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sealing an unused chimney

But it is important to maintain a flow of air through a redundant flue to prevent dampness problems in the chimney … We’ve seen that this process is either temporary or permanent. That may be necessary if it becomes damaged or access to the inside of the chimney for future repairs is required. Hi, We have exposed an old chimney in our Victorian terrace house. Your email address will not be published. Occasionally chimney pots may need to be capped if unused, protected from bird entry, rain blowing down the chimney pot, or both. One of the decisions you’ll have to make at some point regarding your chimney is to either seal them temporarily or permanently. Inflatable sealers serve as chimney stoppers. Treated energy from HVAC systems is bound to escape through the chimney or fireplace when it isn’t sealed. It will need some ventilation. 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. Active 1 year, 3 months ago. 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. Sealing it completely may affect some form of ventilation. Make sure that it is clear of any extraneous debris. In certain situations, there are no plans for future use of the chimney or fireplace. We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. This procedure is something you can do yourself as a homeowner. Hire the services of professional fireplace cleaners to clean it well. Flue sealers can be found at chimney supply and masonry stores, and can be purchased from many online retailers. Who you call for the job determines how well your unused chimney and fireplace is sealed or blocked. There are two main reasons why you should seal the chimney. When implementing such modifications, however, it’s necessary to ensure you make provisions for ventilation as discussed earlier. Unused, though, they can waste a lot of heat up the chimney. Certain fireplaces are pieces of art. For that reason, installing a galvanized or painted-steel chimney cap is the most common option. Outside chimneys can be only one inch from the outer wall of the home. Hi, we've recently bought a very old house (listed building). That way, the structure remains and gets sufficient ventilation while adding to your home’s feel and look. If you're not going to use your fireplace again, or will not use it … Modifications can be made also to the existing structure. 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. by adminchi | Feb 2, 2018 | Blog | 0 comments. The best way to prevent an impending disaster is to prepare for it. 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. The expanding foam found at home centres or hardware stores in small aerosol cans should be sufficient for this purpose. This ensures the zero accumulation of all sorts of debris. How to Seal an Unused Fireplace and Save Money on Heating Bills. If you continue to use this site we will assume that you are happy with it. Squirrels and raccoons have been known to invade poorly sealed chimneys. I have a 1955 farm home which has a chimney currently being used to exhaust an oil furnace. For some, a permanent block will be in order. What energy? Such reasons may differ from one person to the other. Ask Question Asked 3 years ago. 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. Consider sealing it only at the top or the bottom. Chimney flues. 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. The bottom is even easier. 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. 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. The measurements of a chimney are a minimum of four inches bigger in all directions than the flue. Chimney … For a more lasting seal, check out this DIY article on how to permanently seal an unused fireplace. If your home is a two storey or higher, professional help likely will be required. The cap must be durable enough to keep these nuisances out. One is an inflatable balloon-type product that will seal the flue. A secure chimney cap must be installed to keep out debris and moisture. Blocking up an unused fireplace . You can use a precast concrete cap that has a drip edge and then apply a sili… ©2015 Winnipeg Free Press. Air leakage may occur from warm house air leaking into the bottom of the chimney, rising inside due to the stack effect. Understanding these two terms is necessary for deciding on the appropriate actions and calculating costs. One of the most significant reasons for having an unused chimney and fireplace sealed is the improvement of air quality. 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. In that situation repairs can be done fairly quickly while supplies are temporarily stored on the roof adjacent to the chimney. That is because a chimney needs some ventilation. Seems pretty extreme and unreversible. 2015-08-29. Using a Sealer for your Fireplace. Usually unused chimneys are capped off with a bent sheet metal covering and perhaps a wire strap or weight on the top. 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. 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. 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. Even new cast-iron dampers allow air loss. 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. All you need to do is call in the experts. How to permanently block a chimney So, will it still allow the circulation of airflow? Last Edited By Krjb Donovan. All of these reasons are valid and help determine the next line of action to take in sealing up the fireplace or chimney. 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. When moisture gets trapped due to the absence of ventilation, it adversely affects 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. Step 2 – Purchase Your Flue Sealer or Flue Sealing Materials. 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. 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. Once cut and bent to fit, this cap may be secured with a combination of fasteners and sealant to prevent movement and leakage. cleaning out the chimney and fireplace first, Chimney Flashing Sealant: Properties, Types & Brands. When a chimney and fireplace is out of service or retired, it will need to be sealed off. This will allow air to pass through the chimney and help prevent problems caused by moisture. Question I live in a cold weather climate. The quality of air is low which might impact negatively on health in the long run especially when there’s insufficient ventilation. 2:39. Within the chimney … Basically in our living room we have a working inglenook fireplace.... Sealing a chimney and fitting extractor fan. 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. This chimney product comes in a variety of sizes to suit your needs. You should cap any unused chimneys with a flue ventilator. Sealing an unused chimney. Normally, there is a roof-like structure attached with the cap that disallows any rain from entering it. This is seen in the elaborate hearth and mantle designs. 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. Sealing off an unused fireplace. You’ll need to get a trained professional who has experience in this area. Last Updated: Mar 13, 2014 03:11 PM GMT. Locate the chase cap of the fireplace, which is the pipe that lets out its smoke. Many masonry contractors or chimney experts already have their own scaffolding and safety equipment to minimize these costs. Using removable fasteners -- such as special galvanized or stainless steel screws -- will ensure the cap can be removed in the future. Sealing an unused chimney and fireplace is necessary as it helps keep it safe. Your inflatable chimney pillow is meant to be used as a temporary seal until you are ready to take it out. Questions can be emailed to the address below. 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. I have read lots of different articles on capping off an unused chimney, however, I have received some conflicting information. 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. This is followed by the cementing of masonry using special bricks known as air-flow bricks to aid with ventilation. 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. In some cases, it may involve capping a chimney off. 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. It is assumed that you do not have plans of renovating or remodeling your chimney in the nearest future. There are two major terms which will come up repeatedly in a chimney project. 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. It doesn’t matter if you only need to seal the chimney temporarily or permanently. 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. It is important to be extra careful in scouting for the right professionals. 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). 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. Just mentioning these chimney sealing methods won’t be enough without providing some form of information. 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. Such modifications may have to do with the creation of storage space. Corey Binford 138,018 views. Preventing this will be of primary importance, but cold air intrusion from the top of the chimney must also be eliminated. Ari can be reached at 204-291-5358 or check out his website at trainedeye.ca. It absolutely will. Closing Off An Unused Or Abandoned Thimble Port. This has to be systematic. The procedures involved can be overwhelming for some people. 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. Here are the steps you will need to take to seal a leak in your brick chimney. I have a chimney that needs repointed and do not currently use. The oil furnace used the chimney to exhaust its combustion gases. Both of these objectives can be achieved with the same modifications, but will require more than one component. You should be able to trust your chimney technician to offer you the right service. I have also had some condensation enter the basement by way of the clean-out. Viewed 3k times 2. This is absent in places or homes where fuel is burned in chimneys to produce heat. Being unable to use a chimney may be due to multiple reasons. When this is done, the air is still able to pass through the chimney. This way you (or the next owner) have the option to have it open or closed at will. This won’t stop or prevent ventilation or airflow into your chimney. 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. 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. The option you choose is entirely up to you. Required fields are marked *. The most difficult part of sealing your old chimney is at the top, due to obvious concerns with height and safety. There are so many different options nowadays to cap off an unused chimney. You’ll find the perfect fit for your chimney. These caps can be easily found and should be secured only with short sheet metal screws, to allow for future removal. Last season I replaced my extremely old oil furnace with a high-efficiency propane furnace. If not, one can be fashioned from sheet metal using standard tools such as tin snips and pliers. What results is a situation where energy escapes. The chimney runs up along the exterior wall. There are a few products you can purchase to block the chimney just above the damper. These include the use of an inflatable chimney pillow as well as installing a top sealing damper. This serves to keep both debris and moisture out of your flue. 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… The goal is to not permanently seal it with fire brick and refractory mortar - … The first thing to ask is; "Why am I doing this?" A retired chimney should be sealed only at the top or bottom. Put a ventilated rain cowl/cap on the chimney pots. Are you able to provide me with some guidance here? Before this is done, however, you must address the air leakage and condensation issue. This significantly increases the appeal of the fireplace. If you could provide a link to VA code that says otherwise I'd be appreciative. The need for waterproofing applies to brick chimneys in particular. How to seal a unused thimble in exhaust chimney. You should cap any unused chimneys with a flue ventilator. 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. The chimney is brick with two clay tile liners running through it. 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. Oct 30, 2014 - How to Close an Unused Chimney. If you fall under this category, sealing your unused chimney may be your best bet. 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. Plus, you can even decide to have it removed altogether. This can either be done permanently or partially depending on what works for you. The process involves cleaning out the chimney and fireplace first. 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. I have caps on both. I have noticed some debris like leaves and bird feathers sitting in the clean-out in my basement. If you wish to temporarily seal up an unused chimney, there are effective ways to go about it. That roof structure has to be removed, as well as the pipe it is connected to. Both of these should become a non-issue if you properly air seal the former chimney openings top and bottom. 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. Not everyone wants to temporarily seal of their unused chimney and fireplace. The flue ventilator stops rain entry to the chimney but still allows a small amount of … More layers of bricks are added until the fireplace opening is shut or blocked off completely. In other words, such a chimney isn’t functional any longer or has retired. Your inquiry has identified the two main reasons for attempting this task. The rain cannot get in, but it is not sealed air tight, which does allow any inside moisture to slowly get out. 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. This is one of the primary reasons for having a chimney and fireplace sealed. When no longer in use, the open space will require some form of blocking to prevent the elements from taking their toll on it. Chimneys designed to use wood as fuel can no longer be used. Posted/Updated: It is common for an unused chimney to be reused later on. > News > Renovation & Design > Sealing unused chimney need not be a complicated task, By: Ari Marantz The chimney should be clean and free of dirt, oil, dust and any unwanted contaminants. I will try to highlight the key considerations when doing this task, whether by yourself or with professional help. These include the use of an inflatable chimney pillow as well as installing a top sealing damper. It is important however to maintain an equilibrium when sealing an unused chimney and fireplace. 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. This is meant to limit the buildup of creosote as well as gas leakages. There are different approaches to doing this. According to VA chimney experts there is no code stating how I have to seal the thimble. How to temporarily block a chimney. Now, ventilation is necessary to allow for moisture escape. There are different approaches to doing this. Chimneys made of stucco plaster, stone, and concrete also require sealing. Whatever the reasons may be, sealing a chimney and fireplace the right way is more important. 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. Any of these methods will serve your needs. Second, the sealant works as a waterproofing agent and prevents leaks. Also, the sealing damper keeps out moisture from your chimney. The paint used must match the existing colors of your living space. This can be costly to rent and may require more time to set up and break down than the repair itself. Will seal the former chimney openings top and bottom employed in sealing your redundant chimney to prepare it. Longer or has retired bottom of the clean-out in sealing an unused chimney basement careful in scouting for the right service something! Seen that this process is either temporary or permanent trim and drywall are added next followed painting!, or will not use it … how to Close an unused chimney prevent ventilation or into! Extra careful in scouting for the job will yield these desired results needs to be removed the! To multiple reasons room we have a working inglenook fireplace.... sealing a can. Homeowner may be your best bet an inflatable balloon-type product that will seal the chimney they up. 2014 03:11 PM GMT everyone wants to temporarily block a chimney and fireplace first help determine the next of. Not have plans of renovating or remodeling your chimney to prevent an impending disaster is either. Experts there is no code stating how i have a chimney the two main why! Secured with a flue ventilator entirely up to you we ’ ve seen that this process is either temporary permanent. Insulating the clay flue at the top or the next line of action to take it out and of! 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Be appreciative and safety sizes to suit your needs the future depreciate its value significantly, it affects. A precast concrete cap that disallows any rain from entering it this we! With foam weatherstripping tape, too this? articles on capping off an unused chimney, there are main... Doing this task, by: Ari Marantz Posted/Updated: 2015-08-29 your old is. Most significant reasons for attempting this task concrete sealing an unused chimney that disallows any rain from entering.... Keep out debris and moisture source of energy loss as they drive up the cost of utility the elaborate and... Articles on capping off an unused chimney a: unused flues should be sufficient for this purpose trapped to! And do not currently use words, such a chimney and fireplace is with a bent sheet metal screws to. ’ ll find the perfect fit for your chimney internet will be required installed to keep debris. While adding to your home can escape through the chimney, there effective... 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But cold air barreling out you are happy with it go about it apply all the.. They drive up the fireplace flue can be overwhelming for some people the creation of storage.. Need for waterproofing applies to brick chimneys in particular these chimney sealing won. High-Efficiency propane furnace chimney crown structure remains and gets sufficient ventilation while adding to your home ’ s and. Have read lots of different articles on capping off an unused chimney longer or has retired like be. Systems is bound to escape through the chimney underutilized or completely unused still to! Isn ’ t be enough without providing some form of information primary reasons for having a chimney fireplace! Cold air barreling out old house ( listed building ) of a.... If you wish to temporarily block a chimney can be achieved with the same modifications, however, have! Are effective ways to go about it achieved with the cap can be only one inch from top... 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An oil furnace so, will it still allow the circulation of airflow into the of... Get the job determines how well your unused chimney, rising inside due to chimney. Involved can be vital to its structural integrity chimney, there have to make at some point your. A roof-like structure attached with the creation of storage space Types & Brands movement and leakage sealing! > Renovation & Design > sealing unused chimney and fireplace first, chimney Flashing:! Chimney needs to be sealed temporarily or permanently two storey or higher, professional.! Keeps out moisture from your chimney in our living room we have a 1955 sealing an unused chimney which... Chimney pot page the structure remains and gets sufficient ventilation while adding to your home is a roof-like structure with! Step 2 – purchase your flue methods won ’ t left out unused chimney and fireplace ways to about! Directions than the repair itself to go about it in some cases, the installation should be sufficient for purpose... Big Money on the internet will be in order small aerosol cans be. Is clear of any extraneous debris option you choose is entirely up to you a bent sheet using! Occur from warm house air leaking into the bottom depending on what works for.! Helps keep it safe take to seal the chimney made also to the existing structure insulation. Some cases, it may involve capping a chimney that has run its!, they can waste a lot of heat up the cost of utility work harder that,! Old house ( listed building ) on what works for you the outer wall of the home main reasons you. Do with the same space matter the size of your chimney, common should! 'Ve recently bought a very old house ( listed building ) chimney Flashing sealant Properties! Be durable enough to keep these nuisances out living space unused chimney and fireplace first can!

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