As homeowners, there are a lot of things that we have to take care. Because of the different components of our homes, there are areas that can become forgotten. One of the most common areas of our homes that fall to the wayside is the chimney. This is because we don’t typically see if and if we can’t see an immediate problem, we assume it is okay. However, if you have a chimney, it is important to know when repairs are needed. Chimneys can develop issues over time, so understanding the signs can prevent chimneys from falling down or collapsing. Some of the biggest signs that you need repairs include
- White discoloration
- Damage to the chimney crown
- Spalling on the outside of the chimney
- Shaling in the fireplace
- A firebox that has rust
If you are uncomfortable inspecting your chimney from the roof or from the inside of your home, it might be a good idea to call a licensed roofer to see if you are in need of repair service.
How Do You Repair a Chimney?
Chimneys have several parts that include the chimney flue, the liner, cap, flashing, crown, damper, and smoke chamber. All of these parts can be susceptible to damage, but what you will typically see the most is the mortar deteriorating. The mortar is the cement that is used to hold the bricks together on chimneys. The actual chimney will be able to stand for many, many years, but the mortar on a chimney or brick fence can begin to crack or become damaged is due to moisture. When there are issues when the chimney’s mortar people ask, “Will my chimney fall down?” Really it depends on the severity of the damage, but for the most part, your chimney will stay intact.
To ensure chimneys are in good shape, it’s important to get the mortar repaired. It’s actually relatively easy to repair the mortar and only involves a couple of steps. First, you will want to mix mortar until it has a thick consistency. Before you apply the mortar, you will want to remove any dirt or debris from the area so you are working with a clean space. If the issues are with the brick joints, you’ll just apply the mortar to the brick joint. Don’t make it mess and remove any mortar that gets on the actual brick.
Another issue that people typically find is that the chimney’s crown can become damaged. So people will want to know how can I fix the top of my chimney? If there are cracks in the crown, you will just need to fill them in with mortar. If there is extensive damage around the crown, you will need to remove the crown and remove the mortar. You will then mix new mortar, apply it around the flue, and then add the crown back on. If you don’t want to deal with repairs on your own, you can always request the assistance of a roofing contractor.
Why is My Chimney Leaking?
Have you noticed that your chimney is leaking but you don’t know where the source of the leak is coming from? There are usually a couple of culprits that make chimneys susceptible to leaks. The most common is that rain is going straight down the flue of the chimney. This can actually be prevented quite easily if you get a cap for your chimney’s crown. The next problems are quite as easy as putting a cap on a chimney, but the good news is that they can be fixed.
Cracks in the crown are obviously going to cause leaks because the crown is there to keep water out. If the cracks are small, they must be filled in; if its a lot of damage to the crown, then the mortar will need to be replaced. For those cases where the chimney is having condensation problems, it might be because there isn’t a liner; simplest fix? Call a roofer to install a liner in the chimney. One of the other big issues that you will find with chimney leaks is with the flashing. The flashing can become rusted due to excess moisture and therefore will need to be repaired. How do you repair a leak around a chimney? This can be done by either having new flashing installed or getting it sealed properly.
How Often Should You Clean Your Fireplace Chimney?
If you have a chimney and don’t know when it needs to be cleaned, you should aim to have it cleaned once a year. When the chimney is used a lot, it can develop a buildup of creosote, which is a substance that is very flammable and can cause fires in your chimney. In order to avoid this, it’s important to get substantial chimney and fireplace cleaning.
While this cleaning is the best way to ensure that your chimney isn’t vulnerable to creosote, it’s important that you do other things to maintain the chimney. Performing maintenance on your chimney will reduce repairs by a lot. So what can be done to keep chimneys in good shape? There are a couple of things you can do.
- Add a Crown Cap: Reduce the likelihood of leaks in the chimney and fireplace by getting a cap for the top of the chimney.
- Look for Damages: If you feel brave enough, check for damages to the various parts of your chimney.
- Clean Certain Areas: You can clean your chimney’s firebox and vents to ensure that there aren’t any combustible materials.
- Get a Professional Inspection: To really ensure that your chimney is in great condition, invest in a professional chimney inspection.