Liner Contractor
Our mason contractor in Gloucester County, NJ are leading masonry fireplace construction and repair company. Brick, stone, indoors and outdoors fireplaces, we build them all.
Fireplaces come in two general types:
- masonry fireplaces and
- factory built fireplaces.(Gas, Electric & Sometimes Wood)
To figure out which you have will take only a moment. A brick masonry fireplace has a firebox built of individual generally yellowish firebrick, a brick chimney above the roof, and if you look up past the damper you will see a funnel shaped flue also built of brick or terra cotta clay.
A pre-fab fireplace generally has a firebox of cast refractory panels, and usually some metal is visible in the room all around the firebox. If you look up through the damper, you will see a metal chimney.
A wood-burning hearth is the standard fireplace used worldwide, as it has been for centuries. It’s what comes to mind when most people envision a beautiful fire in a living room or den.
Masonry fireplaces, built of bricks, blocks or stone and mortar, are massive structures often weighing 6 and 8 tons! They are pleasurable, long lasting, and add real value to your home. With a little care and maintenance they can give you a lifetime of use.
Masonry fireplaces require footings for support or they will often crack, allowing the fire to reach combustibles and possibly wood framing. You should look for any signs of settling, cracks or movement.
Fireplace chimneys see a lot more weather than other parts of the house that have eaves and overhangs protecting them. Your chimney cap or crown needs to be inspected every few years to make sure water is not getting in the masonry cavity.
The fireplace firebox takes the most abuse of the fire’s heat. You should inspect your firebrick and box once a year. The firebrick can take the heat, but in time the mortar joints will fail from the expansion and contraction over many use cycles..
Also, refractory mortar is specified yet seldom used by most mason contractors. In a fireplace without a chimney cap, the rain water can enter. This pools water on the smoke shelf. Then mixes with the soot behind the damper and in the flue. You may notice an acidic slurry and it destroying the mortar joints. Keep these joints in good repair.You can have the mortar joints repointed with a high temperature refractory mortar, which ensures the fire stays contained in the firebox and smoke flows up the flue.
Chimney Flue Liners
The terracotta or clay tile liners used in masonry fireplaces are normally fine for many years as long as the fireplace maintenance. If you had a chimney fire, it would crack these tiles. Making them useless.. A masonry fireplace should be swept before any soot accumulates. If you experience a chimney fire, it is very important to have the chimney swept and inspected before you use it.
If you buy a new home or haven’t used your fireplace in a few years, have it inspected. Before you use it to be on the safe side. Also, your homeowners insurance may require it. Either way get your chimney inspected first.
Your chimney flue is intended to contain the combustibles & hot smoke, directing them up and outside your home.A flue liner also protects the chimney walls from heat and soot corrosion.
Most fire codes now mandate liners.
Primary Functions of a Chimney Liner:
Protecting the house from heat transfer to combustibles.
Protecting the masonry from the corrosive byproducts of combustion.
Providing a correctly sized flue for maximum efficiency of masonry fireplace.
Types of chimney liners:
Clay tiles are the most common type of masonry chimney liners.
Metal chimney liners
Cast-in-place chimney liners
The chimney is often taken-for-granted parts. Your fireplace chimney tends to receive little attention or thought that other home components receive. A chimney deteriorated by exposure to the weather can be a safety hazard. Weather-damaged lining systems, flue obstructions (such as a bird nest) and loose masonry materials (flaking clay flues) all present a danger to homeowners.
Signs you have Chimney Problems
- Missing Chimney Cap
- Water Dripping Into Fireplace
- Wall or Ceiling Stains
- Musty Smell After Heavy Rain
- Cracked Chimney Crown
- Damaged or Spalling Brickwork
- Deteriorated Mortar Joints
- Roof Flashing Problems
A leaky chimney can be difficult to diagnose because masonry and chimney flashing can leak without being noticed. The chimney cap/crown, brick waterproofing and professional flashing all play a part in our plan to keep your masonry fireplace safe and your home dry.