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A Smoke-Tight Smoke Chamber In No Time

Having a fireplace and chimney system in your home can significantly enhance your quality of life, but that’s only if it’s properly installed and properly maintained. And that goes for all of the components involved.

One of the most problematic areas in the chimney system is the smoke chamber. It plays such a crucial role in the function and safety of the entire system and is commonly poorly constructed and poorly maintained.

What Is The Smoke Chamber?

The smoke chamber is the part of your chimney system that is located just above the damper and connects the firebox to the flue. It’s shaped like a reverse funnel and is designed to guide smoke from the fire up into the flue so that it can quickly and effectively exit the home.

Common Problems With The Smoke Chamber

Unfortunately, many smoke chambers are constructed from corbeled masonry, which has steps, gaps and holes. Not only does this cause resistance and hinder quick smoke exit, but these steps, gaps and holes give flammable creosote, smoke and soot somewhere to cool and settle. The result: highly flammable glazed creosote and soot buildup along the smoke chamber.

These holes and gaps also allow heat from the fire to access nearby combustibles within the walls surrounding the fireplace where a devastating house fire can easily start.

What’s The Solution?

To prevent house fires and creosote buildup, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Code 211 and the 2006 International Residential Code (IRC) both state that all smoke chamber surfaces “shall be parged smooth”.

What Is Parging & Why Is It Beneficial?

Parging refers to the process of coating the smoke chamber to fill in all gaps, cracks and holes, and create a smoke-tight surface that encourages speedy smoke exit.

Spraying And Pouring Our Way To Safety & Efficiency!

Here at Fireplace Safety Services, we use Smoktite or Ahrens to get the job done!

  • Smoktite is an insulative and highly durable ceramic coating that can be applied to the smoke chamber surface for fast and seamless results. We simply spray the product onto the smoke chamber, restoring it to optimal efficiency and safety.
  • Like Smoktite, Ahrens provides insulation and a smooth surface, but is poured into the smoke chamber, as opposed to sprayed. This product is tested and listed for use in zero-clearance chimneys and fireplaces and is incredibly resistant to moisture and heat damage.

In addition to filling holes and reducing fire risk, parging the smoke chamber smooth with Smoktite or Ahrens helps:

  • Improve draft
  • Reduce creosote levels
  • Protect the smoke chamber from corrosive byproducts

Other Concerns With The Smoke Chamber

The height and incline of the smoke chamber are also important. If we find that your smoke chamber was improperly constructed, we may need to rebuild the entire smoke chamber for optimal safety and efficiency.

Give Us A Call To Find Out More!

We offer the easiest, fastest, most cost-effective methods for improving the safety and durability of your smoke chamber!

To have your smoke chamber inspected and evaluated for safety levels, give the experts at Fireplace Safety Services a call at 415-252-0676 or click here. We can give you an honest evaluation and get your system up and running optimally in no time!


A poorly constructed crown can put your entire chimney system in danger, so don’t delay. Let us evaluate whether you need this chimney masonry repair and, if you do, we can fix it the right way the first time.

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Mike and Kelly did a great job! Mike is such a fascinating guy in that he has a true passion for his work and his knowledge is beyond reproach. He’s a great guy to heave on your team! Thanks again for your help!
~ David D., San Francisco