In certain situations, there are no plans for future use of the chimney or fireplace. The easiest way to seal off your fireplace is with a Chimney Balloon Inflatable Fireplace Plug. For some, a permanent block will be in order. When the experts come around, questions are asked, an inspection is carried out and the most appropriate action is taken based on your needs and the situation at hand. Wood, kindling, and other materials that may travel up the chimney must be at a minimum of two inches away from the outer part of the chimney. So, will it still allow the circulation of airflow? Any of these methods will serve your needs. A retired chimney should be sealed only at the top or bottom. Hire the services of professional fireplace cleaners to clean it well. A: Unused flues should be capped at the top, to minimise rainwater ingress. Before this is done, however, you must address the air leakage and condensation issue. Here, the thimble ports left open will need to be sealed before using the chimney. Sealing your older, unused chimney should not be a complicated task as long as attention is paid to prevention of air intrusion, as well as environmental and pest control. Flue sealers can be found at chimney supply and masonry stores, and can be purchased from many online retailers. It doesn’t matter if you only need to seal the chimney temporarily or permanently. How to Seal an Unused Fireplace and Save Money on Heating Bills. Sealing an unused chimney. First, a good quality sealer protects the chimney and helps it last longer. Seems pretty extreme and unreversible. It is important to be extra careful in scouting for the right professionals. Capping unused chimneys - flue ventilators UK Unused chimneys not only waste a lot of heat, they also pose a potential damp problem as well as being a cause of smoking fireplaces and stoves. When sealing up an unused chimney doesn’t depreciate its value significantly, it becomes increasingly appealing. One of the best ways (in my opinion) is to use a Chimney C Cap Chimney C Caps are a plastic terracotta cap with an bird/insect guard that sits in side the cap. Posted/Updated: When this is done, the air is still able to pass through the chimney. This is followed by the cementing of masonry using special bricks known as air-flow bricks to aid with ventilation. Air leakage may occur from warm house air leaking into the bottom of the chimney, rising inside due to the stack effect. Both of these should become a non-issue if you properly air seal the former chimney openings top and bottom. Even a bungalow with a very steep roof and a chimney top well above the eave may require temporary installation of scaffolding to ensure a safe worksite. Inflatable sealers serve as chimney stoppers. Chimney … Occasionally chimney pots may need to be capped if unused, protected from bird entry, rain blowing down the chimney pot, or both. Hi, We have exposed an old chimney in our Victorian terrace house. This requires taking a completely different approach. Ari can be reached at 204-291-5358 or check out his website at trainedeye.ca. To stop your chimney from being a major source of heat loss you need to insulate inside the chimney from the top and bottom, in addition to insulating the exterior. It absolutely will. That way, the structure remains and gets sufficient ventilation while adding to your home’s feel and look. Corey Binford 138,018 views. Are you able to provide me with some guidance here? However, this doesn’t apply all the time. If your chimney is open at the top but is not in use, rainwater can travel all the way down to the bottom of the chimney stack. If you could provide a link to VA code that says otherwise I'd be appreciative. If you wish to temporarily seal up an unused chimney, there are effective ways to go about it. Modifications can be made also to the existing structure. More layers of bricks are added until the fireplace opening is shut or blocked off completely. Saving a big money on the heating bills by sealing them off when not in use is possible from masonry fireplaces in the house. As people spend more of their time indoors, it becomes necessary to ensure that there’s enough supply of fresh air in the home. The bottom is even easier. This has to be systematic. Put a ventilated rain cowl/cap on the chimney pots. Squirrels and raccoons have been known to invade poorly sealed chimneys. The rain cannot get in, but it is not sealed air tight, which does allow any inside moisture to slowly get out. Even new cast-iron dampers allow air loss. The need for waterproofing applies to brick chimneys in particular. Sealing off an unused fireplace. The fireplace flue can be a major source of energy loss. When no longer in use, the open space will require some form of blocking to prevent the elements from taking their toll on it. Flue ventilators can be found on our chimney pot page. Operating a chimney can be stressful for some people. Answer: It is true that myself and others have recommended capping off an older, unused chimney to prevent moisture and air-leakage issues, but we have been vague about specific methods. Not everyone wants to temporarily seal of their unused chimney and fireplace. Many masonry contractors or chimney experts already have their own scaffolding and safety equipment to minimize these costs. However, such a delicate task shouldn’t be performed by you especially when you have little experience or know-how about the task at hand. Sealing an unused chimney and fireplace is necessary as it helps keep it safe. Being unable to use a chimney may be due to multiple reasons. Second, the sealant works as a waterproofing agent and prevents leaks. Understanding these two terms is necessary for deciding on the appropriate actions and calculating costs. Chimneys made of stucco plaster, stone, and concrete also require sealing. Viewed 3k times 2. A kitchen brick pizza oven & a living room fireplace share the same space. The oil furnace used the chimney to exhaust its combustion gases. ©2015 Winnipeg Free Press. It will need some ventilation. Your professional advice would be greatly appreciated. You can use a precast concrete cap that has a drip edge and then apply a sili… by adminchi | Feb 2, 2018 | Blog | 0 comments. This will allow air to pass through the chimney and help prevent problems caused by moisture. However, if you want to permanently close up your chimney, cutting out a foam insulation plug and placing it in the bottom of the chimney and caulking around it is the best method. When a chimney isn’t operable any longer, it can be sealed from the top while leaving the fireplace to add to the beauty of your home. You can also seal the edges with foam weatherstripping tape, too. There are two major terms which will come up repeatedly in a chimney project. Sealing your older, unused chimney should not be a complicated task as long as attention is paid to prevention of air intrusion, as well as environmental and pest control. The chimney is brick with two clay tile liners running through it. I have a 1955 farm home which has a chimney currently being used to exhaust an oil furnace. According to VA chimney experts there is no code stating how I have to seal the thimble. It is obviously not in use anymore, as my new high- efficiency furnace uses PVC piping for intake and exhaust through the side wall of my house. Certain fireplaces are pieces of art. Step 2 – Purchase Your Flue Sealer or Flue Sealing Materials. This significantly increases the appeal of the fireplace. What results is a situation where energy escapes. This serves to keep both debris and moisture out of your flue. The goal is to not permanently seal it with fire brick and refractory mortar - … Here are the steps you will need to take to seal a leak in your brick chimney. It is common for an unused chimney to be reused later on. Both of these objectives can be achieved with the same modifications, but will require more than one component. Question I live in a cold weather climate. The best way to prevent an impending disaster is to prepare for it. Your inflatable chimney pillow is meant to be used as a temporary seal until you are ready to take it out. Code requires that chimneys be three feet over the roof and two feet over any other part of the roof that is within 10 feet. One of the decisions you’ll have to make at some point regarding your chimney is to either seal them temporarily or permanently. After an old fire surround and hearth has been removed, the hole in the chimney breast can be bricked in to tidy up the wall. There are so many different options nowadays to cap off an unused chimney. Chimneys designed to use wood as fuel can no longer be used. Blocking up an unused fireplace . What more? How to seal a unused thimble in exhaust chimney. I have also had some condensation enter the basement by way of the clean-out. I have noticed some debris like leaves and bird feathers sitting in the clean-out in my basement. Apply a bead of butyl rubber caulk around three sides of the chimney at the top, and set the cut piece of metal on the chimney so the edges line up with the caulk bead. If you want to seal your fireplace off for good, the easiest way to do so in a hurry is to cut out a foam insulation plug, place it at the bottom of your chimney, and caulk or weatherstrip it in place. The furnace is in the basement, and on the main floor there was a thimble extending out on each side of the chimney. This cap should be large enough to fit easily over the top of the clay flue, but not too large that significant gaps appear between the sides and the clay liner. The paint used must match the existing colors of your living space. 2:39. Outside chimneys can be only one inch from the outer wall of the home. I have a chimney that needs repointed and do not currently use. Required fields are marked *. I have read lots of different articles on capping off an unused chimney, however, I have received some conflicting information. If the liner is quite rusted in any location, it is a good idea to remove it and cap the top of the chimney with a metal flashing or thick mortar bed. If your damper is near the firebox, you can use insulation to seal the chimney. Within the chimney … You will be sealing your chimney to keep debris and pests out of the flue and also to prevent condensation, which may lead to spring leakage into your basement. The chimney should be clean and free of dirt, oil, dust and any unwanted contaminants. Waterproofing and sealing a chimney can be vital to its structural integrity. Basically in our living room we have a working inglenook fireplace.... Sealing a chimney and fitting extractor fan. Moreover, it is also possible to use decorative items such as sculptors, candles, or figurines will cover your unused chimney just fine. Repeated applications -- with time to cure in between -- may be required to get a thick enough layer to fill all gaps above and below the insulation plugs. When a chimney and fireplace is out of service or retired, it will need to be sealed off. The cap must be durable enough to keep these nuisances out. You may be able to buy a pre-made cap at a heating supply retailer if you have a standard size clay liner that protrudes above the top of the chimney. It is assumed that you do not have plans of renovating or remodeling your chimney in the nearest future. All Rights Reserved. You’ll find the perfect fit for your chimney. Ari Marantz is the owner of Trained Eye Home Inspection Ltd. and the past president of the Canadian Association of Home & Property Inspectors -- Manitoba (cahpi.mb.ca). Once cut and bent to fit, this cap may be secured with a combination of fasteners and sealant to prevent movement and leakage. Treated energy from HVAC systems is bound to escape through the chimney or fireplace when it isn’t sealed. All of these reasons are valid and help determine the next line of action to take in sealing up the fireplace or chimney. Now, ventilation is necessary to allow for moisture escape. Sealing it completely may affect some form of ventilation. But it is important to maintain a flow of air through a redundant flue to prevent dampness problems in the chimney … Last Updated: Mar 13, 2014 03:11 PM GMT. Unused chimneys not only waste a lot of heat, they also pose a potential damp problem as well as being a cause of smoking fireplaces and stoves. There are two main reasons why you should seal the chimney. Just mentioning these chimney sealing methods won’t be enough without providing some form of information. Question: I'm looking for advice on how to cap off an unused chimney. In some cases, it may involve capping a chimney off. This way you (or the next owner) have the option to have it open or closed at will. There is no need to remove the fireback from the fireplace, although if a back boiler is fitted, this should be removed once the plumbing has been isolated and disconnected. It would definitely be a good idea to call for a couple of estimates, even if you were thinking of doing the exterior sealing yourself. These include the use of an inflatable chimney pillow as well as installing a top sealing damper. Step #1: Find the Leak. This can either be done permanently or partially depending on what works for you. You should cap any unused chimneys with a flue ventilator. One is an inflatable balloon-type product that will seal the flue. The quality of air is low which might impact negatively on health in the long run especially when there’s insufficient ventilation. The flue ventilator stops rain entry to the chimney but still allows a small amount of … Your email address will not be published. So, how should you maintain balance when sealing your chimney to prevent energy loss? Depending on the style of your home, and the height of the top of the chimney above your roof, special equipment may be needed for this task. Another reason for being unable to use a chimney has to do with local ordinances prohibiting the use of wood as burning fuel for chimneys. If you want an easy way to temporarily block and unused fireplace flue to stop a draft, you should consider installing a top sealing damper. 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