Sealing An Unused Chimney And Fireplace

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.

One of the decisions you’ll have to make at some point regarding your chimney is to either seal them temporarily or permanently.

In most cases, the need to seal a chimney will be due to it being underutilized or completely unused.

Sometimes, you just want to have your chimney covered.

Reasons for Sealing A Chimney And Fireplace

Before deciding on whether your chimney needs to be sealed temporarily or permanently, there have to be real reasons. Such reasons may differ from one person to the other.

Whatever the reasons may be, sealing a chimney and fireplace the right way is more important.

Why Block A Chimney And Its Fireplace?

Some of the value for sealing a chimney and fireplace is because it is unused, is retired, or has gone out of service, being a huge source of energy loss and also being valuable despite being out of service.

Additional reasons include the extra work needed to keep a fireplace functional, being unable to use it, won’t depreciate the value of the property and the need for better indoor air quality.

All of these reasons are valid and help determine the next line of action to take in sealing up the fireplace or chimney.

  • Infrequent Use

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. This has to be systematic. In some cases, it may involve capping a chimney off.

It is common for an unused chimney to be reused later on. However, this doesn’t apply all the time. In certain situations, there are no plans for future use of the chimney or fireplace.

  • When the Chimney is Out of Service or Retired

When a chimney and fireplace are out of service or retired, they will need to be sealed off. This can either be done permanently or partially depending on what works for you.

  • Being a Major Source of Energy Loss

Chimneys are major sources of energy loss as they drive up the cost of utility.

What results is a situation where energy escapes. What energy? Treated energy from HVAC systems is bound to escape through the chimney or fireplace when it isn’t sealed.

It is important however to maintain an equilibrium when sealing an unused chimney and fireplace. That is because a chimney needs some ventilation. Sealing it completely may affect some form of ventilation.

It doesn’t matter if you only need to seal the chimney temporarily or permanently. It will need some ventilation.

Now, ventilation is necessary to allow for moisture escape. When moisture gets trapped due to the absence of ventilation, it adversely affects the chimney.

So, how should you maintain balance when sealing your chimney to prevent energy loss? Consider sealing it only at the top or the bottom. When this is done, the air is still able to pass through the chimney.

  • Still Valuable Despite Being Out of Service

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. Certain fireplaces are pieces of art. This is seen in the elaborate hearth and mantle designs.

This significantly increases the appeal of the fireplace.

  • Extra Work Needed to Keep a Fireplace Functional

Operating a chimney can be stressful for some people. 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.

The procedures involved can be overwhelming for some people. If you fall under this category, sealing your unused chimney may be your best bet.

That way, the structure remains and gets sufficient ventilation while adding to your home’s feel and look.

  • Being Unable to Use it

Being unable to use a chimney may be due to multiple reasons. One of them includes a chimney that has run out its course. In other words, such a chimney isn’t functional any longer or has retired.

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. Chimneys designed to use wood as fuel can no longer be used.

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.

  • Won’t Depreciate the Property Value

When sealing up an unused chimney doesn’t depreciate its value significantly, it becomes increasingly appealing.

Plus, you can even decide to have it removed altogether. Modifications can be made also to the existing structure.

Such modifications may have to do with the creation of storage space. When implementing such modifications, however, it’s necessary to ensure you make provisions for ventilation as discussed earlier.

  • The Need for Better Indoor Air Quality

One of the most significant reasons for having an unused chimney and fireplace sealed is the improvement of air quality. As people spend more of their time indoors, it becomes necessary to ensure that there’s enough supply of fresh air in the home.

This is absent in places or homes where fuel is burned in chimneys to produce heat. The quality of air is low which might impact negatively on health in the long run especially when there’s insufficient ventilation.

How To Temporarily Block An Unused Chimney

If you wish to temporarily seal up an unused chimney, there are effective ways to go about it.

There are different approaches to doing this. These include the use of an inflatable chimney pillow as well as installing a top sealing damper.

Any of these methods will serve your needs. Just mentioning these chimney sealing methods won’t be enough without providing some form of information.

The following information should help you comprehend better;

  • Use of Inflatable Chimney Pillow

This is also known as the chimney balloon and serves as a plug that fits into the chimney bottom. This serves to keep both debris and moisture out of your flue. This won’t stop or prevent ventilation or airflow into your chimney.

Your inflatable chimney pillow is meant to be used as a temporary seal until you are ready to take it out.

  • Installing a Top Sealing Damper

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. This ensures zero accumulation of all sorts of debris.

Also, the sealing damper keeps out moisture from your chimney. So, will it still allow the circulation of airflow? It absolutely will. It doesn’t matter the size of your chimney crown.

There are multiple top-sealing damper sizes to choose from. You’ll find the perfect fit for your chimney.

How To Permanently Block An Unused Chimney

Not everyone wants to temporarily seal their unused chimney and fireplace.

For some, a permanent block will be in order. This requires taking a completely different approach. It is assumed that you do not have plans of renovating or remodeling your chimney in the nearest future.

However, such a delicate task shouldn’t be performed by you especially when you have little experience or know-how about the task at hand. You’ll need to get a trained professional who has experience in this area.

The process involves cleaning out the chimney and fireplace first. This is followed by the cementing of masonry using special bricks known as air-flow bricks to aid with ventilation. More layers of bricks are added until the fireplace opening is shut or blocked off completely.

Trim and drywall are added next followed by painting.

The paint used must match the existing colors of your living space. Here is more on painting your chimney, as it’s not really an advisable project.

What more? The top of the chimney isn’t left out. A secure chimney cap must be installed to keep out debris and moisture.

  • You Don’t Need to Figure Out the Details Yourself

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. All you need to do is call in the experts.

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.

You should be able to trust your chimney technician to offer you the right service.

Getting the Right Chimney Technician For The Seal

Who you call for the job determines how well your unused chimney and fireplace are sealed or blocked. It is important to be extra careful in scouting for the right professionals.

Thankfully the resources on the internet will be very beneficial in helping you get the job done.

Sealing an unused chimney and fireplace is necessary as it helps keep it safe. We’ve seen that this process is either temporary or permanent. The option you choose is entirely up to you.

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