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Homestead Chimney Service Blog

Common Chimney Problems

It is common that since you do not use your chimney everyday, you may not think about the repairs that come along with it.  The worst part is that if you let these repairs go without attention they could potentially worsen and cause damage to the chimney and to your home.

The first step is to have someone who is Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) certified.  You also want to make sure that they are someone that they are commonly recommended, so you know their work is always solid.  For chimney assistance, contact the professionals at Homestead Chimney Service today.

What can go wrong?

Being aware of the problems that will reveal themselves over the life of your chimney will help you be preventative and save money.

Being aware of the problems that will reveal themselves over the life of your chimney will help you be preventative and save money.

Even though you do not want to think about it, there are many things that can go wrong inside of your chimney that may look small and turn out to be big problems.  One of the main things is the water that can enter your home and cause mold to form.  If you live in an area that has extremely wet weather you will have to pay closer attention.  If your flashing becomes loose, cracked, or missing a professional may be able to caulk it is caught in time.  If not, it may need replacing.

Also, the bricks of the chimney can become cracked and a great place for water to collect.  Your technician will be able to examine the damage and figure out the proper way to fix it.  Lastly, they may suggest that you have a chimney cap installed to protect from water, animals, and debris.

After your chimney is fixed a water test it needed to see if any water is still absorbing into the unit, and if so you will probably be suggested to have it waterproofed.  Any experienced professional can do this in a day.  The sealant spray used will need at least six hours to dry so make sure you pick a day that has a dry forecast.

What happens if the repairs are not fixed?

Other than becoming a bigger issue in the chimney, the effects could eventually harm your entire home.  The mold that grows in the chimney can spread to the foundation of your home and the air you breathe.  Also, other broken parts or chimneys that have not been cleaned properly can start an unwanted fire. The best way to avoid these kinds of problems is to ensure regular maintenance to your chimney.

 

Common Chimney Repairs

Nothing Lasts Forever

Every chimney repair call we get at Homestead Chimney Service is different — chimneys are complex systems to start with, and every home has its own characteristics and idiosyncrasies and experiences that can lead to a problem that needs fixing.

But there are a few things that are common to every chimney system — the constant onslaught of weather and sun, the effects of time and home settling — that make certain repairs more common than others.

Sometimes, parts of your chimney can be repaired if noticed early enough. There are times though, when performance and safety demand replacement parts.

Sometimes, parts of your chimney can be repaired if noticed early enough. There are times though, when performance and safety demand replacement parts.

Curious about whether your issue might have something to do with a common repair need? Here are a few of the most common chimney repairs we do here at Homestead.

Chimney Crown Repair and Resurfacing

When you consider the direction that precipitation and baking sun-rays are traveling, it seems pretty safe to assume that any chimney part directly in line with that would get a pretty good and consistent beating. And your poor chimney crown, horizontal at the top of your flue, does indeed get a healthy share of the effects of heat and moisture. It’s not uncommon for cracks or spalling to result. Depending on the extent of the damage, Homestead techs can resurface, repair or rebuild a crown so that it’s able to effectively move water away from your flue and masonry again.

Chimney Cap Replacement

Another part at the front lines of weather abuse, the chimney cap is a small but very necessary part of your system, helping to keep moisture and animals from getting into your flue. Galvanized caps can rust, improperly sized or installed caps can fail and even well-made chimney caps can get damaged or lost in particularly bad storms. Our technicians can install a great cap that’ll do its job through years of use.

Chimney Damper Replacement

A stuck, rusty or otherwise damaged throat damper gives us two logical options: repair, if possible; or replacement with a new top mounted damper. The latter has marked benefits — these contribute to a serious increase in energy efficiency, which saves fuel and money, and since top mounted dampers also close off the top of the flue completely with a gasket (instead of partially closing with a metal plate down in the throat), you’re also getting great water protection.

Flue Liner Repair and Replacement

A damaged flue liner usually results in impeded draft, impeded safety and often accelerated damage to your chimney, too. We use HeatShield flue liner repair products to bring damaged clay tile liners back to a whole and smoke-tight state.

Chimney Repointing 

When mortar joints crack and recede, your system is opened up to increased moisture intrusion and decreased stability. By repointing — removing damaged mortar joints and replacing them with fresh joints — we can strengthen your chimney again.

Do you want to know more about Homestead Chimney’s repair services? Just give us a call — we’re always glad to offer information, help and impeccable service!

Common Chimney Repairs

These Things Happen

Many people do not give any thought to chimney repairs until it becomes clear that there is something wrong. If the chimney is starting to smell strange or is producing a great deal of smoke, it may be time to hire a certified chimney professional to investigate. A chimney specialist is a critical piece, because their training and experience give them the ability to see problems, or potential problems that you don’t notice or cannot interpret.

So you know you need to call a chimney professional, how often does your chimney need an inspection?  This should be done on an annual basis, not just when there seems to be a problem. In fact, having the chimney inspected each year is the best way to avoid most common chimney problems before they become major issues. This can save you money and prevent any damage to the structure of your home.

Annual inspections are critical for safety reasons, but also so that an expert pair of eyes can identify small problems before they become big and expensive.

Annual inspections are critical for safety reasons, but also so that an expert pair of eyes can identify small problems before they become big and expensive.

Replacing or relining the flue liner is a common repair. The liner protects the inside of the chimney from corrosive gas, chemicals and general wear and tear on the flue. In many cases, chimney specialists find that the liner has started to detach from the flue, making it ineffective. Older homes may not have a flue liner at all and, if this is the case, the chimney should not be used until one is properly installed.

A great deal of chimney damage is caused by excessive amounts of moisture that collect within the flue. This may be the result of rain or snow that makes its way into the chimney and collects there. A simple way to fix this problem is by having a chimney cap installed. This little piece fits right over the top of the chimney and prevents unwanted material from getting inside. This can prevent damage such as deteriorating bricks, dangerous molds or damage from critters setting up a home in your chimney.

Sometimes, a chimney inspection will show that there are cracks inside of the chimney as a result of foundation settlement. This is a serious issue that a homeowner would not likely know about if they did not have a proper inspection. In this case, it may be necessary to have the entire chimney refurbished or replaced. This may seem like a major undertaking but, if it is not addressed in a timely manner, the damage could spread throughout the foundation of the home.

It is important to remember that even the simplest of chimney repairs should only be handled by a professional chimney repair person. The average person who tries to repair their chimney may end up causing more problems instead of solving them. In addition, they put themselves at serious risk for bodily injury if they are not used to climbing up on the roof. The Chimney Safety Institute of America is a great place to find professionals who are trained to deal with many of these issues. Annual cleaning and inspection is a must-do for homeowners wanting to save money in the long term. Catching little issues before they become catastrophic is why expert eyes are needed.