Know Your Chimney System

Chimney sweep in Amherst, NHJust to look at it, you wouldn’t think a chimney is all that complicated. It’s just a brick-housed channel for smoke to go up, right? Well, partially right. The fact is, a chimney system contains many parts and components that must work properly to prevent water and other types of damage including fires. Here are a few things you should know about your chimney system.

Chimney/fireplace dampers

Throat dampers are located just above the fireplace, although some systems have a damper that seals at the top of the flue. A damper has a couple important jobs:

  1. Open: allows air to circulate from the home into the firebox and up the chimney for proper drafting
  2. Closed: prevents air from escaping or getting into the home when the fireplace is not in use. A damper also keeps unwanted critters who get into your chimney from getting into your house.

Smoke chamber

Above the throat damper is the smoke chamber, which channels smoke from the fireplace up into the chimney. Smoke chambers need smooth surfaces so smoke and combustion gasses can exit the firebox. Parking is the name for the work that smooths out the chamber’s surfaces. Fires can easily start in smoke chambers that are never inspected and worked on.

Smoke shelf

The smoke shelf sits between the smoke chamber and the firebox. Its purpose is to collect small pieces of debris and water that have gotten into the chimney. The smoke shelf helps with the transition of smoke and works to prevent downdrafts from blowing into your home.

Chimney flue

The flue the proper name for the passageway inside the chimney through which smoke, gasses and air move. A clean flue makes drafting efficient. A flue blocked with excess creosote and soot or outside debris such as leaves, twigs and the nests of small animals can’t draft well and is more likely to start a chimney fire.

Chimney liner

Chimney Liner Repair in Concord, NHMany flues contain a liner made of steel, tile or a poured-in-place compound. In addition to providing a smooth path for venting, chimney liners protect the interior chimney masonry and adjacent materials of the house itself from intense heat and damaging smoke when a fire is burning. A compromise in the chimney liner is one of the key problems chimney inspectors look for.

Chimney chase top

Chimneys that are made in a factory usually include a chase top, which serves as a shield at the top of the chimney to block water from rain and snow as well as various debris.

Chimney cap

All chimneys that are built on-site should have a chimney cap, which functions similar to a chimney chase. Chimney caps are designed to allow smoke and gasses to escape the flue while keeping rain and debris out and at the same time keeping fiery embers from escaping the chimney and landing on your roof or in your yard.

Chimney crown

The chimney crown is the cement top that seals off everything except the flue opening. Chimney crowns protect other materials of the chimney from water damage and deterioration. Although prone to cracking after years of use, the life of a chimney crown can be extended by coating it with a specialized waterproof sealant.

The value of regular chimney inspections & cleaning

While chimneys and their components are built to last, they won’t last forever. By scheduling regular chimney inspections, you can spot early signs of trouble with the masonry structure or any of its components and have the necessary repair work performed. Annual chimney sweep services will keep your chimney from building up excess flammable creosote and obstruction-causing debris. For all your chimney sweep, chimney inspection and chimney repair needs, Black Moose Chimney & Stove of Antrim, NH, is standing by to help. Call us today at (603) 525-7905.


First Thing

John RantaJohn Ranta
17:01 22 Mar 24
They arrived on time, worked quickly and showed me the results. Prfessional throughout. jr
william greenwilliam green
23:21 14 Mar 24
Really helped me out can't say enough good things highly recommend!!!! The young man that came to my home was very knowledgeable and friendly great attitude all around answered all my questions and left me stress free best of all left no mess.🤙🏻🤙🏻
Michael Dell'OrtoMichael Dell'Orto
18:39 14 Mar 24
Jaime ConleyJaime Conley
17:13 14 Mar 24
Sarah GilliattSarah Gilliatt
01:46 13 Mar 24
A very thorough and careful job done! Thank you.
Larry CookLarry Cook
15:11 07 Mar 24
I wanted to give 5 stars but they are very busy which meant I had a good wait for both the inspection/cleaning, then for a quote on repairs and then for the repairs. Their prices seemed a little high to me but I have nothing to compare with as they were highly recommended by someone I trust and other companies had plenty of negatives reviews which kept me from getting additional quotes. I am happy with the work and they promptly returned to fix a mistake that had been made. Chris the inspector, Jennifer in the office, and Alex and his repair crew were all pleasant and took the time to answer all of my questions. Alex and his crew even took their shoes off (it was winter) before entering my house without even being asked! So if you are not in a rush and want to ensure you chimney is as safe as possible then I think you'll be happy with Black Moose.
Rebecca DeFuscoRebecca DeFusco
22:35 21 Feb 24
After a recent sweep of our chimney, it was discovered that our flue tiles were cracked. Black Moose techs were hard working, detail oriented and professional! Nice jobs guys! See you next year for my cleaning!
Karen CKaren C
14:52 14 Feb 24
Excellent I highly recommend Black Moose Chimney and Stove; Kelly and Liam are awesome, they did a great job. Extremely professional, arrived early, went through everything with a fine tooth comb ensuring pellet stove was thoroughly cleaned. They also were respectful of my home, conscientious and cleaned up after themselves. Made sure stove worked prior to leaving and told me to call promptly if anything came up afterward. Will definitely use them again.
Denise ClarkDenise Clark
16:32 31 Jan 24
We've had Black Moose clean our chimney for a number of years.But recently, we had an emergency situation at our home involving our chimney & oil furnace flue, which was caked full of soot from a malfunctioning furnace. They came & cleaned out both flues in no time, even going up on the roof with snow on it! They cleaned up after their work in the interior rooms where the oil furnace and the woodstove are located. Great work. Reasonable prices. Very nice people. You can't go wrong with Black Moose.
Joe GJoe G
18:30 24 Jan 24
Goods: The technicians know their business, very efficient in cleaning/inspection along with cleaning up after the 'dirty work'.Others: Communications could be more effective. Despite early coordination about scope of work (multiple flues within same chimney) the estimate provided did not reflect this and the final invoice was significantly more than the estimate provided.Quote for follow-on chimney relining was significantly more than that offered by other companies in the area (and far more than neighbors experienced for similar work accomplished by other companies)