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Chimney Overstacking

Terra cotta flue tiles were added to the top of this chimney without building up the appropriate supporting brick work surrounding it.

Terra cotta flue tiles were added to the top of this chimney without building up the appropriate supporting brick work surrounding it.

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!

These over-extended flue tiles are a potential danger as the exposed mortar loses its adhesive qualifies over time.

These over-extended flue tiles are a potential danger as the exposed mortar loses its adhesive qualifies over time.

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!

AtoZ's chimney sweeps are experts at extending the height of your chimney's brickwork in order to properly support the terra cotta flue tiles.

AtoZ’s chimney sweeps are experts at extending the height of your chimney’s brickwork in order to properly support the terra cotta flue tiles.

A new crown is poured once the bricks are extended in order to hold the top flue tile safely in position for years to come.

A new crown is poured once the bricks are extended in order to hold the top flue tile safely in position for years to come.

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 Chimney

I just wanted to thank you from the bottom of my heart for the great service you have done for me. I am an avid wood burner and love to burn my fires just about every evening. There’s nothing like the simple pleasure of curling up next to a warm and cozy fire during those cold winter nights.

Unfortunately, I had a chimney fire which did extensive damage to my chimney and it had to be re-lined with a new Stainless Steel Liner.

Last year, I hired a different company to come out and sweep my chimney. The sweep from that company tried to use high pressure sales tactics to get me to do the repairs. His poor attitude and high pressure turned me off so badly that I decided not to have them do the work.

This year, I hired your company and Chris Donovan was such a gentleman! He gave me the same bad news, but this time I could see it with my own eyes on the screen as he video scanned my flue. He was also much more knowledgeable and informative and really took the time to help me understand. He did not talk condescendingly, and there was no pressure whatsoever.

Consequently, I did hire your company to come back and complete the needed repairs, and was absolutely delighted!! Not only did Chris come back, but Aaron, the owner came, as well. I was delighted to know that the owner was personally seeing to the work. In the process of repairing my chimney, some other minor problems were detected, and they fixed them at no additional charge!

In addition, when everything was done, they did a spectacular job cleaning up every bit of their mess, and I couldn’t even tell they had been here.

Thanks again for the great service you provide! I will use you again and again, and refer you to my friends.

Sincerely,

~ Beverly Bland, Carmichael, CA
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