Majestic Fireplace Fire Hazard

This Majestic fireplace was originally installed by another company. We discovered many components were installed incorrectly. We found loose electrical, exposed framing, and improper venting. This was all a huge fire hazard.

PFC came in and demoed out the fireplace mantle and over the mantle wall in order to comply with ceiling clearance to combustible requirements. We reinstalled proper electric & gas venting. The building inspector was called out before continuing any work.

After the inspector’s approval, we entered the remodeling phase. Our site lead, Steven, patched the drywall around the gas fireplace from floor to ceiling. He then resurfaced the fireplace face using new Chateau Grey slim brick. Lastly, a new custom Dakota wood mantle was installed to finish this beautiful remodel.

SW Portland Chimney Rebuild

Check out this beautiful before and after!

This chimney was cracked, loose and crumbling, from the top down, 30 courses. It looks like the crown was built with 12”x16” flue tiles when they should be 16” x 16”. The condition is due to saturation decay. When a chimney crown does not have a proper chimney cap to direct all water away, slowly, over time, moisture absorbs into the chimney. Then freezing temperatures cause an expansion and contraction that break the mortar joints and brick. This chimney was leaking into the home.

We rebuilt the chimney using new old town red brick and specialty sourced tan Belden brick to re create the unique pattern. We then tuck-pointed the chimney from the rebuild line down to the ground 100%. Finally we installed a proper custom stainless steel chimney cap and applied a water seal treatment.

Is your chimney leaking? Is mortar falling onto the roof? If so, call us for an estimate to fix it, and fix it right the first time. 503-758-4710.

Before Rebuild
After Rebuild
Before Rebuild
After Rebuild

Lake Oswego Wood Insert Install


Check out this before an after!
This fireplace chimney was not safe for continued use for multiple reasons. This chimney was originally constructed incorrectly. The interior flue passageway had no chimney liner. The chimney is way too short for how large this fireplace is, it should be about 20 feet tall for this large of a firebox opening. Many people have attempted to modify this chimney to make it draft. Our best recommendation was a new wood stove insert installed into the masonry fireplace and vented through the chimney with a 6 inch diameter stainless steel chimney liner, with a 3’ pipe extension. We installed the Napoleon EPI 3 wood stove insert with contemporary black fireplace face trim, installed with a new 6“ x 14‘ stainless steel chimney liner kit.

Call us today for an estimate for a new gas or wood appliance! 503-578-4710.

SW Portland English Tutor Chimney Rebuild

Completed rebuild


The English tudor is one of my favorite timeless designs. We tore this chimney down to the roofline and rebuilt it and installed all new roof and masonry counter flashing with ice and water shield. We will return to apply two coats of siloxane masonry water seal treatment and a proper sized chimney cap powder coated and painted brown to match the flashing! 

Woodland, WA Split Face Brick Chimney Rebuild

During rebuild
Rebuild complete, cast concrete crown poured
Painted with elastomeric paint and custom chimney cap installed.

This customer has been dealing with this leaking chimney for 16years. There were several companies that attempted to fix the chimney. The homeowners had a brand new roof installed by HomeMasters. The owner,  Bill Whitlow and I,  have been friends for many years. After they installed a new roof, the chimney still leaked. It was not the roof, it was the chimney!  Bill called us in to get the job done right.
We found when we tore this old chimney down that it was very poorly constructed from day one. Unfortunately, we see that a lot. Shotty masons cut corners all the time and perform work that rarely complies with American Masonry Institute standards. We demoed this chimney down to just below the roofline, mitigated all the inferior masonry and rebuilt the chimney with structural split face concrete block, reinforced with rebar and grouted all the internal cells. We installed new custom fabricated brown masonry counter flashing to match the new roof. Then we poured a formed a concrete crown. We returned 28 days later, cure time for masonry, to pop off the forms, installed a new proper stainless steel chimney cap, and painted the chimney with two coats of high quality elastomeric masonry paint. All this work performed on a brand new roof system. Canvas tarp protection and foam. The new roof is in perfect condition and still holds the HOMEMASTERS WARRANTY!
Everyone is very pleased. In the homeowners words. “I got lots of bids, but you were the only one who wanted to teach me how to do the job the right way”
We are happy to serve.

New Designer Fireplace in Historic Irvington District

New Designer Fireplace in Historic Irvington District

The state of this chimney and fireplace was too severely damaged to repair. The chimney suffered from saturation decay and the masonry below grade was severely deteriorated from the gas emissions of the furnace. There was no liner, causing gas emissions to vent through the chimney which could potentially cause carbon monoxide poisoning. The chimney had to be completed removed and replaced. The chimney has now been rebuilt, reinforced with rebar and tied to the structure of the house at the joist using chimney straps. 

Salvaging the existing fireplace tile surround would be tricky, the customers decided to have the fireplace tile re done at this time as well. They selected this gorgeous custom tile from Pratt & Larson. 

Take a look at the the before and after photos. 

Our customers are very happy! They now have a structurally sound, functional and BEAUTIFUL fireplace to enjoy for the holidays and many many years to come!

Thinking of remodeling your fireplace? Give us a call for an estimate. We would be happy to make your dreams come true! 503-758-4710.

Fireplace BEFORE remodel.
Chimney BEFORE remodel.
Chimney AFTER rebuild.
Fireplace AFTER remodel.

Chimney Liner Options Explained for the Homeowner

Homeowners often get confused when they hear that their chimney needs to be relined.

The first thought that may come to mind is, “What the heck does that mean?”  This writer will attempt to explain – in laymen’s terms – what relining is, why it may be needed, and all of the options available so that you can make an informed decision about your chimney repair.

Simply put, relining means installation of a new flue liner.  However, the process is far from a simple undertaking and requires a professional to do the installation work.

If you have been told that your chimney needs to be relined, the reason may be that the flue liner is damaged, misaligned, missing mortar joints, it is sized incorrectly, or that there is no flue liner at all.

Flue liners have been required since 1927 by code to serve two purposes: First, to allow for the smooth passage of smoke and toxic flue gasses to exit the home without restriction, and second, to reduce the exterior temperature of the chimney during use.

Flue liner damage may, and often does, occur during a chimney fire, lightning strike, foundation movement, or piering (moving the chimney back into position and installing piers to hold it in place).

Over time, flue mortar joints exposed to rain and acidic flue gasses deteriorate and disappear altogether. Gaps in the liner due to any of these damages can be a serious hazard.

After a qualified professional chimney contractor has evaluated your particular chimney, s/he will offer one of the following methods for relining:


Vitreous Clay Tile Chimney Flue Liners

These have been used since the 1900’s and are a readily available and relatively inexpensive construction material. Tile flue chimney liners crack when there is a temperature differential of 500 degrees (as during a chimney fire), and will eventually soften and spall especially if exposed to condensation in a gas flue.

At the time of original construction, the mason installs the tiles ahead of the masonry surrounding them which allows him to make certain that the tiles are straight and the joints are smooth.

Relining with tile is difficult, if not impossible, to do except for very short sections.  For this reason, very few contractors will offer this option. If the option is offered be sure to ask how they are going to do the installation, what equipment is used, and how much masonry will need to be removed from your chimney in order to access the interior.

In some cases, it is impossible to reline with tile without tearing down all or part of the chimney, and that is why most chimney technicians offer to reline with steel instead.


Stainless Steel Chimney Liner

Stainless Steel chimney flue liners are a more modern product.  All stainless steel flue liners are U.L. listed or tested to U.L. 1777 Standards, which means that they have been subjected to a series of tests including three 10-minute 2100-degree burns.

Steel flue liners will withstand exposure to a chimney fire of short duration, but can become damaged in long-burning fires. Steel liners come as rigid or flexible, and in different grades i.e. 304 grade stainless, which is very heavy, or 361 Titanium/stainless steel, which is lightweight, yet sturdy.  Your chimney technician will know which type is best for your particular application.

Most flexible steel liners can be custom-shaped to fit the flue as well.

Most also require the addition of insulation in the form of foil-faced ceramic wool blanket or Thermix insulation. This keeps the liner warmer and reduces heat transfer to surrounding masonry. With the proper amount of insulation a “zero clearance” installation can be achieved.  This is important if combustible materials nearby do not have proper clearances.

Removal of the original tile flue liner is often necessary in order to gain the necessary room for a properly sized flue liner.  Anytime a liner is inserted inside the old liner it is “downsized,” or smaller than the old liner.

The interior dimensions of the flue liner are critical to the operation of a fireplace or wood or gas appliance, and if too small or too large will not draft or function properly.

The International Residential Code indicates specific liner sizes which must be adhered to.

Unfortunately, not all chimney technicians have the equipment needed to remove tile flue liners, so it is important to check the liner size before it is installed.

The typical flue liner serving an open wood-burning fireplace should be 1/10th the size of the fireplace opening dimensions. In most cases, stainless steel will be the first, or only option offered due to its popularity.


Cast-in-Place or Ceramic Chimney Flue Liners

Cast-in-Place or Ceramic Chimney Flue Liners are the best, and consequently the most expensive liners available today.  Cast liners are listed or tested to U.L. 1777 Standards and for zero-clearance applications.

The benefits of this type of liner are that it can be sized exactly to the appliance it will be serving, can be used for multiple-flues in the same chimney, and actually strengthens the chimney.

Cast liners are installed by using a heavy rubber tube which is inflated inside the chimney.  A mix is poured around the tube and left to cure overnight. While the mix is poured it seeps into holes or cracks in the chimney which strengthens the structure. The next day, the tube is deflated and removed, leaving a hard, ceramic flue liner.

No matter what type of flue liner you decide to use, if you do not feel comfortable with the liner option offered by your chimney technician, get a second opinion.

Be sure to do your research on the company you take advice from and check their website for information on their years in business, methods of relining offered, and their training, certifications, and licensing.

For more details on each type of flue liner see my other articles on


NFPA Level 2 Inspection and Cleaning

Hire a certified chimney inspector from Portland Fireplace and Chimney to perform an NFPA Level 2 inspection and cleaning on your fireplace and chimney. This is a 24 point inspection complete with photos of your system, a resultant condition report of your system and an estimate for repairs if there are any needed. Once the inspection is complete, you will know the exact status of your fireplace and chimney and can make an informed decision on the best course of action to have a safe and functioning fireplace for you and your family to enjoy.

Portland Fireplace and Chimney Inc. Commercial

Protect your home and investment with quality craftsmanship from Portland Fireplace and Chimney Inc. We take a “fix it right the first time” approach. Select an established chimney professional that knows the fireplace and chimney building and safety codes.

Are you looking for a reputable, locally owned company with a history of professional service and customer satisfaction? Portland Fireplace and Chimney Inc. provides outstanding service to thousands of customers every year. We have been serving the Portland-Vancouver area since 2007.

Portland Fireplace and Chimney Inc services the greater Portland metro area. We are your one stop shop contractor for everything fireplace. We start by performing NFPA 211 inspections and cleaning service. Then we take the time to educate you about the history of your home related to your fireplace. We provide the highest quality inspections by getting in the attic, crawlspace and taking at least 25-30 high resolution photos and a video camera inspection of the interior firewall as necessary. All to ensure your education of three vital aspects of a chimney in the PNW.

Signs your chimney needs cleaning

We do cleaning as part of a NFPA Level 2 24 point inspection complete with photos of your system, a resultant condition report of your system, and an estimate for repairs if there are any needed. This way you know the exact status and can make an informed decision regarding what is needed to be able to have a safe and functioning fireplace.

Call us today at 503-758-4710 to schedule a inspection and cleaning.