Crumbling mortarWhen the mortar between your chimney’s bricks begins to crumble, it can look alarming. While it can expose your chimney to water damage, make your chimney structure unstable and detract from your home’s aesthetic, crumbling mortar can be removed and replaced fairly simply. Through tuckpointing, we carefully withdraw the crumbling mortar between the bricks and replace it with new mortar to keep your chimney’s structure strong.
Fragmenting bricksJust like the mortar joints between them, chimney and fireplace bricks can break down overtime. Typically referred to as “spalling,” the crumbling of bricks is caused by moisture entering the bricks porous surfaces and freezing during cold weather months. Those bricks should be removed and replaced to keep your chimney safe and looking good.
Cracked flue tilesIf your chimney liner is constructed from clay tiles, as many are, those tiles can crack and crumble over time from moisture exposure and the extreme heat of your fireplace. Cracks in your chimney liner can allow heat and smoke to escape your chimney, endangering your home’s structure. It generally isn’t cost effective to replace flue tiles, so damaged flues generally are relined with a metal chimney liner or with a poured sealant that fills in any cracks or weaknesses in your chimney to make it safe again.
Deteriorating chimney crownToo many masonry chimney crowns are built hastily using mortar rather than concrete during the chimney’s construction. That can lead to chimney crowns that crack or crumble easily, though even concrete crowns can wear down over time due to weathering. Chimney crowns play an important role in protecting your chimney from exposure to moisture and should be repaired if you notice cracks or holes.
Damaged fireboxThe area that clearly takes the most heat in your fireplace and chimney system is the firebox. The firebox deals with the extreme heat of your fires and prevents that heat from reaching your home’s structure. On top of the heat, the firebox also deals with the water vapor and corrosive byproducts your fires create. Inevitably, fireboxes develop cracks that make them dangerous and unsightly. We can seal minor cracks ore rebuild badly damaged fireboxes to keep your fireplace safe and attractive. If you notice any of these common masonry problems in your fireplace or chimney, call The Chimney Sweeper to schedule an appointment today! We can help you come up with a plan for repairing your chimney’s masonry, and our masonry experts will have your fireplace ready to use before you’re ready to light your first fire next fall. Ask about chimney waterproofing to help protect your chimney’s masonry from future water damage!
As the fire-burning season comes to an end, now is the perfect time to plan for any fireplace or chimney repairs. Planning fireplace or chimney repairs over the warm spring and summer months means your fireplace won’t be out of commission when you want to use it, and you’ll have it ready to go for the fall. So what are some repairs you should be thinking about this spring?
Repairing masonry cracks ranks as one of the top repairs for fireplaces and chimneys. When your fireplace and chimney are constructed entirely out of masonry materials, cracks — from the firebox to the flue to the crown and exterior bricks — are nearly inevitable. We can repair cracking, flaking or crumbling masonry in any part of your fireplace or chimney.
Perhaps nothing is more damaging to a fireplace and chimney system than water. Water can make its way into your chimney from the aforementioned masonry cracks, or from failing flashing, chimney caps or chase covers. It’s important to have water damage addressed immediately, as it can lead to masonry damage; rusted dampers, fireplace doors or metal fireboxes; or structural damage to your home.
Fireplace damper are made out of metal components. Over time, those metal components can rust or warp. When this happens, it can be impossible to open and close the damper, or the damper can fail to fully seal out air from your chimney when the fireplace isn’t in use. A faulty damper usually needs to be replaced, as it can cause drafts or heat loss in your home.
Missing or misplaced chimney caps
Your chimney cap is your fireplace’s main defense against the elements. It sits above your chimney’s opening, usually surrounded by metal wiring, and it keeps out water, animals and debris. Some chimneys are missing their caps, and chimney caps can loosen or become dislodged, allowing water and animals to access your chimney. Making sure your chimney cap is in good repair is crucial to protecting your fireplace and chimney.
Faulty or worn parts
If you have a gas fireplace, a woodstove or a pellet stove, there are a lot of working components that can fail over time. In all types of heating stoves and gas fireplaces, vents, ignition switches, door gaskets and fans can fail. In a pellet stove, the automatic parts that feed pellets from the hopper to the fire can wear down and fail. It’s important to check your fireplace or stove regularly to make sure all components are in good working order.
As you can see, fireplaces and chimneys can fall victim to a wide array of repair problems. Fortunately, most of these problems can be fixed easily and for a low cost if they are caught and addressed early. This is why your annual chimney and fireplace inspection is so important; it allows us to pinpoint any minor problems and fix them before they become major problems. If you’ve noticed that your fireplace requires any of these common repairs, or to schedule your annual inspection to locate any problems, call The Chimney Sweeper to schedule an appointment today!