Chimney Repair – Why You Need a Professional
One of the most important parts of any home is its chimney. Keeping it in good condition is essential for safety and comfort. Repairing your chimney regularly is the best way to ensure its continued function. Identifying problems early can prevent severe damage from occurring.
A chimney inspection done annually will also prevent a serious situation. A professional Charleston Chimney Repair will be able to detect small problems early before they turn into bigger issues. For example, if your chimney is clogged with creosote, a chimney inspection will prevent the problem from becoming more serious and costlier.
A professional chimney inspection is essential before you can use your chimney. Using a damaged chimney can be unsafe and may even endanger your family’s safety. A damaged chimney can produce flammable creosote, which can lead to a fire if it is not properly ventilated.
A well-made masonry chimney is built to last but can wear and tear with the elements. Cracks, loose bricks, or weak mortar can cause problems that can lead to costly repairs if left untreated. The best way to avoid this is to notice signs of damage immediately. This will prevent issues from escalating and costing thousands of dollars to fix.
Due to freeze-thaw cycles that expand and contract the masonry, masonry walls and chimneys are especially susceptible to damage. This can also lead to crumbling bricks that could eventually collapse or require major structural repair. These issues have a few simple fixes, including repointing the mortar and replacing damaged bricks. However, if the problem is severe or the wall has already crumbled, it might be time to consider replacing the entire structure.
Chimney leaks are an expensive and potentially hazardous problem for homeowners. They can lead to mold problems, water damage, and rotted wood. The first step in repairing a chimney leak is to identify the source of the problem. This can be done by examining the chimney crown, flashing, bricks and mortar, and flue.
One of the most common causes of a chimney leak is damage to the flashing that joins the chimney to the roof. Sometimes the sealant that bonds flashing to the bricks gets damaged by rust or weather.
The best way to repair this is to remove the deteriorated flashing and replace it with new. After the new flashing is installed, make sure that all cracks are sealed with exterior caulking. This will help prevent future leaks from happening.
Over time, your chimney’s mortar joints become a magnet for water and ice. The freeze-thaw cycle and seasonal expansion and contraction of the soil under your home cause these problems.
When this happens, it can make your mortar joints very weak and prone to cracking. This can damage bricks, masonry walls and the chimney itself.
To prevent this, repair mortar joint cracks promptly. It can be a relatively simple process that involves applying mortar and smoothing it out to look like new.
For a more thorough repair, have a mason repoint the mortar joints. This can be done in a variety of ways, including tuckpointing.
Tuckpointing refers to a method where you apply a tack-free, color-matched mortar to the joints in between bricks. It requires a bit more effort, but can be accomplished by most homeowners. Tuckpointing is an ideal repair for small and moderately damaged chimneys. It’s also a good way to protect masonry walls from water damage.
One of the main causes is that the chimney is not tall enough to provide a proper draft. Ideally, smoke and exhaust should go up the flue and away from your home, but it doesn’t always work that way.
A second cause of blowback is that there is not enough air pressure in the room where the fireplace is located. This can happen for many reasons, including if you use an exhaust fan in the kitchen or if you have a chimney that is too small to vent smoke efficiently.
Chimney cracks are a common culprit of this problem and should be repaired immediately. Depending on the extent of the damage, repairs may involve remortaring, sealing or parging the flue liner. The cost of these types of repairs can range from $150 to $500.
It is essential to have your chimney cleaned every year to prevent any potential fires. A buildup of creosote on your chimney can cause a chimney fire. This flammable material can spread to the main house and cause extensive damage. The best way to prevent this is to hire a chimney sweep. Those who have wood-burning fireplaces should get their chimneys cleaned by a professional at least once a year.