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Smoke Chamber Parging

When you light the fireplace or heating stove in your home, the combustion by-products pass through an area of the chimney known as the smoke chamber. Its upside-down funnel shape is designed to provide the draft necessary to vent these harmful contaminants out of the home through the top of the stack.

However, many older homes in Marcy-Holmes, Lynnhurst, North Loop, and other Minneapolis – St. Paul neighborhoods have smoke chambers built with corbeled brick. This old-fashioned stair-step technique has sharp edges and ledges where creosote accumulates, increasing the risk of a chimney fire. As a result, Minnesota and most communities have adopted the National Fire Protection Association Standards and Codes that require corbeled brick smoke chamber parging.

Where is the Smoke Chamber?

The smoke chamber is the transition space between the firebox and the flue, where smoke and hot gases rise before entering the vent. So, it's one of the most critical parts of the chimney.

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Signs Your Chimney’s Smoke Chamber Needs Parging

  • Your chimney is more than fifty years old.
  • The chimney smells like asphalt or tar.
  • There is insufficient draft to light or maintain a fire.
  • Your fires are smokier than usual.
  • It’s been more than 12 months since your last chimney inspection.

A chimney inspection is the only way to determine if your smoke chamber needs parging. So, if you notice any of the above signs, contact us to schedule a chimney inspection, so we can determine if smoke chamber parging is necessary.

The Parging Process

Smoke chamber being parged in Blaine & Bloomington MN

Fortunately, parging is a simple process, but it must be done correctly to ensure compliance with current building and fire codes. A smoke chamber constructed with corbeled brick, cracks, gaps, or other issues that is parged smooth will improve the chimney draft, allowing smoke, creosote, and other harmful contaminants to vent out of the home more efficiently. More importantly, however, it reduces the risk of a chimney fire and exposure to toxic carbon monoxide gas. The chimney professionals at Twin City Fireplace are qualified experts in smoke chamber parging and repair.

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Is Parging a Smoke Chamber Necessary

The smoke chamber must be correctly sized and shaped for the chimney to vent safely and efficiently. If a smoke chamber is too small, the draft will be poor, and the fire will not draw correctly. The smoke chamber must also be free of cracks and holes. Cracks and voids can cause downdrafts and allow exhaust to enter the home. Finally, the smoke chamber must be parged smoothly. Parging is the process of coating the interior of the smoke chamber with a layer of refractory mortar. This smoothing process instantly repairs any cracks, holes, and other gaps in the smoke chamber, preventing smoke and gases from seeping through the masonry and into the home.

Greater Minneapolis – St. Paul homeowners trust Twin City Fireplace for fast and efficient smoke chamber parging & masonry repair using high quality materials that withstand our climate in Hennepin County, Washington County, and townships in the Twin Cities Area.