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in Marin: (415) 479-1080
in San Francisco (415) 252-0676  
We specialize in Gas Appliances, Restorations, Sales, Service and Inspections

Fireplace Safety Services covering chimney cleaning, repairs, remodels, and inspections in the greater San Francisco Bay Area, since 1978.

Dampers, Repairs and Installations

We Can Replace, Repair Or Install A Damper That Will Enhance Your System!

The damper. Everyone knows it’s somewhere in the chimney system, but where is it exactly and what does it do? Well, let’s start with what it does.

The damper is simply a component of the chimney system that closes off or opens the flue. When the chimney system is in use, the damper is opened to allow the gases and smoke from the fire to pass up through the flue and exit the home. When a fire is not being enjoyed, the damper can be closed to keep out drafts and prevent conditioned air from leaving the home.

For decades, chimney dampers were placed just above the firebox in what is known as the throat of the chimney system. Having a “throat damper” isn’t necessarily a bad thing – many of these dampers work like a charm for years. But, throat dampers are prone to some issues.

For one, they can easily rust. Why? As you can imagine, their location just above the firebox means they’re regularly exposed to the high heat and moisture of combustion. In some cases, this moisture can corrode and rust the throat damper (which is made of metal), resulting in a throat damper that doesn’t completely open or close.

If your throat damper doesn’t seem to be working the way it should, we may be able to repair it. If repair is out of the question, we can install a new damper in its place, or provide you with a new, energy-efficient top-sealing damper.

What’s So Great About A Top-Sealing Damper?

Good question! A top-sealing damper works to seal off the flue, just like a throat damper, only it does so at the very top of the flue. The location is key because it means that your flue has extra protection from water and other elements that might otherwise gain entrance at the top of your chimney system.

Because of the location, these dampers are also less prone to corrosion from the fire, and since a top-sealing damper isn’t metal on metal, the seal is typically much more solid.

Perhaps the greatest thing about the top-sealing damper is that it serves as both damper and chimney cap. In our eyes, this is one of the smartest and most cost-effective ways to enhance your chimney system.

Signs Of Damper Distress

Here are just a few signs that your damper might need some attention:

  • Are you experiencing smoke problems or having difficulty keeping your fire blazing?
  • Do you notice drafts, even when your system is not in use and your damper is “closed”?
  • Is your damper difficult to open and close?

Is It Time To Replace Or Repair Your Damper?

Are you wondering what kind of condition your damper is in? Give the pros at Fireplace Safety Services a call! We can inspect your entire chimney system and let you know what needs replacement or repair and what’s doing just fine! Call or click today!


Where in the world is the smoke chamber and how would you know if it needs to be repaired? Talk to us today about this skilled masonry repair. No job is too big or too small for Fireplace Safety Services.

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     Certified Chimney Sweep         National Fireplace Institute Certified
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"I am thoroughly happy with the job you did on my new fireplace. Hugh was great to work with and I would recommend him to anyone who is considering a new fireplace. Hugh and his crew were polite, on time, clean, knowledgeable and a pleasure to have working in my home." 
~ M. Charles, Petaluma

"I was very happy with the office staff and with all the people in the field. You have a very good company."
~ D. Gable, San Francisco

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