Chimney Services: Construction, Surveying & Problem Solving
There is nothing more annoying than investing in a new fireplace and decorating a room to find that the chimney is not functioning properly. This may be for example as a result of:
Air starvation - Throat over fire too large or badly formed
Fireplace opening too large - Flue offset too low, too abrupt, too long
Partial blockage of flue - Unsuitable size of flue
Unsuitable chimney pot - Air leak
No Up-Draught At All:
Blockage in flue - Cold flue
Chimney Terminates In High Pressure Region:
Chimney top being in a high pressure region
Down Draught And Difficult Site Conditions:
Down draught due to room inlets, doors, windows and ventilators being in a low pressure region and wind currents.
Too Much Draught
Through visual inspection, CCTV surveying and smoke testing by our trained personnel these problems can be identified and remedial action recommended and carried out.
Smoke Testing of Chimneys
Clifford's Fireplaces can carry out a full range of smoke testing of chimneys / flues throughout Ireland.
The purpose of smoke testing a chimney is to establish whether or not a flue is sound, fit for use and has adequate draught to ensure the safe removal of smoke and to ensure that the combustion gases evacuate from the fireplace upwards and out through the chimney pot and not leak into any other areas which surround the chimney system.
The smoke test will identify cracks and leaks in the chimney flue which if unidentified could result in harmful gases and Carbon Monoxide leaking into your home or that of a neighbours.
The smoke test is carried out in accordance with the relevant building regulations and European Standards. It is a requirement prior to smoke testing to first sweep the chimney to ensure that it is clear and free from soot which could block existing cracks in the chimney flue.
CCTV Surveying of Chimneys
Clifford's Fireplaces can carry out a full range of CCTV surveying of chimneys / flues throughout Ireland.
A comprehensive chimney CCTV survey reveals the inside of the chimney flue to check the condition for complete peace of mind.
Obstructions found during chimney cleaning can be clearly identified, without a CCTV chimney inspection these obstructions and blockages would not be visible without major intrusive works to the chimney structure.
We use the most up to date colour CCTV camera inspection equipment to bring you this service and can supply corresponding information, reports and a DVD of the inspection.
The CCTV survey can be carried out by passing the camera upwards from the fireplace opening or from the chimney top downwards depending on safe access being available.
Prior to carrying out a CCTV chimney survey it is usually necessary to first carry out a thorough chimney sweeping of the flue concerned to ensure that nothing is being hidden behind soot or Creosote build ups.
Chimney Sweeping & Creasote Removal
Why do I need to have my chimney / flue swept?
Chimneys need to allow free passage of dangerous combustion gases. Regular sweeping will remove soot, bird nests, cobwebs and any other blockages. It also removes Creosote, which will help to prevent dangerous chimney fires. Chimney sweeping will also help increase the efficiency of some appliances.
How often does my chimney need sweeping?
Frequency will depend on a number factors which include the type of fuel used, the appliance, the duration of use, moisture content of wood fuel and the type of chimney you have. If you contact us we will be able to advise you on how often your own chimney should be swept. The following sweeping frequencies are for guidance purposes only: Smokeless Fuel = At least once a year. Wood = Quarterly when in use. Bituminous Coal = Quarterly when in use. Oil & Gas = Once a year.
Will having my chimney swept create a mess?
While every measure will be taken to make as little mess as possible and to prevent dust escaping during sweeping in certain circumstances where the chimney is excessively dirty or indeed blocked it can be very difficult to guarantee that no mess will be made.
What should I do prior to my chimney being swept?
Normally you will just need to clear a passage to the fire opening to give adequate space to work within. It may be advisable to remove any ornaments etc from the hearth or mantelpiece and you should clear any fuel, ash or rubbish from the fire opening.
Do I need my flue swept if I am only using Gas or Oil?
Yes, although burning these fuels does not normally deposit soot there are still numerous other problems which can affect chimney function which sweeping can solve or identify. It will also help with the prevention of chimney fires and carbon monoxide poisoning.
How much does it cost to have my chimney swept?
This depends on a number of factors including the type of appliance or chimney you have, the time the job will take to complete properly and the location of the property. If you would like to call our sales team they will be able to advise you on costs.
What is the best fuel to use?
For certain appliances there is a recommended fuel which is the one that should be used. In appliances where there are no such requirements, there are several things that need to be taken into consideration when selecting fuel. Wood that has been properly seasoned (dried) is commonly used as it is clean, gives good heat and is carbon neutral.
However some people prefer using coal as it suits them better. If you are thinking of using coal then it would be recommended that you use a local approved coal merchant who should have expert knowledge to guide you in selecting the correct fuel for your appliance and your needs. Please remember that some areas are governed by Smoke Control Legislation which must also be taken into consideration when selecting fuel.
Why do I need my chimney swept before it is closed off?
If a chimney is closed off it can become damp. If there is soot in the chimney then this soot can turn into a black acidic slurry that in an old chimney can soak into the internal walls causing severe problems. If the damp gets bad then it can penetrate through the wall into the room where it will cause unpleasant stains on the walls.
Why are there smoke marks just above my fireplace?
This may be caused by smoke leaking back into the room. This could be dangerous and we would advise that you seek professional advice immediately.
A bird has come down my chimney, how do I prevent this happening again?
There are various terminals/guards available to close off the top of your chimney to prevent birds or objects entering the chimney while ensuring the exit of flue gases is not impeded. If you call our sales team we will be able to advise you regarding your own requirements.
Creosote & Creosote Removal
Fireplaces and stoves are designed to safely contain solid fuel fires while providing heat for your home. The chimneys that serve them have the job of expelling the by-products of combustion, the substances produced when fuels are burned. These include smoke, water vapour, gases, unburned wood particles, hydrocarbon volatile, tar fog and assorted materials. As these substances exit the fireplace or stove and flow up into the relatively cooler chimney condensation occurs. The resulting residue that stocks to the inner walls of the chimney is called Creosote.
Creosote is black or brown in appearance. It can be crusty and flaky, tar like or shiny and hardened. Often all forms will occur in one chimney system. Whatever form it takes Creosote is highly combustible. If it builds up in sufficient quantities and catches fire inside the chimney / flue the result will be a chimney fire.
Certain conditions encourage the build up of Creosote that is, restricted air supply, unseasoned wood and cooler than normal chimney temperatures all can accelerate the build up of Creosote on chimney flue walls. Air supplies on fires / stoves may be restricted by closed glass doors or by failure to open the damper wide enough to move heated smoke up the chimney rapidly, the longer the smoke's "residence time" in the flue, the more likely it is that Creosote will form. A stove's air supply can be limited by closing down the stove damper or air inlets too soon and too much, and by improperly using any stove pipe damper to restrict air movement. Burning unseasoned wood, because so much energy is used initially just to burn off the water trapped inside the wood the resulting smoke will be cooler as it moves through the chimney / flue. Cool flue temperatures speed up Creosote production.
When chimney fires occur in masonry chimneys the high temperatures at which they can burn can melt mortar, crack tiles, cause liners to collapse and damage outer masonry material. Most often if tiles crack or mortar is displaced this provides a pathway for flames to reach the combustible frame of the house.
Chimney fires can occur without warning and without being noticed. If you do notice a chimney fire you should contact the fire brigade immediately. If you suspect you may have had a fire in the past feel free to contact us to arrange a survey of your chimney after which we will be able to advise you better.
If your chimney is lined with Creosote there are various treatments and methods for removal. Depending on the level of Creosote found within the chimney, the construction of the chimney and what the chimney is being used for we will be able to recommend the best possible solution for each individual case. Contact our sales team today for more information.
CLICK HERE To see AA Ireland's latest advice on avoiding chimney fires.
Flue Installation Type 1
This installation is suitable when a freestanding stove is fitted into an existing clay lined chimney.
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Flue Installation Type 2
This installation is suitable when a Cassette stove is fitted into an existing clay lined chimney where there is sufficient room behind the lintel to use single wall flue.
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Flue Installation Type 3
This installation is suitable when a Cassette stove is fitted into an existing clay lined chimney where there is NOT sufficient room behind the lintel to use single wall flue.
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Flue Installation Type 4
This installation is suitable when a chimney system needs to pass through an external wall.
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Flue Installation Type 5
This installation is suitable when a chimney system needs to pass through the internal infrastructure of a building.
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Flue Installation Type 6
This installation is suitable when an existing chimney is unlined or the lining is cracked or broken.
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Single Wall Flue Pipe
Single wall straight lengths available in both 5" and 6" diameters and in various lengths, and bends with varying angles and cleaning door options which can be easily combined to achieve the desired flue run.
Twin to Single Wall Adapter
The twin to single wall adapter is used to join single wall flue pipe or an appliance to a twin wall system. It is available in 2 sizes to join with 5" or 6" single wall pipe or appliance with a 5" or 6" flue.
Twin Wall 45° Bend
Also available in 15° & 30° bends these components are used when a change in direction of a flue run is required they can be easily rotated where required to achieve the result.
Twin Wall 45° with Tee
This component is used when a change in direction in the flue run is required, it can be used with a 45° degree bend when a change from horizontal to vertical is required in the flue run. This component minimises the resistance to the flow of the flue gas because of the angle created with the vertical axis. It comes with a tee cap which provides access for inspection and cleaning. In addition the cap has a drain off connection.
Twin Wall 90° with Tee
This component is used when a change in direction from horizontal to vertical is required in the flue run. This comes with a tee cap which provides access for inspection and cleaning. In addition the cap has a drain off connection.
Twin Wall Adjustable Length
This component is used to ensure any variation in length is achievable as outlined below. The adjustable lengths are non load bearing and telescopic and a wall bracket must be used on the component directly above the chimney run. Extra insulation is included so that additional length can be filled.
Twin Wall Base Support
The base wall support is used externally and its function is to create a base support for the flue system. The base wall support needs to be fixed securely to provide support for the flue run.
Twin Wall Bracket
The function of the wall bracket is to act as lateral support for the flue run. The wall support maintains the required minimum distance of 50mm between the flue run and the wall. Also available as an adjustable bracket.
Twin Wall Cravat
The Cravat is fitted to the flue run just after the installation passes through the roof and is fitted to the flue run just above the roof flashing using sealant and the nuts / bolts provided to give a weatherproof seal.
Twin Wall Flue Pipe
Twin Wall Flue Pipe is available in a range of lengths which can be easily combined to achieve the required height for the installation. Each joint is firmly secured using the locking bands supplied. All lengths must be installed with the crimped end facing downwards.
Twin Wall Locking Band
The locking band comes with every connection that has a male end. This ensures that every joint is strong, secure and weatherproof. The locking band is secured using a standard screwdriver.
Twin Wall Raincap
The Raincap or Weathering Cap is fitted to the top of the chimney in exposed areas and is used to ensure rain or snow cannot gain access to the chimney while ensuring the exit of the flue gases is not impeded. All rain caps are also fitted with an anti bird mesh.
Twin Wall Roof Flashing
The roof flashing is used externally when the installation passes through the roof and is used to give a weatherproof seal.
Chimney Repairs & Relining
The flexible flue clamp is secured tightly to the top of the flexi flue and sits on top of the flexi top plate on top of the chimney pot and supports the weight of the flexible flueliner assembly.
Flexi Rain Cap
The flexible rain cap is fitted to the top of the chimney and is used to ensure rain or snow cannot gain access to the chimney while ensuring the exit of flue gases is not impeded. All flue top caps are also fitted with an anti-bird mesh.
Flexi Top Plate
The flexible top plate sits on top of the clay chimney pot and supports the flexible top clamp.
Flexible Flue Liners are a double walled flexible liner suitable for relining chimneys. It is suitable for multi fuel where maximum temperatures do not exceed 600°C. It is available in 2" & 6" diameter and any length up to 40 metres.