Q: Jason, Why is the Chimney Balloon made of such thin feeling material? Why don’t you beef it up some? – RB
A: RB, I know that you mentioned that you are concerned about the gauge of plastic that the balloon is made from. I’m glad you mention that because there is a good reason for the design and we don’t often get a chance to explain it.
You probably know from the website that the Chimney Balloon is made from a proprietary poly tri-laminate. We had this plastic made especially for Chimney Balloons. We could make the Chimney Balloons out of a thick gauge single layer extruded plastic for a whole lot cheaper but there are many good reasons we don’t.
1) In order for a balloon to conform to the surface of any chimney (metal, brick, mortar, etc) lumpy or smooth. It has to be a supple material that conforms in any shape or lump.
2) Garbage bags are made of multilayers to make them stronger and more puncture resistant, same can be said of Chimney Balloons. The outer layer is designed to absorb the abrasions and scrapes of installs. It is also designed to be a bit softer than the other layers so it can grab hold of the surface inside the chimney. That is why the Chimney Balloon looks scraped up after you have installed it. That is the outer layer doing its job. The middle layer is the structure of the Chimney Balloon and gives it most of its rigidity and strength. The inner layer is a vapor barrier that ensures the Chimney Balloon is airtight.
It took 5 years of research and tweaking to come up with the tri-laminate that we use today on Chimney Balloons. 4% of our total product sales are returned due to the customer buying the wrong size, but less than 1% come back due to a puncture or cut. Most of those can be fixed easily by our test lab and they continue to work for years after.