Independence, Kentucky

The Anatomy of a Fireplace February 10, 2020

Independence, Kenton
The Anatomy of a Fireplace, Independence, Kentucky

Although fireplaces may malfunction for many different reasons, some problems stem from a lack of understanding about design and function. To avoid untimely fireplace repairs, here’s what you should know about the hearth in your home.

What Makes Up a Fireplace?

1. Hearth

The hearth is the area of the fireplace that extends beyond the opening and into a room. It consists of masonry or tile work and gives the structure its characteristic look. However, the hearth functions principally as a safety feature to contain the fire. Chips and cracks and broken stones or tile are fire safety hazards.  

2. Fireboxfireplace repair

The firebox is the inner hearth—the part that houses the flame that heats a room. It’s usually made of clay and can withstand high temperatures. Like the hearth, it may weaken or crack over the years with use. Repeated cycles of heating and cooling take a toll. To prevent accidents, inspect your firebox periodically for signs of damage.

3. Damper

Located above the firebox, the metal-plated damper controls the airflow into and out of the firebox. When shut, it prevents hot air from escaping and cold downdrafts from entering your home. It also keeps out rain, debris, and wildlife. Don’t build a fire if the damper sticks or fails to operate. 

4. Smoke Chamber

The smoke chamber is a triangular-shaped space that sits right above the damper. Its sloping walls direct exhaust gases and smoke upward and prevents back drafts.

5. Flue

The flue is the vertical passageway where the by-products of heat and combustion travel before being released outside. Masonry fireplaces often have flue liners made of clay, ceramic, or metal as protection from extreme heat and combustible residues. When the lining is damaged, secure fireplace repair before your fireplace overheats or you may experience a dangerous chimney fire.

6. Chimney Crown

Often made of concrete or mortar, the crown seals the topmost edge of the chimney. It protects your home from water seepage that may weakened a chimney’s structure. However, it can lose its waterproofing properties over time. Have it occasionally inspected and repaired or replaced when necessary.


It’s easier to spot problems with a fireplace when you understand its anatomy. When it’s time for fireplace repairs, trust Darryl Myers Brick, a leading brick and stone contractor in Independence, KY. They’ve earned a reputation for excellence among area residents for chimney repairs, brick-sealing, tuck-pointing, and custom stonework. To schedule fireplace repair, call (859) 743-3850, or visit them online to learn more about their services.

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