Structure of Chimney Image - Albany NY - Northeastern Masonry & ChimneyPerhaps you’ve seen them in coffee shops or libraries or maybe even in your own home. Students intensely reviewing huge books devoted to detailed depictions of the human body. “Gray’s Anatomy” is the classic textbook. (The TV drama employs a different spelling.) They’re studying human anatomy. It’s a critically important foundation for those who go on to become physicians or related healthcare professionals.

Chances are, you have never seen someone studying chimney anatomy. You have never seen someone reading “Charcoal Gray Chimney Anatomy.”

Leave the chimney anatomy to us at Northeastern Masonry & Chimney. We know chimneys, their anatomy and their health.

Nevertheless, let us share some of our knowledge with you. A bit of pertinent information can be helpful in preventive care, just like with the human body.

We can start at the top or the bottom. The coin flip says, start at the bottom. The bottom is closest to the fireplace, the source of your heat. Keep in mind your chimney is part of a system, and it’s all connected. Thus, the damper connects the fireplace to the chimney. It’s a little bit like a toll booth. The lane can be open or closed. It’s a gatekeeper inside your chimney. A closed damper prevents animals or birds from getting into your home. An open damper allows safe and easy exit of exhaust smoke. A properly functioning damper is critical for health, safety, and efficiency.

As we proceed upward, we find the smoke chamber. It continues the work the open damper set in motion: the exit of combustion emissions, or smoke exhaust.

Don’t forget the smoke shelf behind the damper. It catches debris or water. More importantly, the smoke shelf moves smoke from the fireplace into the narrower space in the flue of your chimney.

As we continue our anatomy lesson, the flue is the conduit through which combustion byproducts are vented to the outside air. Its liner protects the chimney’s masonry. A flue liner is typically made of clay tile, ceramic or stainless steel.

The chase is the metal casing through which a chimney pipe is run.

Then there’s the chimney crown. It protects the chimney’s bricks from water damage. The chimney cap consists of a metal “hat” or small “umbrella” to prevent water from going down your chimney and to prevent critters from nesting in your chimney.

Chimney flashing provides a weatherproof seal. It is made of metal installed underneath the shingles with one side resting on the chimney and the other on the roof.

There are other parts and other names, but you get the picture.

At Northeastern Masonry & Chimney, we are trained professionals who know chimney anatomy. We apply that knowledge for maintenance, home safety and fire prevention. Our Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA)-certified technicians have the skills and tools inspect and service your chimney.

If you have any concerns about the health of any part of the anatomy of your chimney, put our 35 years of success to work for you. Have us take a look as chimney healthcare specialists. Call Northeastern Masonry & Chimney at 518-767-9315 or start an appointment online.