Such modifications may have to do with the creation of storage space. 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. Hire the services of professional fireplace cleaners to clean it well. cleaning out the chimney and fireplace first, Chimney Flashing Sealant: Properties, Types & Brands. 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. You can use a precast concrete cap that has a drip edge and then apply a sili… Now, ventilation is necessary to allow for moisture escape. Chimneys made of stucco plaster, stone, and concrete also require sealing. Sealing up an unused brick fireplace chimney will save money on your heating bills and increase your comfort level at home.In addition to letting in cold, these chimneys pull hot air out of the house. This is because quite a lot of work is needed to make a fire, and maintain the general functionality of the chimney including the removal of creosote and soot among others. It is assumed that you do not have plans of renovating or remodeling your chimney in the nearest future. Using removable fasteners -- such as special galvanized or stainless steel screws -- will ensure the cap can be removed in the future. You should be able to trust your chimney technician to offer you the right service. This procedure is something you can do yourself as a homeowner. If your house is a bungalow, you may be able to reach the top of the chimney quite easily by standing on the roof, or with a relatively short ladder. Are you able to provide me with some guidance here? Who you call for the job determines how well your unused chimney and fireplace is sealed or blocked. The fireplace flue can be a major source of energy loss. At the bottom of the chimney, a tighter fitting flue cap may be installed if you have a standard round metal clean-out protruding from the chimney. Many masonry contractors or chimney experts already have their own scaffolding and safety equipment to minimize these costs. 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. The furnace is in the basement, and on the main floor there was a thimble extending out on each side of the chimney. This ensures the zero accumulation of all sorts of debris. Last Edited By Krjb Donovan. Simply cut a tight fitting plug out of foam insulation and block the hole on the bottom. The following information should help you comprehend better; This is also known as the chimney balloon and serves as a plug that fits into the chimney bottom. Plus, you can even decide to have it removed altogether. Air leakage may occur from warm house air leaking into the bottom of the chimney, rising inside due to the stack effect. I have noticed some debris like leaves and bird feathers sitting in the clean-out in my basement. Last season I replaced my extremely old oil furnace with a high-efficiency propane furnace. The best way to prevent an impending disaster is to prepare for it. Now plug the bottom of the flue with a chimney balloon or similar, DraughtBusters recommend using an old pillow in a couple of black sacks, and removing it again in the summer. Understanding these two terms is necessary for deciding on the appropriate actions and calculating costs. It doesn’t matter the size of your chimney crown. 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. This has to be systematic. In most cases, the need to seal a chimney will be due to it being underutilized or completely unused. There are so many different options nowadays to cap off an unused chimney. Active 1 year, 3 months ago. Chimney flues. Whether you’re thinking about sealing up your chimney and fireplace temporarily or permanently, the information here will guide you on how to go about closing it. Certain fireplaces are pieces of art. Both of these should become a non-issue if you properly air seal the former chimney openings top and bottom. If you fall under this category, sealing your unused chimney may be your best bet. 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. This can be easily accomplished with a combination of batts or rigid insulation stuffed tight inside these openings and then sealed with a few inches of blown-in polyurethane foam. The chimney should be clean and free of dirt, oil, dust and any unwanted contaminants. The first thing to ask is; "Why am I doing this?" The chimney runs up along the exterior wall. However, this doesn’t apply all the time. When a chimney and fireplace is out of service or retired, it will need to be sealed off. Any of these methods will serve your needs. If, on the other hand, the top of the chimney is capped, but it isn’t ventilated, moisture can build up on the inside of the chimney stack, a further cause of damp. Unlike the inflatable chimney pillow which is placed at the chimney bottom, true to its name, the top sealing damper is designed to be placed at the top or above the chimney crown. This way you (or the next owner) have the option to have it open or closed at will. This can be costly to rent and may require more time to set up and break down than the repair itself. Sealing an unused chimney. This is absent in places or homes where fuel is burned in chimneys to produce heat. It absolutely will. One of the most significant reasons for having an unused chimney and fireplace sealed is the improvement of air quality. Both of these objectives can be achieved with the same modifications, but will require more than one component. This is meant to limit the buildup of creosote as well as gas leakages. You’ll need to get a trained professional who has experience in this area. Hi, we've recently bought a very old house (listed building). The chimney flues connect the fireplaces internally to the chimney pots externally, lots of people with more than one or two chimney flues are often confused on which pot belongs to which fireplace inside the house. This is seen in the elaborate hearth and mantle designs. There are different approaches to doing this. This is followed by the cementing of masonry using special bricks known as air-flow bricks to aid with ventilation. The cap must be durable enough to keep these nuisances out. 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. Before this is done, however, you must address the air leakage and condensation issue. Trim and drywall are added next followed by painting. One of the decisions you’ll have to make at some point regarding your chimney is to either seal them temporarily or permanently. When implementing such modifications, however, it’s necessary to ensure you make provisions for ventilation as discussed earlier. You should cap any unused chimneys with a flue ventilator. 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. A secure chimney cap must be installed to keep out debris and moisture. For some, a permanent block will be in order. There are different approaches to doing this. 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. Usually unused chimneys are capped off with a bent sheet metal covering and perhaps a wire strap or weight on the top. In some cases, it may involve capping a chimney off. I have a chimney that needs repointed and do not currently use. The option you choose is entirely up to you. Closing Off An Unused Or Abandoned Thimble Port. The need for waterproofing applies to brick chimneys in particular. Your professional advice would be greatly appreciated. The process involves cleaning out the chimney and fireplace first. That may be necessary if it becomes damaged or access to the inside of the chimney for future repairs is required. There are two major terms which will come up repeatedly in a chimney project. All of these reasons are valid and help determine the next line of action to take in sealing up the fireplace or chimney. Consider sealing it only at the top or the bottom. The measurements of a chimney are a minimum of four inches bigger in all directions than the flue. But it is important to maintain a flow of air through a redundant flue to prevent dampness problems in the chimney … Sealing off an unused fireplace. 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. A moderately skilled homeowner may be able to tackle the exterior repairs, as long as proper safety precautions are taken. If you continue to use this site we will assume that you are happy with it. Before deciding on whether your chimney needs to be sealed temporarily or permanently, there have to be real reasons. If you have an unevenly shaped clean-out, or an older cast iron one embedded in the masonry, capping may require a little more ingenuity. 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. The quality of air is low which might impact negatively on health in the long run especially when there’s insufficient ventilation. 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. Such reasons may differ from one person to the other. Question: I'm looking for advice on how to cap off an unused chimney. ©2015 Winnipeg Free Press. 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. Second, the sealant works as a waterproofing agent and prevents leaks. Even new cast-iron dampers allow air loss. Step 2 – Purchase Your Flue Sealer or Flue Sealing Materials. I have caps on both. The bottom is even easier. Seal Unused Chimney Flue Top, Air Leaks, Heat Loss, Damp, Water Entry ... Sealing a Chimney - DIY - Air Tight removable seal - Duration: 2:39. 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. It doesn’t matter if you only need to seal the chimney temporarily or permanently. The top of the chimney isn’t left out. Within the chimney … If you're not going to use your fireplace again, or will not use it … Before sealing a brick chimney, clean the surface with a brick cleaner to remove all curing compounds or visible stains such as mold, mildew, efflorescence, or rust. Cooled or heated air from inside your home can escape through the chimney, causing your HVAC system to work harder. I have read lots of different articles on capping off an unused chimney, however, I have received some conflicting information. I will try to highlight the key considerations when doing this task, whether by yourself or with professional help. Your inquiry has identified the two main reasons for attempting this task. One is an inflatable balloon-type product that will seal the flue. All Rights Reserved. If not, one can be fashioned from sheet metal using standard tools such as tin snips and pliers. Being unable to use a chimney may be due to multiple reasons. Unused, though, they can waste a lot of heat up the chimney. Also, the sealing damper keeps out moisture from your chimney. There are a few products you can purchase to block the chimney just above the damper. Waterproofing and sealing a chimney can be vital to its structural integrity. Locate the chase cap of the fireplace, which is the pipe that lets out its smoke. There are two main reasons why you should seal the chimney. So, how should you maintain balance when sealing your chimney to prevent energy loss? The rain cannot get in, but it is not sealed air tight, which does allow any inside moisture to slowly get out. Operating a chimney can be stressful for some people. The easiest way to seal off your fireplace is with a Chimney Balloon Inflatable Fireplace Plug. Some of the value for sealing a chimney and fireplace is because it is unused, is retired, or gone out of service, being a huge source of energy loss and also being valuable despite being out of service. Here, the thimble ports left open will need to be sealed before using the chimney. In that situation repairs can be done fairly quickly while supplies are temporarily stored on the roof adjacent to the chimney. If your damper is near the firebox, you can use insulation to seal the chimney. Here are the steps you will need to take to seal a leak in your brick chimney. When this is done, the air is still able to pass through the chimney. Additional reasons include the extra work needed to keep a fireplace functional, being unable to use it, won’t depreciate the value of the property and the need for better indoor air quality. What more? Ari can be reached at 204-291-5358 or check out his website at How to Seal an Unused Fireplace and Save Money on Heating Bills. If you could provide a link to VA code that says otherwise I'd be appreciative. by adminchi | Feb 2, 2018 | Blog | 0 comments. Inflatable sealers serve as chimney stoppers. It is important however to maintain an equilibrium when sealing an unused chimney and fireplace. For that reason, installing a galvanized or painted-steel chimney cap is the most common option. The oil furnace used the chimney to exhaust its combustion gases. Viewed 3k times 2. Squirrels and raccoons have been known to invade poorly sealed chimneys. Leaks allow moisture into your home which can Sealing leaks in a brick chimney can be a lot of hard work but can save you a lot of time and hassle in the future if you seal the leak before it causes too much damage. Question I live in a cold weather climate. Sealing an unused chimney and fireplace is necessary as it helps keep it safe. 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. Chimneys are major sources of energy loss as they drive up the cost of utility. Ask Question Asked 3 years ago. All you need to do is call in the experts. Installing a metal cap on the top of the chimney will solve the pest, debris and rain concern, but some air leakage may still be possible due to the imperfect fit. You can also seal the edges with foam weatherstripping tape, too. Questions can be emailed to the address below. I have also had some condensation enter the basement by way of the clean-out. That way, the structure remains and gets sufficient ventilation while adding to your home’s feel and look. 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. One of them includes a chimney that has run out its course. It is common for an unused chimney to be reused later on. In certain situations, there are no plans for future use of the chimney or fireplace. What results is a situation where energy escapes. Whatever the reasons may be, sealing a chimney and fireplace the right way is more important. 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. First, a good quality sealer protects the chimney and helps it last longer. A: Unused flues should be capped at the top, to minimise rainwater ingress. This requires taking a completely different approach. Once cut and bent to fit, this cap may be secured with a combination of fasteners and sealant to prevent movement and leakage. Step #1: Find the Leak. 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. More layers of bricks are added until the fireplace opening is shut or blocked off completely. I would like to be able to sit on the floor w/o feeling the cold air barreling out. I have a 1955 farm home which has a chimney currently being used to exhaust an oil furnace. Your email address will not be published. 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 chimney is brick with two clay tile liners running through it. The most difficult part of sealing your old chimney is at the top, due to obvious concerns with height and safety. Seems pretty extreme and unreversible. The expanding foam found at home centres or hardware stores in small aerosol cans should be sufficient for this purpose. 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. 2015-08-29. How to temporarily block a chimney. Just mentioning these chimney sealing methods won’t be enough without providing some form of information. When moisture gets trapped due to the absence of ventilation, it adversely affects the chimney. How to permanently block a chimney This can either be done permanently or partially depending on what works for you. Corey Binford 138,018 views. If you wish to temporarily seal up an unused chimney, there are effective ways to go about it. Flue sealers can be found at chimney supply and masonry stores, and can be purchased from many online retailers. This serves to keep both debris and moisture out of your flue. They are far less expensive than the newer dampers, but they must be removed before every fire and cannot be reinstalled until the fireplace has completely cooled. Make sure that it is clear of any extraneous debris. Blocking up an unused fireplace . 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. The procedures involved can be overwhelming for some people. If your home is a two storey or higher, professional help likely will be required. Ari Marantz is the owner of Trained Eye Home Inspection Ltd. and the past president of the Canadian Association of Home & Property Inspectors -- Manitoba ( Chimneys designed to use wood as fuel can no longer be used. So, will it still allow the circulation of airflow? Posted/Updated: Despite briefly explaining the process involved in permanently sealing an unused chimney and fireplace, you don’t need to be worried about every detail involved. We’ve seen that this process is either temporary or permanent. Outside chimneys can be only one inch from the outer wall of the home. 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. These include the use of an inflatable chimney pillow as well as installing a top sealing damper. Last Updated: Mar 13, 2014 03:11 PM GMT. Basically in our living room we have a working inglenook fireplace.... Sealing a chimney and fitting extractor fan. The paint used must match the existing colors of your living space. Chimney … We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. A retired chimney should be sealed only at the top or bottom. How to seal a unused thimble in exhaust chimney. > News > Renovation & Design > Sealing unused chimney need not be a complicated task, By: Ari Marantz This is one of the primary reasons for having a chimney and fireplace sealed. Preventing this will be of primary importance, but cold air intrusion from the top of the chimney must also be eliminated. Normally, there is a roof-like structure attached with the cap that disallows any rain from entering it. It will need some ventilation. This will allow air to pass through the chimney and help prevent problems caused by moisture. Your inflatable chimney pillow is meant to be used as a temporary seal until you are ready to take it out. The goal is to not permanently seal it with fire brick and refractory mortar - … That is because a chimney needs some ventilation. Hi, We have exposed an old chimney in our Victorian terrace house. Moreover, it is also possible to use decorative items such as sculptors, candles, or figurines will cover your unused chimney just fine. Sealing and insulating the clay flue at the top and bottom of the stack will ensure the job will yield these desired results. 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. If you wish to temporarily seal up an unused chimney, there are effective ways to go about it. Treated energy from HVAC systems is bound to escape through the chimney or fireplace when it isn’t sealed. 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. You should cap any unused chimneys with a flue ventilator. This won’t stop or prevent ventilation or airflow into your chimney. 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. That roof structure has to be removed, as well as the pipe it is connected to. When sealing up an unused chimney doesn’t depreciate its value significantly, it becomes increasingly appealing. Sealing it completely may affect some form of ventilation. 2:39. There are multiple top-sealing damper sizes to choose from. Modifications can be made also to the existing structure. Thankfully the resources on the internet will be very beneficial in helping you get the job done. The key to capping the top of the chimney is to install a barrier that will be moisture and tamper resistant and will not be affected by environmental factors such as snow, wind and sunlight. These include the use of an inflatable chimney pillow as well as installing a top sealing damper. Occasionally chimney pots may need to be capped if unused, protected from bird entry, rain blowing down the chimney pot, or both. As with many home-related modifications, common sense should dictate the methods employed in sealing your redundant chimney. For a more lasting seal, check out this DIY article on how to permanently seal an unused fireplace. 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. 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. 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. The opening needs to be then sealed with a piece of metal, and additional sound insulation can be achieved by placing a barrier over t… 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. In other words, such a chimney isn’t functional any longer or has retired. This significantly increases the appeal of the fireplace. Using a Sealer for your Fireplace. Required fields are marked *. Saving a big money on the heating bills by sealing them off when not in use is possible from masonry fireplaces in the house. Not everyone wants to temporarily seal of their unused chimney and fireplace. Suppose the fireplace is in the children’s bedroom, you can paint it with their favorite colors and put some additional toys, which they love to make it look cute. Your email address will not be published. It is important to be extra careful in scouting for the right professionals. According to VA chimney experts there is no code stating how I have to seal the thimble. These caps can be easily found and should be secured only with short sheet metal screws, to allow for future removal. As long as you measure your chimney dimensions correctly, the installation should be easy. Put a ventilated rain cowl/cap on the chimney pots. The flue ventilator stops rain entry to the chimney but still allows a small amount of … What energy? 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. Any of these methods will serve your needs. For these unused chimneys, it’s better to have them sealed up at least until you’re able to come up with modifications for alternative fuel use. This chimney product comes in a variety of sizes to suit your needs. Flue ventilators can be found on our chimney pot page. 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. When retiring a chimney, many chimney experts recommend using Roxul, a hydrophobic mineral wool insulation, which means that it will dry out if it ever gets wet. You’ll find the perfect fit for your chimney. Oct 30, 2014 - How to Close an Unused Chimney. A kitchen brick pizza oven & a living room fireplace share the same space. When no longer in use, the open space will require some form of blocking to prevent the elements from taking their toll on it.

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