COMMON TERMS

Ash Pit: A small trench located in the base of a fireplace used as a receptacle for ashes.
 
Caps & Crowns: Cap is the uppermost item you can see on your house. It keeps unwanted critters and elements out of your chimney. The crown is needed for waterproofing as well and is typically made of metal, stone or concrete.
 
Carbon Monoxide (CO): A by-product of burning wood that is both odorless and colorless. Carbon monoxide is toxic to humans if inhaled in high concentrations.
 
Chase: An outer barrier or cover for a manufactured Class-A chimney that is used for aesthetic purposes to hide the chimney from plain view.
 
Chimney: One or more vertical passageways that are used to emit toxic gases from a fireplace, stove, boiler or furnace.
 
Chimney Cap: A cover that is installed on top of a chimney that allows the proper ventilation of gases into the atmosphere but prevents the intrusion of water, leaves, branches, animals or other debris into the chimney.
 
Chimney Fire: A fire that occurs due to the ignition of creosote along a chimney’s inner wall. A fire hazard exists if a quarter of an inch or more of creosote is present.
 
Creosote: A highly combustible material that is a by-product of burning wood or coal which builds up on the inner wall of a chimney over time. Creosote is black or dark brown in color and usually has the texture of tar or even glass.
 
Damper: A retractable plate located at the throat of a chimney. When a chimney is not in use the damper is typically left closed in order to impede the flow of air into a chimney thereby conserving energy. When a chimney is in use, the damper is left open to ensure the hazardous gases associated with a chimney are safely emitted.
 
Estimate: provided for customer specific work.
 
Firebox: Area located in the opening of a chimney where wood is placed for burning.
 
Fireplaces:
 
Gas Fireplace: Fueled by natural gas and can be direct vent or vent free
Electric Fireplaces: Mimics a fireplace burning coal, wood or natural gas. Plugs into outlet and runs on “flame only” setting or can be used as heater
Wood Fireplaces: Fueled by firewood. Typically 70% loss of heat up chimney, 30% gain inside the home. ‘Doesn’t utilize blowers to distribute air.
 
Flashing: Sheet metal that is placed in the area where the roof and chimney meet. Flashing is used to form a tight seal between the roof and chimney for the purpose of keeping rainwater or any other moisture from leaking under the roof.
 
Flue: The passage in a chimney through which all gases are vented into the atmosphere.
 
Flue liner: A metal tube that is inserted in the chimney to protect the inner chimney wall and the rest of a home from the hazardous gases associated with incomplete combustion of carbon. A flue liner is typically installed in older homes that may have gases leaking out of the chimney and into the house before being vented from the flue.
 
Gutter & Vents: Problems with gutters and vents can cause expensive water damage. It is recommended to clean gutter debris yearly and keep the dryer vent properly vented and unclogged. Our professional technicians inspect dryer vents and use professional cleaning equipment, including video inspection.
 
Grate: A raised metal grid where wood is placed in the firebox to prevent the fire from having direct contact with the hearth.
 
Hearth: The protection in front of the fireplace.
 
Inserts: Categorized by the type of fuel used—Gas, Wood, Pellet and Electric. Inserts are popular with people who have an existing open fireplace and chimney as they improve fuel efficiency and heat output while also providing an attractive focal point to a room. Electric fireplace inserts are made to fit any size of brick or steel covered hearth. 70% gain in heat in home/30% up the chimney. Inserts have blowers which enhance heat distribution.
 
Inspection: Our 26 Point Condition Report details all aspects of the fireplace and chimney condition. There are 3 inspection levels: Level 1-when no changes are made to your chimney; Level 2-when changes are made and Level 3-when elements of your chimney or its connection to your property are removed (includes video camera inspection).
 
Liner: Made of clay, ceramic or metal and running inside the chimney to direct combustibles outside. Clay is the most common type and is subject to cracking. Metal are stainless steel or aluminum and are used to upgrade existing chimneys. Stainless steel is suitable for wood burning, gas or oil applications and is extremely safe and durable. Aluminum is an inexpensive alternative for medium efficiency gas applications only.
 
Masonry Chimney: A chimney made of stone, brick, cement or other masonry materials that are field constructed, often times at the same time the house is originally built (the most traditional type of chimney).
 
Masonry Repair: loose debris or mortar as well as broken or cracked bricks and stone are some of the common repairs required and recommended they be done by a professional.
 
Parging: A mixture of mortar that is spread over the inside of a chimney to prevent gas from escaping before existing through the flue and to repair minor cracks in a chimney.
 
Pyrolysis: A chemical decomposition of a fuel (usually wood) that is caused by heat, not combustion. Pyrolysis occurs when a piece of wood is placed in a fire but does not have enough oxygen to ignite. The by-product of this process is char.
 
Smoke Chamber: Area of a chimney above the damper and smoke shelf but before the flue that compresses the gases and smoke from a fire in order to facilitate the proper escape of harmful gases out of the flue.
 
Smoke Shelf: A flat area located behind the damper that is above the back wall of the firebox. The smoke shelf acts as a collecting place for anything that falls down the chimney and is important in stopping downdrafts.
 
Stoves:
Gas Stoves: Fueled by natural gas, comes in compact to standard sizes and offer high tech heating performance.
Wood Stoves: Fueled by firewood. Requires labor with wood and have option for blower. Doesn’t require electricity
Pellet Stoves: Fueled by pellets. More efficient, less labor intensive than wood stoves. Requires electric source for blower.
 
Sweeping: Brushing of fireplace or flue liner walls dislodging adhered materials by use of filtered vacuum.
 
Throat: Area of a chimney that connects the flue to the firebox. The throat is usually where a damper is placed.
 
Video Scan: Use of a LED camera to produce images of the inside of a flue liner.
 
Wythe: A barrier of masonry or bricks that separate one flue from another in a chimney.