Fireplace smoke chambers are a crucial part of your fireplace that must be operating correctly fo you to use your fireplace safely. The smoke chamber is a funnel-shaped portion of your fireplace that directs smoke from your firebox into the flue. The most common method used to create the desired smoke chamber shape is corbelling brick. However, this method can, unfortunately, lead to gaps. Parging addresses any gaps in the smoke chamber to create a smooth, insulated refractory mortar that meets NFPA requirements. 

Benefits of Smoke Chamber Parging

Parging is a relatively easy solution for covering the masonry of your smoke chamber. When performed by a professional, parging offers numerous benefits including:

  • Increases the safety of your chimney
  • Cover cracks, water damage, or gaps. 
  • Improves the structural integrity of your smoke chamber
  • More efficient draft and fireplace performance 
  • Reduced creosote buildup in the chimney 

Parging mixtures are typically a combination of lime, cement, and water. A masonry expert trowels mortar onto the wall and spreads it in a thin layer. Parging will cover any imperfections and also seals air leaks in your concrete wall. 

The Parging Process

While the parging process is a relatively simple repair compared to some masonry projects, it is still best left to a professional. In order to be effective, parging must be done correctly with proper care. The basic steps to parging are:

  • Thoroughly clean the area by scrubbing with detergent, water, and a bristle brush. Be sure to remove all loose mortar, grime, and soot. 
  • Rinse each section after cleaning. 
  • Replace any damaged bricks. 
  • Mist the section to be worked on with water so that it does not dry too fast when mortar is applied.
  • Apply mortar with a mason’s trowel.
  • Use a sweeping motion to spread the mortar on the wall and press it into any contours of the wall.

Do I Need Smoke Chamber Parging?

Your annual chimney inspection is a great way to determine if you need smoke chamber parging. However, parging is a great preventative measure that will keep your fireplace performing optimally. The certified mortars at Brick + Ember Outfitters will be able to assess your smoke chamber and provide unparalleled parging services. If you live in the greater Indianapolis area, contact us today to schedule an inspection for your smoke chamber. Just call us at 317-500-1250 or email OFFICE@BRICKANDEMBER.COM