Often, when a fireplace is spilling smoke into the home rather than drawing smoke up the chimney, the first conclusion most people reach (including some ill-educated chimney sweeps) is that the height of the chimney must be extended. Admittedly, making a chimney taller is sometimes the correct solution to a smoking problem, but the height of the chimney must be extended properly!
“Overstacking” is when someone attempts to extend the height of the chimney by simply adding terra cotta flue tiles to the top of the chimney, without building up the appropriate supporting brickwork surrounding it!
Folks often mistakenly assume that a little mortar between the top and bottom flue tiles will be adequate to hold the overextended flue tiles in place indefinitely, but this is not the case! It is only a matter of time before the mortar turns to sand, loses it’s adhesive qualities, and a precariously-perched overstacked flue tile comes tumbling down…..onto whatever may be below at that given moment! The unfortunate recipient of a falling flue tile could be your roof, your car, or your head! In any case, it wouldn’t be good because flue tiles are HEAVY, hard, and shatter like glass with very sharp edges!
If your chimney has been overstacked, either the bricks also need to be extended up to properly surround and support to the overs tacked flue tiles, or the overstacked flue tiles must be removed for safety purposes!
Waterproofing your chimney can save you future damage and repairs, so check with A to Z tofind out more about this important chimney repair before it’s too late!
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Dear A to Z,
I just wanted to respond to your follow up email and let you know how impressed I was with the young man who cleaned my dryer vent! He was neat, in uniform, and I could tell he knew his job well. He even took, the time to educate me as to how and why dryer vents get dirty / clogged, and why it’s a major safety hazard….I knew a dirty vent could be dangerous, but didn’t know it could be THAT dangerous!
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~ Wanda Milstone, Sacramento, CA
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