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Do You Know the Clearance to Combustibles of Your Fireplace?

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There are different combustible clearances for your fireplace that are highly dependent on the type of unit, how your home is constructed and the codes and standards in place where you live. To try and list them without having all of this information is non-productive at best. If you are looking to install a new unit, retro-fit a new appliance where an old one now sits or tear out one kind of system and replace it with another, your best bet is to hire a professional chimney specialist. The person you are looking for is versed in the maintenance of fireplaces, inserts and wood stoves as well as knows a thing or two about masonry for chimney systems.

Clearance to Combustibles - South Georgia - Homestead ChimneyA fireplace and chimney specialist will know and understand the autonomy of the system and what will need to be done for your project to turn out the way you envision  That means starting with safety first followed by performance and then decor. If you don’t think this way you will end up with a beautiful fireplace that everyone admires that doesn’t work very well and may not be as safe as it needs to be.

We see problems with clearance to combustibles in new construction where brick layers are hired to build the fireplace and they just don’t have the knowledge to do it correctly and when people do additions or renovations and don’t pay attention to the details that make a unit safe and function well while they were “getting it to look right”.

At its best you will have a fireplace that may or may not work properly. At its worst you will have a fire.

This can happen when short cuts are made and wood to frame another room or act as support runs are placed too close to the flue or up in the attic next to the chimney. The heat from the fire that runs up that flue can catch the wood on fire and easily catch the home on fire. This is why clearance to combustibles is not something you should miss and chimney specialists know it.

Different clearances may also be specified by manufacturers of various components of different fireplaces. If all homeowners have to rely on are the manufacturers instructions, they can easily miss something important. Knowing the clearance to combustibles  and being able to access those areas to determine if they can be met or not are also things a specialist will do.

Luckily, homeowners do not have to learn the variable numbers imposed by residential codes or ascertain the compliance of their house with those regulations. That is what fireplace and chimney professionals are for, fully informed of the specifications of both city codes and manufacturers. They are the ones who will check clearances to combustibles, both those that can be easily reached and those that require research.