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Green Building Bible, Fourth Edition
Green Building Bible, fourth edition (both books)
These two books are the perfect starting place to help you get to grips with one of the most vitally important aspects of our society - our homes and living environment.

PLEASE NOTE: A download link for Volume 1 will be sent to you by email and Volume 2 will be sent to you by post as a book.

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    • CommentAuthorRobinB
    • CommentTimeMar 11th 2012
    My friends tell me their chimney balloons are no good - that they fall out - perhaps when it's windy. Are they doing something wrong or is this a common problem? Is there a knack to getting them to stay put.

    Is there any law (perhaps common sense) against them just stuffing an old cushion in a bin bag up the chimney?


    • CommentAuthortony
    • CommentTimeMar 11th 2012
    I used to shove an old pillow up them for the winter -- OK for ones on internal walls.
    • CommentAuthorfinny
    • CommentTimeMar 11th 2012
    some of that pound a roll rockwool in a bin liner..
    • CommentAuthorpmagowan
    • CommentTimeMar 11th 2012
    Replace open fire with a room-sealed stove? I find it is impossible to get a seal on a fireplace by the above methods. Any bag you use just stops the insulation from sticking and it falls out. Also if you do manage to get it to stay the draw just increases through the inevitable small gaps.
    • CommentAuthorSeret
    • CommentTimeMar 11th 2012
    Those chimney balloons seem like a bit of a bodge. If the chimney's not being used at all cap it off properly at the top, it'll keep out rain, birds and will allow a little ventilation to keep the chimney from getting too nasty. I then sealed mine at room level with a big plug of rockwool held in place with wood and sealed with squirty foam. There's still a bit of a cold bridge but it's certainly knocked the ventilation problem on the head. If you're really keen you'd want to stuff the insulation up the chimney to ceiling level.
    I've been recommending chimney balloons for years and quite a few customers have been very happy. I recommend them as a short-term solution for the worst of te winter when the wind is whistling past your toes, then take out and let it breathe again till the autumn.
    I find with mine that you put it in and blow it up, then you have to come back next day and blow it up some more. After that it stays put

    I think theyre brilliant, the draught is blocked all week and then you can deflate it and light the fire at the weekend.
    • CommentAuthorPugliese
    • CommentTimeMar 13th 2012
    Best alternative chimney balloon which is much cheaper than a standard balloon, is a space hopper! It also has the added safety feature when you put it in upside down, the ears hang down in view. So if someone who does not know a balloon is there and comes to light a fire, they spot the dangly ears.

    Ok I will go and take my medication now!
    • CommentTimeMar 13th 2012
    So *that's* what you told your dad had happened to cover up for your drunken teenage "free hopping" lark!


    • CommentTimeMar 14th 2012
    Has anyone 'hopped' from Landsend to John 'o' Groats? the season is almost about to start.
    • CommentTimeMar 14th 2012 edited
    I've done that journey (well the other way round, and by car) and we still didn't get the free parking promised!


    • CommentAuthorcrusoe
    • CommentTimeMar 14th 2012
    It's all about the pressure. Like a tyre on a rim, blow it up enough and it will stay put....assuming you've sized the chimney and max balloon diameter of course :confused:
    • CommentAuthorbxman
    • CommentTimeDec 14th 2015
    Nothing much here for a while.

    Blame some one at the other place for was reminding that I must do something before it gets to cold .

    Has anyone had problems caused by fitting and forgetting ?

    I was wondering about fitting a plastic flower pot with extra holes fitted with the mesh used under EWI rendering and then filling above with 6mm LECA. I think that should retain it for my lifetime

    I have opened up the chimney in the loft space and hope to have sufficient room do that.

    All advise welcomed

    ( chimney in party wall of a semi )
    • CommentAuthortony
    • CommentTimeDec 14th 2015
    I regularly use old pillows or cushions in double black sacks, cost pence save loads, no problems, hundreds done.

    Internal chimneys are certainly fine, little less confident about ones on outside walls but no problems as yet.
    I have had a ground floor chimney removed and steel beam placed in a few years back. They never did anything to seal the rest of the chimney, it only came to my attention when I though the bedroom above was draughty, the chimney is exposed at the floor board level....

    Best way to seal this? I have a one brick size access hole to the side but the main issue is at the floor board level which I can't access from below.

    If it is a redundant single stack IMO the best option would be to remove it down to ceiling level in the loft and make good the roof. This will stop the heat loss and remove the potential failure of the flashing etc around the chimney at the roof level.
    • CommentAuthortony
    • CommentTimeFeb 7th 2018

    Second best is to get a couple of bricks out in the loft and seal it at ceiling level leaving the bricks out to help ventilate the flue, the whole chimney and presumed gable are a cold bridge.
    I'll go for the latter I think.

    As there is EWI on the gable, taking the chimney down will be a right pain in the ass
    • CommentAuthorbxman
    • CommentTimeFeb 7th 2018
    I have about 9" of LECA ( the baked clay pebbles ) in the plastic flower pot that I inserted and pushed down as far as I could through the largish hole that I made in chimney stack in the loft . And it appears to be working well there must be a slow loss of air there but no discernible heat escape and I have not been aware of down draughts that I had previously occasionally smelt under certain weather conditions .
    The holes in the stack are still there 3 bricks high but braced with aluminium box section and I believe it also helps helps to ventilate the unheated loft space .

    In other words no regrets and I would happily do it again .

    cheers Patrick
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