Three Chimney Repairs to Never Ignore
Many homeowners never consider the necessary maintenance a fireplace and chimney require to run safely and smoothly. While not all chimney repair work is essential, certain things should never be ignored. Risking your health, your family’s health, and your home, three chimney repairs rank as ones we at Winston’s Services, a CSIA-certified chimney company, strongly recommend you take care of as soon as possible. Of course, to know you even have a problem, your chimney must be swept and inspected once a year, every year. The most important chimney maintenance you can do, an annual chimney cleaning is also the way to fix one of the three following chimney repairs:
a cracked chimney crown The literal sealed top of your chimney, a chimney crown sits over one of the entrances into your home, preventing water penetration and animal invasion. If your chimney crown is cracked or has suffered water erosion damage, your chimney is in danger of water leaking into its bricks and mortar, causing a variety of problems including mold growth, structural damage and deterioration, and stains on your interior walls and ceilings, according to the CSIA. Many masonry chimneys have poorly-built chimney crowns built from a generic mortar mix when they should be made from only a Portland cement-based mix. Other specifics of a durable chimney crown concern measurements of slope and overhang as both of these ensure proper water drainage.
a large buildup of creosote on your chimney walls Occurring naturally, creosote is the result of smoke, vapors, gases, tar fog, and other by-products of combustion exit the upper, cooler walls of your chimney, causing condensation. Sticking to your chimney walls, creosote can be black or brown in color and vary in appearance. Whether it is shiny and hard, sticky and gummy, or flaky and crusted, creosote is a highly dangerous, combustible substance. It it builds up large enough and the internal flue temperature gets hot enough, creosote can easily ignite and start a chimney fire. The solution to this repair is simple: have your chimney cleaned and inspected annually by a CSIA-certified company to have all creosote buildup removed from the walls of your chimney.
a damaged or non-existent chimney flue liner According to the CSIA, flue liners serve three purposes in a chimney: 1) to protect your house from heat transfer to combustion, 2) to protect the interior of your chimney from damage by the by-products of combustion, and 3) to provide a correctly-sized flue to increase the efficiency of your fireplace. When the liner is cracked or not even there, the by-products of combustion, including smoke and gases like carbon monoxide, can easily enter your home, causing health and safety hazards to you and your family. If your flue liner is damaged beyond repair or if you do not have one in your chimney, you can now get the best in durability, stainless-steel chimney flue liners that can last and protect your chimney for years.
For more information on these three chimney repairs you should never ignore, contact Winston’s Services today. Our experienced CSIA-certified technicians can easily help you have a safe, working fireplace and chimney.