Chimney Flue Location

A Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) survey is the ideal method for chimney flue location and mapping surveys in buildings.

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What is a Chimney Flue?

A chimney flue is a passage or void through which exhaust gasses from a fire, boiler, or other combustion device are vented to the outdoors. Modern flues are metal pipes from which the fumes from a heating device such as a boiler exit the building.

Why use GPR for chimney flue surveys?

GPR is an entirely non-destructive and non-invasive technology (NDT), which only requires access to the surfaces of the walls to be surveyed. A GPR survey to locate chimney flues will cause no damage to the building and there is no requirement to drill or use intrusive investigation methods.

Because GPR is a low impact technique causing minimum disruption, a GPR chimney flue location survey can be conducted on buildings that are still in use or occupied.

How a chimney flue location survey works

Our experienced surveyors will attend site and perform a comprehensive survey of every wall to be investigated using our advanced handheld GPR equipment. The GPR will be pushed in a series of horizontal scans across the surface of each of the walls (whilst remaining in direct contact with the wall), until full coverage has been achieved. GPR data will be collected and saved on site ready for office-based processing, interpretation and drawing.

Once in the office we import the information saved on-site into our specialised GPR post-processing software, which allows us to visualise and interpret the GPR data, to locate and map the paths of the chimney flues through the walls and produce a drawing.

Why locate chimney flues?

There are many reasons to locate chimney flues, you may wish to demolish a wall to connect adjoining rooms or apartments, drill into or through a wall, or install a fire or other combustion device and be looking for a convenient route to expel the exhaust gasses. Disused chimney flues also make ideal routes for cables and pipes to travel through a building and may be used for this purpose.

Damage to an active chimney flue can cause toxic gasses to escape inside the building with serious health implications including death, so it makes sense to take precautions.

If you need to locate a chimney flue, contact KB GPR Surveys for a quotation at

Chimney flue survey deliverables

Chimney flue survey deliverables

After the GPR data processing is complete, a drawing will be compiled in CAD showing a map of the chimney flues on a cross section or floor plan of the building. All our projects are subject to a final quality control and then the results will be issued.

On some occasions, we are asked to mark the locations of the chimney flues directly on the walls. This is not as ideal as a traditional chimney flue survey with post processing because it is necessary to rely on on-site information without the use of advanced processing techniques, but it is sometimes necessary to provide immediate guidance as to where the flues are located (for example immediately prior to other invasive works).

In this case our deliverable will be the marks showing the chimney flue locations on the wall. On-site mark out is a useful type of survey, but we recommend the production of a drawing where possible.

What does a chimney flue do?

What does a chimney flue do?

In properties with a fireplace, a chimney flue will be built into the chimney breast, this allows the gasses to escape vertically through the roof. If a property has multiple fireplaces, such as those of the Victorian and Edwardian era, then multiple flues may be built into the walls: providing an individual pathway from each fireplace to the chimney stack on the roof. The chimney stack is the name given to the row of chimney pots above the roofline, and there should typically be one chimney flue and chimney pot for each fireplace.

A GPR chimney flue location survey will allow you to trace the pathway of each flue from fireplace to stack.

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