A Chimney is a vertical structure made from masonry, clay and metal that serves as a passage for smoke or exhaust gases produced by a fireplace, boiler, stove, or furnace. The main function of the chimney is to:
The outside of a chimney is generally made from brick, but the flue (or interior column) is made of steel or clay tile. The chimney is the engine of the stove. Without a well-functioning chimney, the stove will not burn properly. The chimney draft is a result of the difference in temperatures between the air or smoke inside the chimney and temperature outside. This creates an upward airflow that enables the chimney direct smoke outside the property.
Steel chimneys are regarded as a better option than brick chimneys as they are faster and easier to heat. Having sufficient chimney draft is an important factor when deciding on how to place the chimney. The location of the house, surrounding buildings and trees all affect the height of the chimney. A good chimney is essential for the stove to function properly.
Components of the Chimney
Chimney Stack is the part of the chimney that is seen above the roof.
Chimney Pots are the ceramic pots seen at the top of the chimney that add beauty and character.
Chimney Breast is the portion of a chimney that projects from a wall and covers the fireplace.
Flaunching is the sloping layer of cement that forms the base for the chimney pots
Chimney Cowl stops rain entry, keeps birds and vermin out and is specifically designed to protect the chimney.
Chimney Flue is the inner metal chamber of the chimney directing smoke away from the property.
Chimney repair consists of all the tasks undertaken to keep the chimney in great working condition to effectively direct smoke to the exterior of the building. It includes maintenance tasks like chimney sweeps to actual repair tasks like chimney flashing, repointing, and flaunching. A badly functioning chimney is a hazard as poisonous gases can be trapped within a room and property which endangers the lives of the occupants.
As the chimney is exposed to weather elements it leads to wear and tear. Common chimney repair issues include:
We advise that you contact a chimney specialist for any repair work as they have the experience and tools to do the job in a safe and efficient way. Most local roofers also carry out chimney repair as part of their services.
Chimney sweep is the process of keeping your chimney clear and clean. It involves removing ash and soot from the chimney so that there is a clear passage for smoke and other gases to exit the building. For a proper chimney sweep, hire an experienced chimney specialist with a chimney sweep kit that includes vacuums and other specialist cleaning tools.
An expert would not create a mess and they will clean bottom up while using industry sheets. We recommend an annual chimney sweep however if you have a wood-burning chimney then have a chimney sweep 2 to 4 times a year.
The average cost of a chimney sweep is between £50 to £100 with £100 being the top end for most properties in the London area.
As the chimney is exposed to harsh weather elements, the mortar joints which hold the structure are subjected to wear and tear. This can damage the structure long term if not investigated. Chimney repointing is the process of renewing the structure and appearance of the chimney. It means renewing parts of the mortar joints that are weaker and fixing damaged brickwork to prevent water entering the chimney.
Chimney repointing is a more cost effective and preventive measure in roof maintenance. It prevents the chimney structure from being damaged which may lead to costly chimney rebuilding. It is a great way of extending the life of your chimney.
The average cost is £500 for a small chimney and £1000 for a bigger chimney.
The flashing on the chimney is the metal object that connects the chimney stack to the roof. It should be watertight so that there are no leaks into the chimney. Due to exposure to weather elements, wear and tear happens to the flashing and they will need to be replaced from time to time. High winds, heavy rainfall and storms affect the chimney flashing.
Common issues with chimney flashing are the impact of wear and tear and if the flashing was not fixed properly the first time. This is why we recommend using a chimney specialist for all the repair, maintenance, and installation work for your chimney.
With regular chimney inspections, any issues with the chimney will be identified. Replacing the chimney flashing for all 4 areas costs between £400 and £700 without scaffolding. With scaffolding the total cost will be £700 to £1000.
Chimney Flaunching is the top layer of the chimney that hosts the chimney pots. They also prevent water entering the chimney. The flaunching like other parts of the chimney is also exposed to harsh weather elements.
During chimney inspections the flaunching should be checked otherwise they fail, and the chimney pots can fall off. This will be a hazard to the roof and passers-by.
The average cost of repairing chimney flaunching is £100.
Chimney Flue Installation
Chimney flue helps maintain the fireplace and improves energy efficiency. For a chimney to function properly the chimney flue lining should be in good condition. Where this is not the case then the flue lining should be replaced to reduce the occurrence of poisonous gases.
The cost of replacing the chimney flue lining depends on several factors including the size of the job, the materials required and the area. We recommend you use a chimney specialist to determine the type of flue lining required.
As a rule of thumb, installing a stainless-steel flexible flue liner should cost between £400 and £800.
In conclusion, we recommend annual chimney inspections to assess the condition of your chimney and any issues dealt with promptly. Depending on the type of chimney, an annual chimney sweep will keep your chimney in good condition and energy efficient. Always hire experienced and professional chimney experts for all your installation, repair, or inspection jobs.