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12 Important Chimney and Fireplace Terms

To feel more confident about adding important chimney services to home maintenance costs, it helps to become familiar with chimney and fireplace terminology. Most homeowners are unfamiliar with the many components of fireplaces and chimneys. If you know the lingo that follows, it can also be easier to discuss chimney services with a qualified chimney sweep.

chimney cap replacement in chambers tx1-Chimney Cap

Keeping moisture out of the chimney system is not easy, and chimney caps serve as the first line of defense for masonry fireplace and chimney systems. A chimney cap with mesh is recommended because the mesh keeps debris and animals out of your chimney.

2-Flue Liner

A chimney flue is a passageway inside chimneys that protects combustible parts of the home from extreme heat and prevents potentially deadly toxic fumes from entering a home’s living space.


The white concrete part at the top of a chimney’s exterior is the chimney crown. This chimney component protects the chimney system from rain and other forms of moisture and are prone to crack and deteriorate.


The chimney damper is located just above the firebox in the fireplace. The damper must be open when fires are burned so that combustion gases can go up the chimney.

5-Fireplace Insert

Masonry fireplaces waste about 90% of the heat from fires. A fireplace insert can be custom-made and placed inside masonry systems, converting them into highly efficient heat sources.


Chimney leaks caused by faulty flashing are a leading reason homeowners contact chimney sweeps for chimney repair services. The flashing is the metal portion of the chimney, and it is often installed inadequately due to the difficulty of creating a watertight seal between the chimney and the metal.

7-Chimney Inspection

Annual chimney inspections are essential, according to leading fire safety experts such as the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA). Accessible chimney and fireplace components are checked during a Level 1 inspection and there are also two other inspection levels.

8-Smoke Chamber

The smoke chamber is just above the damper, and heat mingles with combustion gases there. This helps the fumes escape through the chimney flue.

9-Ash Dump

The ashes from wood fires need to be removed routinely. Ash dumps make it an easier and safer chore. Ashes are moved through a trapdoor into an ash pit where they cool before being hauled away.

10-Chimney Chase Cover

A chimney chase is the decorative structure surrounding the metal chimneys of prefab fireplaces. A chase cover is needed to keep moisture out, and mesh keeps animals and debris from getting into the chimney.

11-Carbon Monoxide

Carbon monoxide (CO) is a by-product of incomplete combustion, and it is known as the silent killer. CO is odorless, invisible, tasteless, and symptomless. People in the U.S. die every year as a result of preventable carbon monoxide exposure.

chimney rebuild, fort bend tx12-Masonry Rebuild

If moisture infiltrates a masonry system, the water expands and contracts during freezing cycles in winter. The movement gradually destroys the bricks. If a partial or complete masonry rebuild isn’t scheduled, the chimney will begin leaning and could collapse.

Contact Guardian Chimney Sweeps

Guardian Chimney Sweeps offers experienced CSIA-certified chimney sweeps to provide all chimney services, including chimney inspections, chimney cleaning, masonry rebuilds, flue liner replacement, flashing repair, chimney crown repair and replacement, and fireplace installation. Give us a call today at any of the numbers that follow.

Conroe – (936) 271-9781

Houston and the surrounding area – (713) 401-2011

Toll-free – (888) 306-6069