Review Our Business

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.

 

Spring Means Chimney Repair

As days grew shorter and the weather got colder, many of us retreated indoors to the warmth of our homes and hearths.  For those of us who made use of a fireplace during these cold weather months, spring is a great time to make sure chimney system is in good working order following this period of extensive use.  Take this opportunity to call a chimney service technician to inspect your chimney system.  If your inspection uncovers any issues, you’ll be able to address it early on, before it gets big, expensive, and potentially dangerous.  Water penetration, a damaged flue liner, and deterioration of mortar joints are just a few issues that’ll require prompt attention.

You shouldn't attempt chimney repairs on your own. Not only is it dangerous for you, but it also puts your home in danger in case the issues aren't correctly addressed.

You shouldn’t attempt chimney repairs on your own. Not only is it dangerous for you, but it also puts your home in danger in case the issues aren’t correctly addressed.

Wait…That’s not Supposed to be There   Chimneys are notorious for leaking; the reason for these leaks is almost always compromised flashing, which is designed to keep water out of the chimney, thereby protecting both the flue and roof.  Flashings are made from a variety of materials, including aluminum, copper and galvanized steel.  You’ll want to have new chimney flashing installed if yours is missing, rusted through, falling out, or completely covered with roofing tar (this is a common short-term fix that’s sure to be hiding bigger problems).  Many homeowners also opt to have new flashing installed when having new shingles put on because they want it to last as long as the new roof.

Ushering Harmful Byproducts out of Your Home   Problems in your chimney’s flue can present serious risks to your home and family, because it’s no longer able to perform its primary function: to safely contain and vent the products of combustion to the outside of your home.  If your current liner was installed improperly or is deteriorating, it is recommended that you either have a new one installed or, if possible, have your current liner repaired.  Several different relining options are available—clay and stainless steel are the most popular—depending on both the type of flue liner you currently have and the overall condition of your entire flue.  Because of the critical job completed by your chimney liner, it is a critical part.  Every chimney needs a working liner.

Out With the Old, In With the New   The mortar used to construct your chimney is exposed to the elements on the outside and the heat from your firebox on the inside, which greatly speeds up the weathering process.  Because of this, it is common for it to crumble and fall away, leaving open areas between the bricks, thereby compounding an already bad problem and leading to even more issues.  The process for repairing your damaged mortar is known as repointing; the damaged, old and loose mortar on your chimney is removed from the joints between the bricks and replaced with new mortar.  Only a skilled professional should perform this work because it requires an experienced hand.

It’s easy to understand why annual chimney system inspections are strongly recommended.  In fact, more frequent inspections are recommended for chimneys and flues that endure heavier usage.  A proper inspection of your chimney by a qualified chimney professional should include a thorough examination of the external structure to look for signs of deterioration or weakness, as well as a visual inspection of the flue inside your chimney.  NFPA code states that cracked chimney liners constitute a significant safety hazard and must be replaced.  The chimney professionals at Homestead Chimney Service are fully prepared to meet all of your chimney inspection and repair needs.  Contact us today!

Keep Water Out

Our chimneys are probably one of the most taken-for-granted parts of our homes.  It’s one of those things that often remain out of sight and out of mind.  We enjoy sitting by a blazing fire during the winter months, we keep the fireplace and hearth clean, and we even hire a professional to periodically come out and clean the inside of the chimney; however, not very many of us give much thought to keeping our chimney’s exterior in tiptop shape.  If you’re guilty of this, don’t be ashamed.  It’s time to look at the condition your chimney is in, get it repaired if necessary, and coat it with a chimney-waterproofing product.

When rain is not diverted from your chimney, it can wreak havoc on your masonry. This is, without a doubt, a safety issue.

When rain is not diverted from your chimney, it can wreak havoc on your masonry. This is, without a doubt, a safety issue.

The materials used to build most masonry chimneys experience hastened deterioration as a result of prolonged exposure to and contact with water.  The freezing and thawing process—during which time water that has penetrated the various chimney materials freezes and expands—quickly deteriorates the overall construction of your chimney.

Water in your chimney can also cause rust on steel and cast iron parts, ultimately weakening or destroying them.  The exterior of your chimney is constantly getting battered from the weather.  Harsh weather conditions can have a negative effect on your chimney.  In addition, when water mixes with the creosote that is often present in a wood-burning fireplace, it will generate an extremely unpleasant odor that can fill your entire home.  All of these things combined greatly compromise the overall structure of your chimney as a whole.  By waterproofing the chimney, it will repel damp elements—snow and rain—rather than allow them to penetrate the brick or other materials.

As you can see, there are many issues that can develop as a result of water being on and getting in to your chimney, and, as such, swift and immediate action should be taken to ensure that you’re not faced with unnecessary and avoidable repairs bills.  Remember though, waterproofing is only a preventive measure.  If your chimney is already damaged (i.e., it has gaps, voids, cracks, missing mortar, etc.), it should be repaired before any waterproofing agent is applied.  Your chimney’s exterior may also need to be cleaned by a chimneyprofessional before the waterproofing material can be applied.  However, taking all of these steps can help confirm that both the water outside won’t enter your house through thechimney and you are able to enjoy your fireplace for many years to come.