Chimney Repair & Chimney Maintenance
If you’ve ever experienced a major chimney fire, chimney collapse or widespread damage throughout a chimney system, you know how complicated and expensive it can be to repair and resolve the issue. Fortunately, most calamities surrounding chimneys and fireplaces can be prevented with timely repair work and reasonable maintenance. Here are some chimney repairs that will help your chimney operate safely and at peak performance.
Chimney crown repair
The cement crown across the top of the chimney is there to keep water and debris out of the structure’s interior. When crown cracking begins, water is able to seep into the cement and then freeze and expand. This results in larger cracks, which lead to more damage and eventually water moving down into the bricks and mortar beneath the crown.
Small chimney crown cracks often can be waterproofed to prevent further damage. Depending on the level of deterioration, a crown may have to be partially or completely rebuilt.
Masonry repair (tuckpointing)
Tuckpointing is a process where new, strong mortar is patched in to sections of the masonry where the original mortar has crumbled away. Tuckpointing, brick replacement and waterproofing are all aimed at keeping water from causing extensive damage to the masonry.
Chimney masonry can be compromised by severe weather and seismic events, but infiltrating water is often the cause of varying levels of masonry damage. A dangerous leaning chimney and a complete collapse can be prevented with the proper masonry repair work performed when needed.
Chimney cleaning (chimney sweep)
Cleaning creosote from the chimney flue isn’t usually thought of as a repair job, but it definitely can prevent damage to the chimney liner and interior masonry that will become repair jobs. Creosote is a byproduct of combustion smoke and is highly acidic – as well as highly flammable.
Aside from causing a destructive chimney fire, creosote can eat away at the flue liner and bricks behind it, which will cause a breach in the system and likely lead to water damage. A certified, licensed chimney sweep is the only person you should allow to remove creosote (and any outside obstructions that may have gotten into the chimney), because this individual has the tools and experience to do the job safely and correctly. Other types of chimney repair and maintenance work
A damaged chimney cap will allow water and debris into the chimney system. Chimney caps can be repaired or replaced.
Deteriorated or warped roof flashing opens a path for water to run down into the home. It’s often easiest to just have damaged flashing replaced.
Damaged chimney liners, whether they be clay, steel or poured-in-place, put not only the chimney masonry at risk but also walls, insulation, rafters and other home materials. Liners can be repaired or replaced, depending on the level of damage.
Have your chimney inspected
The first step in any chimney repair project is a thorough inspection. Annual chimney inspections are able to spot early signs of trouble that can be resolved before significant damage or malfunction occurs.
Chimney Specialists of Highland, (608) 929-4887. In the Dubuque, Iowa, area, call Dubuque Fireplace & Patio at (563) 582-5156 for all your chimney needs.