Fireplaces Bristol by Turner Baker

Reopening Fireplaces Bristol

Having a fire or a fireplace are enjoying a renaissance in homes all around the UK, as homeowners look to enjoy the warmth and ambience provided by a cosy fire on a cold winters evening.  Turner Baker have many years experience in maintaining fireplaces Bristol so you can trust them with yours in your home or business.

A fireplace previously was the centre of the home. As it was used for cooking, heating and light. Modern fireplace requirements are now different, what with the convenience of the latest central heating systems. Heat is no longer the primary reason for having an open fire, wood burning stove or a gas fire in the home. Today’s fires and are more frequently installed for aesthetical or ambience reasons.

Many fireplaces Bristol were boarded up in many period properties with the advent of central heating. However they are now proving to be popular and being unboarded to be used once again in the homes of Bristol.

Fireplaces Bristol

Safety Checking

In the ideal world, you could remove whatever was used to block up the fireplace and just light the fire and enjoy it straight away. However, there are several safety checks that should be done before getting to that stage due to the inherent risks involved in lighting a fire in a property:

  1. The flue inside the chimney that you are intending to use should be swept properly by a NACS or Guild of Master Chimney Sweeps registered practitioner.  They will be able to clear any obstructions that may have collected in the flue and fireplaces Bristol whilst it has not been in use, such as bird nests and other wildlife.
  2. Then some kind of internal test of the flue needs to be carried out to ascertain whether the flue is safe to use.  Undertaking a CCTV survey will immediately show whether the flue is lined or unlined.  If the flue is lined, it will give an indication of the integrity of the liner. It has been common practice to line chimneys for a number of years now. This often means modern flue liners are available in one piece, whereas early liners were generally supplied as pipes that slotted together and it is not unusual for the joints in these early liners to fail.

Surveying and Testing Flues/Fireplaces Bristol

A camera survey will also identify any bends in the flue where debris might collect, possible timber lintels in the brickworkand any obstructions such as old spit mechanisms.

A CCTV survey will give detailed information on the condition of the inside of your flue but not how well your flue works. To establish this, there are two different smoke tests available:

  • A Dynamic smoke test – This checks the draw of an appliance or open fire. This means, when the fire is lit, a dynamic smoke test is designed to establish if the smoke escapes up the flue efficiently or if it fills the room where the fire is with smoke.
  • A Static smoke test – This checks the integrity of the flue. When an appliance is used or a fire is lit in fireplaces Bristol, this test will show if smoke leaks from the flue into other areas of the property.

It is highly unusual for an unlined flue in a period property to be given a clean bill of health, especially if it has been redundant for a long period. The bricks and mortar that holds it together, particularly in areas where the original materials used are soft, are likely to have degraded over time and for this reason, the flue is unlikely to be smoke tight.

For period properties, where coal has been burnt in the past, the inside of the flue may well be affected by the salts that are deposited from the coal that stick to the side of the flue and are difficult, if not impossible to remove with conventional sweeping methods.

Solutions for unsafe flues and fireplaces Bristol

There is a simple solution to the issue of a flue that is no longer fit for the purpose of hosting an open fire, gas fire or wood burning stove: Have it professionally lined.

There are many different modern lining solutions available. From more cost effective solutions like stainless steel to the more expensive but longer lasting and more flexible thermosetting resin liners available today.

Each period property has its own unique characteristics and a lining solution that may be perfectly safe for one property may be totally unsuitable for another. One of our highly trained installers will advise you on which system is best for your property.

Good Practice When Using Your Fire and Fireplace

Lining a flue will improve the performance and the safety of the flue and allow you to enjoy your open fire, wood burning stove or gas fire on a cold winters evening once again. A liner is not a miracle solution however. You will still have to follow good practice to ensure its longevity, including regular sweeping which is very important. Using well-seasoned wood is also paramount to reduce the build-up of sticky tar in flues and fireplaces Bristol.

If you would like more information about opening up fireplaces Bristol or establishing whether a flue is safe to use, please call Turner Baker on 01432 839123.




« See all news