The Basic Parts of the ChimneyThe Basic Parts of the Chimney


The outside structure of the chimney which can be wood, Masonite, stucco, brick, stone, block and is hollow between the flue and the outer wall.


The lined opening from the fireplace to 4 or more inches above the crown wash.  A Masonry system is lined with flue tiles while manufactured or z/c systems have double or triple wall metal flues.

Crown Wash

The layer of cement at the top of masonry chimneys. Manufactured system chimneys have a metal top.


The upper rows of bricks on a masonry chimney.

Flue Cap

A metal cap with mesh to act as an approved spark arrestor as specified by building code.


The structure opens and closes to allow the smoke to go up the flue to the outside.


Holds the grate and is where the wood is put to burn.

Common Chimney Problems

Rusted/broken damper

Normally caused by water entering the flue or rough treatment

Animals/birds in the firebox

No flue cap at the top or a cap with no mesh

Damaged back wall

Moisture enters the flue and seeps behind the back wall. Over time, heat and cooling from fires expands and contracts the back wall causing the damage.

ALL of the above common chimney problems can be solved with a good flue cap.

Damaged Crown Wash

Age, weather and inadequate thickness are the normal reasons for the Crown Wash to fail.

Cracked Flue Tiles

This type of damage is often caused by a chimney fire(s).

Dr. SOOT, Chimney Sweep, Inc. in Colorado Springs holds a D-1 contractor’s license through Pike Peak Regional Building Department and provides preventative maintenance and repairs for wood burning systems.

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