5 Signs Your Fireplace Needs A Damper Repair
Buffalo 716-907-4914 / Rochester 585-308-4914
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Damper Dilemma: Signs Your Damper Needs Repair  

A fireplace damper prevents downdrafts into your home. It prevents ash, creosote, and other debris from finding its way into your living room. Dampers are made to seal the chimney when you do not have a fire burning in the firebox. The damper also serves as a closure so that warm air won’t escape up the chimney. The damper has a spring-loaded mechanism that opens and closes the door. You can reach into the firebox when there is not a fire burning to open or to close the damper. This is done by a chain inside the firebox. The damper also works to allow smoke to go up the chimney when you have a fire going in the fireplace.

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Over time the damper may break or crack. Usually from continuous heat from fires and cold air from downdrafts. This doesn’t happen overnight, but it is something to have checked on a regular basis. Professionals recommend an annual inspection. This will help to determine if you are in need of a replacement or repair. 

Chimney Damper Issues

Damper Won’t Open or Close

This is important because if the damper won’t open or close, the smoke will not rise up the chimney. The warm air will leave the home up the chimney if the damper remains open. 

Damaged Damper

You can examine the damper to see if it is cracked. You can also see if there are pieces in the firebox. 

Damper No Operating Properly

The damper is not working as usual. The opening is not as it usually is. 


You may feel a draft coming in through the fireplace. Causing issues with heating your home.

Off Track

If the damper plate is off track this can affect the direction of the air rising through the chimney.

How To Repair a Chimney Damper

It is not recommended to repair or replace chimney dampers on your own. Contact a professional such as Felgemacher Masonry. They can take care of all your fireplace and chimney needs. It is not a clean process to work on your fireplace and chimney alone.

Remove Debris

Keep up with debris that may have fallen into your firebox. Check around the damper. Remove any leaves or twigs that may have fallen on it.

Creosote buildup

If you find that creosote has built up on the inner walls, contact a professional to clean it. An annual chimney sweep can take care of this. 


Between chimney sweeps, keep the area in and around your firebox clean. This will help with any buildup. After each fire, wait at least 24 hours then clean out the firebox of any ash or burnt wood. The cleaner you keep the area around the mechanism, the longer it will last. 

Proper care such as annual inspections and chimney sweeps will allow you to enjoy your fireplace for years to come. 

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Book Your Inspection!

When it is time to book your annual inspection or chimney sweep, contact Felgemacher of Buffalo at 716-907-4914 or in Rochester at 585-308-4914

A clean chimney is a safe chimney, and we’ll keep yours as safe and efficient as it can be. Our chimney sweeps are certified through the Chimney Safety Institute of America – a stringent industry certification held by only the best sweeps in the U.S. We remove flammable creosote from chimney flues, reducing the chance of a chimney fire. We also remove debris and obstructions that could hamper the drafting of smoke and carbon monoxide.