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Homestead Chimney Service Blog

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!

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!