Sealing around Flues

Sealing around Flues

Sealing around flues where they exit a building may mean working at height. Dean Heathfield, Commercial Director at Talon, explains how pipe seals can help negate the risks associated with working at height and save time and money. 

When working on plumbing and heating installations, it could be argued there are there are three important boxes to tick: provide a professional service, keep costs down and profit levels up and stay safe. Being a plumber or heating engineer does carry inherent risks: exposure to hazardous substances, electrical dangers and risk of falls from scaffolding or ladders are all workplace risks you have to be aware of.  

In fact, despite a wealth of health and safety initiatives in recent years, falls from height remain a major cause of severe injuries and fatalities at work. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) reported 135 fatalities in work-related accidents in 2022/23; falls from height was the leading cause, claiming 40 lives.  

Although sealing around pipes would seem like bread and butter for most installers, when it comes to sealing pipes or installing flues on upper floors of flats and apartments, it can get tricky. Traditionally, the job has required mortar or silicone adhesives but they have their drawbacks: they are prone to weathering, can be messy and time consuming and can’t be used in the rain. And if the hole for the flue pipe is up high, you need a cherry picker or ladder to reach the site, which can be time consuming and costly to get hold of. 

The HSE advises to avoid work at height where it is reasonably practicable to do so. But how can you seal pipework up high without getting up there to do it? This is where FlueSnug comes in. It can be fitted on the outside of a building from within, through the cored drilled hole, as they are flexible enough to be pushed out of the brickwork and rigid enough to pop back into place, providing an air and watertight seal flush against the wall. No other materials have to be used to seal the hole around the flue other than the snugs themselves. There is no need for costly scaffolding or ladders and the remove the health and safety risks in working at height.  

Flues need inspecting and servicing from time to time. But again, there’s no need to be clambering up ladders or scaffolding either. FlueSnug can simply be removed, the flue inspected and the same FlueSnug pushed back in, all from the inside of the building and no working at height. 

Building Regulations
As well as making it easy to meet health and safety requirements, FlueSnug also makes it easy to meet Building Regs too. In 2021, Part L of the Building Regulations was changed to help the UK meet its Net Zero targets. It now requires pipe seals and grommets to be used around pipework to prevent warm air escaping a home and also to keep cold air out. PipeSnug and FlueSnug are the only all-in-one solutions which meet Part L’s requirement to seal around pipework inside and out, without the need for sealant, mortar or expensive air sealing tape.  

The products form an airtight seal against the wall where pipes enter and exit a building so they not only save plumbers time, money and mess, but they also keep warmth in and energy costs down for homeowners. The ‘snugs also save time in terms of compliance: when checking each installation you can immediately see that the hole around the flue has been sealed and photographic evidence can then be provided to those in Building Control.   

There are other clear benefits too. Instead of mixing mortar or apply sealant, both of which can weather and crack, take a lot of time to apply and often leave a poor finish, PipeSnug and FlueSnug can be fitted in seconds, preventing heat escaping, acting as a barrier to drafts, damp, insects and pests and giving a great, neat finish. 

Eliminating risk and the need for costly scaffolding or ladders, these solutions not only enhance safety but also simplify compliance with Building Regulations and provide quick and effective sealing, promoting energy efficiency and delivering a polished, professional finish. PipeSnug is available in 32mm, 40mm and 110mm in black, white and grey. The 110mm version fits a 152mm core drilled hole and fits all push-fit and solvent weld soil pipe fittings. FlueSnug fits a 152mm core drilled hole and is available in black and white. 

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