Do You Need a Chimney if You Don’t Have a Fireplace?

types-of-chimneys

Many homeowners don’t know that furnaces, water heaters, and boilers have chimneys, or flues. The flue carries the gases and combustion safely outside the house. While there are many types of chimneys, they all protect the home from the danger of fire and gas buildup. Regular maintenance and inspection ensures the chimney has not deterioration and functions properly.

Chimney vs. Flue

The flue channels the soot, gases, and carbon dioxide away from the house to the atmosphere. The chimney houses the flue. You can see the top of the chimney peeking out from your rooftop. Many types of chimneys help funnel the heat and gases away from the home. Even if you do not have a fireplace, you might need a flue for:

  • Boilers
  • Furnaces
  • Water heaters
  • Wood stoves

Your chimney may have several flues. No two appliances will share a single flue. An inspector should check each flue to clear blockages, ensure structural integrity, and clean buildup. Oil burning appliances may build up soot. A traditional fireplace builds up creosote. Gas appliances might have chlorine, sulfur, and acidic buildup. Any of these substances can lead to harmful corrosion and deterioration.

Blockages and Chimney Leaks

Blockage from debris, animals, and leaves reduce functionality and may cause a safety hazard. A blocked chimney may result in carbon monoxide poisoning and a fire hazard. Other issues to look out for involve chimney leaks and deterioration. For example, over time the masonry may need repair or you might need to seal a chimney leak. A chimney leak lets water and moisture into the chimney, damaging the structural integrity of the chimney.

Chimney Caps

A chimney cap provides additional protection for your home. They prevent nests, animals, and leaves from building up and blocking your chimney. A cracked chimney cap needs repair. An annual chimney inspection will help you see if you need to replace or repair your chimney cap.

Do you need a chimney inspection or repair? Call the experts at Cummins Restoration. We provide high quality chimney repair and will inspect your chimney. Trust our seasoned technicians to provide you quality service every time. Contact us today.

How Does a House Chimney Work?

house-chimney

Traditional chimneys provide warmth and comfort to your entire family. How does a house chimney work? Built of stone or brick, a chimney has several components: firebox, flue, crown, dampers, smoke chamber, ash pit, and more. How does a chimney work?

The Dampers

When you burn wood in the fire, the smoke escapes past the dampers. Harmful gases like carbon monoxide also leaves. Close the dampers when not using the fireplace. This helps keep the room warm, even in cold weather, and even prevents critters from entering your home. Install the house chimney damper above the firebox.

Drafting

The rising heat helps keep the gases, smoke, and heat up. Drafting prevents your home from filling with harmful gases and smoke. Hot air rises. The hotter the gases the stronger the chimney draft. A chimney protects the house from the hot gases.

The Flue Liner

The flue liner helps with fire prevention. How? The flue liners will prevent overheating and makes the chimney more resistant. Typically you will install three different types of flue liners: Clay, Stainless steel or aluminum, cast-in-place.

Many homeowners have clay tiles. They resist heat but can split under intense heat. Metal flue liners have easy installation over older liners. Cast-in-place liners involve more labor and provide superior protection.

Cleaning Chimneys and Regular Maintenance

Without regular cleaning, flammable creosote builds up, causing a fire hazard. Chimney fires cause massive property damage and can cause bodily harm. Additionally, chimney leaks and damage can allow moisture into the home.

Most homeowners schedule yearly sweeping and inspections before the winter to prevent any damage. An inspection will reveal if a home needs cleaning, repair, or even replacement due to structural problems.

When you need quality masonry and chimney repair, call the experts at Cummins Restoration. We provide a wide range of masonry services. The Cummins Restoration team prides itself on superior customer service and excellent workmanship. When you need a chimney inspection or repair, you can trust our seasoned professionals. Call us today for your initial consultation.

Your Guide to Chimney Inspection

masonry-chimney-repair

With winter just around the corner, you need a chimney inspection. Why? Prevent fire hazards and energy loss this winter. Your chimney inspector will tell you if you need masonry chimney repair, sweeping, or a new chimney cap. In general, there are three levels of chimney inspections, each more involved than the last.

Basic Chimney Inspections

A basic chimney inspection provides guidelines and an assessment to prevent property damage or injury from fire hazards. Inspect your chimney once or twice per year. If you use your fireplace a lot, schedule a chimney inspection before use each year. When the chimney technician inspects your chimney, they will check for an operating malfunction,  and other important issues:

  • Water damage
  • Moisture
  • Cracked chimney cap
  • Damage from lightning strike
  • Operating malfunctions
  • Inspect flues
  • Fireplace
  • Check connected appliances
  • Camera inspection
  • And so much more

Why Do You Need a Chimney Inspection?

The main reason to schedule a basic chimney inspection annually is to prevent damage from fire hazards, check any malfunctions, and point out any serious issues different from the previous year’s inspection.

Thinking of buying a home with a chimney? Schedule a more in-depth inspection. You want to avoid purchasing a home that has a chimney with serious structural damage, a fire danger, or serious moisture and leaking. Sometimes that will not come up in a basic home inspection. A seasoned chimney technician will help you save thousands in damage by finding problems before you purchase a home with a problematic chimney.

Our helpful experts at Cummins Restorations will provide a wide range of affordable solutions. Whether the problem is large or small, count on Cummins to fix your chimney. Customers trust us again and again to repair their chimney with top notch masonry and repair.

Camera Inspections

Camera inspections allow you to see any serious masonry issues with your own eyes. By using state-of-the-art technology, technicians will pinpoint major problems and help you save money by dealing with issues today.

When you need the best chimney inspection and repair in the Greater Toronto Area call Cummins Restorations. Our talented team will help you with chimney repair, tuckpointing, masonry, and more. Contact us today. Schedule your first appointment with us.

4 Most Common Chimney Repairs Needed in Your Home

spallling-brick-repair

As the summer draws to an end homeowners need to consider chimney repair. Why? You want to feel confident when you use your fireplace and chimney this winter. Avoid wasting money on energy costs and save yourself the problem of a fire hazard by taking care of issues like spalling brick repair, chimney sweeping, and chimney inspection.

1 Masonry Repair

Repair serious chimney issues with tuckpointing.  What is tuckpointing? Tuckpointing involves taking two different kinds of mortar to make a chimney look like new. Tuckpointing helps prevent fire and prevents issues like moisture causing damage. Other issues to consider are whether you need spelling brick repair or need to relining the chimney.

2 Chimney Cap

If you want to protect your home from moisture and debris, you need a chimney cap.  However, a cracked chimney cap can cause serious water damage. Consistent water damage may result in structural damage to your chimney. Critters and birds can make a nest in your chimney. Avoid this problem by repairing your Chimney cap.  The seasoned experts at Cummins Restoration offer professional chimney inspection you can trust.

3 Relining a Chimney

If you have a crack in the flue of the chimney you might have a very serious fire hazard. Modern flue liners allow gas and smoke to vent. A cracked liner spreads a fire easily. Clay liners can crack as well. You may want to consider installing stainless steel liners. If you suspect a crack in the flue, call the masonry experts at Commons restoration.

4 Chimney Inspection

Don’t wait until the winter comes to repair the chimney. Protect your family and save energy when you repair your chimney.  Don’t let a little problem grow into a major issue. Call Cummins Restoration today to inspect your chimney. We offer a wide variety of masonry services:

  • Tuckpointing
  • Chimney Repair
  • Chimney Inspection
  • Parging
  • Brick Repair
  • And so much more

Find out why we have been serving the Greater Toronto Area for decades. Homeowners trust us to provide high-quality workmanship and excellent customer service. Contact Cummins Restoration today.

What are Chimney Caps and Dampers?

what-is-masonry

Save thousands of dollars in energy expenses and repair with quality chimney caps and dampers. Your top sealing dampers help protect your home by sealing your chimney flue. Drafts can cost a lot in energy and heating expenses. Enjoy innovative energy efficiency and the comfort of a warm, safe home. Avoid chimney damage with proper sealing and masonry construction. Learn what is masonry good practices for overall chimney maintenance.

Losing Heat?

Your fireplace is essentially a giant hole in your living room that lets in cold drafts and reduces the overall energy efficiency of your house. The fireplace and chimney allow in air from the outside. This affects overall temperature. You might have higher heating costs trying to cope with the problem. What is the best masonry solution?

The damper prevents heated air loss. Don’t worry about down drafts and cold air anymore. The chimney top damper at the top of your chimney will properly seal your chimney. A professionally sealed chimney will prevent drafts, moisture, and debris from causing serious damage. Some dampers serve double duty as a chimney cap and a damper.

The chimney cap covers the very top of your chimney. A wire mesh will prevent debris from entering your house. A cracked cap can lead to leaks and other problems. If you suspect a leak or chimney damage, call the professionals at Cummins Restoration for an inspection. You want the best chimney repair in the Greater Toronto Area. Our customers trust us to deliver quality service every single time.

In some cases, you don’t want a damper cap. For example, top sealing dampers cannot be used with pre-fabricated metal box fireplace styles. You also don’t want the dampers if you have a traditional gas log fireplace.

Don’t Worry About Weather or Pests

Your top damper will prevent moisture and harsh weather from causing structural chimney damage. Prevent air loss and heating problems. Worried about birds and pests making their home in your home? The sturdy chimney damper will stop those critters cold.

When you need to repair your chimney cap or damper, call the experts at Cummins Restoration. With decades of experience, our trusted team will fix your chimney problems the first time. Call us today.

What You Need to Know About Leaky Chimney

masonry-construction

How do you know if your kitchen is leaking? The brick and mortar joints of your chimney remain the most vulnerable. Why? Over time the joints can split and become damaged. Moisture slowly deteriorates your chimney over time. Leaks can cause serious structural issues to the masonry construction. In fact, you might end up having to replace the entire chimney if you don’t fix it right away! What causes a leaking chimney?

Faulty Flashing Problems

One key cause of leaky chimneys can be faulty flashing. The chimney flashing prevents debris and rain from affecting your home, negatively impacting your masonry construction. If water gets between the chimney and roof serious damage occurs. The sealant erodes. Water enters your home. Have your flashing repaired and waterproofed to prevent costly damage.

Brick and Mortar Joints

Over time the brick and mortar joints deteriorate. Water gets in. Leaks cause serious damage. The chimney loses structural integrity. Tuckpoint and waterproof your chimney to prevent long-term damage.

Cracked Crowns

Your chimney crown protects your home from unwanted moisture and debris. However, a crack often occurs due to natural shrinkage. When this happens, water goes through the cracks, causing damage. Repair or replace your cracked crown.

Condensation Woes

Sometimes condensation builds up inside your chimney. The moisture leaks through causing damage. Many times gas fireplaces have faulty liners. Moisture builds up. Prevent this problem by having your liner professionally installed.

Chimney Inspections

Have your chimney inspected at least twice a year. If you use the fireplace heavily, you may need additional inspections if you sense there is a problem. An inspection before the fall will ensure that your family can use the fireplace safely this winter. Our professional inspection team at Cummins Restoration will find out exactly why your chimney leaks. We offer a wide range of affordable solutions for every chimney problem. Trust Cummins Restoration to stop your leaky chimney.

Enjoy the comfort and warmth of your fireplace safely this year. Call Cummins Restoration for the best chimney repair in the Greater Toronto Area. If you want decades of professional masonry experience and the best in tuckpointing and chimney repair, call us today. Our friendly staff will be happy to answer your important questions. Contact us now.

How do you fix a crumbling concrete basement floor?

masonry-caulk

Is your basement floor cracking? Is it time for professional masonry repair? What works — masonry caulk, professional sealing, or do you have a more serious problem on your hands? Most of the time basement floor cracks don’t affect structural integrity. However, sometimes a floor crack means that there is moisture coming in, the home is not level, or there are other serious issues.

Hairline Cracks in the Floor

The most common problem you might see are spider web like cracks in your basement floor. Sometimes masonry caulk, a paint job, or a quick visit from the Cummins Restoration team will quickly fix the problem. These superficial cracks depend really on humidity and how much shrinkage has occurred. If you are not sure if the cracks in your floor are serious, call Cummins Restoration to set up an inspection. We will assess what you need for repair.

Wider Cracks

While hairline cracks do not indicate a serious issue, anything wider than that needs to be sealed. This will protect you from soil smells and radon gas. Using a caulking sealant or call a professional for professional sealing. Don’t forget to seal the perimeter cracks. This is when the floor actually shrinks away from the walls of your basement.

Ugly Spalling

When the floor begins to get patchy and looks worn, there might be an issue with the original concrete mix. The moisture weakens the top layer. Your floor flakes off. Concrete Resurfacer might help since a regular paint job will not work. New floor installation like carpeting or floating laminate sometimes helps hide an unsightly concrete subfloor. However, you want to make sure that you are not simply covering up a more serious problem.

Heaving Slabs

When the cracks deepen and widen and the actual floor begins to shift you need repair right away. The unleveled floors can become a safety issue and tripping hazard. Additionally, the soil might be shifting underneath your home. You need a reputable Cummins Restoration foundation contractor to assess the damage.

Contact Cummins Restoration today. We will inspect your home and provide you with affordable solutions for your home. Call us today.

The Basics of Masonry Today

masonry paint

What are the basics of modern masonry? From stone, mortar, masonry, paint, and brick, learn what you need to know as a homeowner. Things all types of masonry have is that they are heavy, rigid, and often crack. Masonry requires stable, strong soil. In places that have severe cold weather, the expansion of ice can heave a home or building.

Footings

Your masonry walls rest on footings, a durable concrete structure. These footings help spread out the masonry over a large area. This prevents sinking and cracking. They are integral to supporting the weight of the building. Cracks in masonry paint may indicate failure or structural damage.

Concrete Basics

Contractors use concrete for a variety of construction needs. Concrete has sand, Portland cement, and gravel. What is Portland Cement? It is a combination of limestone and clay. The cement is fired at high temperatures. At that point the mixture is ground to a powder. The contractor adds water to the mixture on-site.

How long does it take for concrete to harden? Usually concrete needs a full month to harden 100%. However, you can walk on it after a day. Some additives will help strengthen the concrete, reducing chances of cracking. Retarders prevent the cement from settling much too quickly. An accelerator is more suitable for cold months when you need the concrete to settle fast.

Professionals at Cummins Restoration use a fully loaded truck to mix the concrete. Smaller jobs may have only pre-mixed bags. Traditional mortar uses lime. Lime makes the mortar sticker. This helps the mortar keep to the bricks and blocks. Additives help make the material work more effectively.

Call the Professionals Today

Professional masonry guarantees the most durability and high performance. Large jobs require heavy equipment, experience, and specialized tours. Whether you need your chimney restored, need tuckpointing, an inspection, or masonry repair, call the seasoned contractors at Cummins Restoration. Our friendly staff will be happy to talk with you.

We pride ourselves on superior workmanship and excellent customer service. When you need dependable masonry now, contact Cummins Restoration. Our customer is our number one priority.

Top 5 Reasons Why You Have a Leaky Chimney

masonry-repair

Whether summer or winter, a leaky chimney can be a serious problem. Why does your chimney leak? Do you need professional masonry repair? Our experts put together a list of the top five reasons your chimney leaks.

1. Chimney Does Not have a Chimney Cap

You need a chimney cap to prevent moisture, precipitation, debris, and critters from entering your chimney. If you do not have a chimney cap, your chimney will be vulnerable. Harsh winds, snow, heavy rains and more can damage your chimney. You may need professional masonry repair for an inspection and to install a new chimney cap.

2. Masonry Damage

Your masonry may last for a century, but you need to regularly maintain your chimney. Over time the mortar and masonry will deteriorate because of the natural elements, moisture, and wear. The freezing and thawing over winter causes excess damage. Masonry may crack, flake off, or even pop off. This might damage structural integrity of your chimney, a costly repair.

3. Chimney Crown Cracked

An untreated crack in the chimney crown expands over time. The small cracks don’t take a lot to repair. However, waiting will result in serious structural damage to your chimney. Water is your enemy. Any way that water and moisture can seep into the masonry will cause serious damage. Prevent this with regular maintenance and repair.

4. Leaky Flashing or Leaky Top Pan

Once again, any type of water or moisture will damage your chimney. Leaking flashing results when the waterproofing seal no longer effectively keeps moisture out. The flashing may fail just because of deterioration over time or because of poor installation. When the metal top pan has water pooling a leaky chimney can result.

5. Wood Siding on the Chimney

Finally, cracks and damage over time on wood siding may result in a leaky chimney. Call Cummins Restoration for a professional inspection. Our trained professionals will help you identify the leak and determine the best course of active. Trust our experts to solve all of your chimney repair needs. Call us today.

Homeowner Guide: How Do You Know if You Need Tuckpointing?

masonry-restoration-contractors

Does your home need professional tuckpointing? Tuckpointing repairs the brick’s damaged mortar joints. Professional masonry restoration contractors will put fresh new mortar after removing any old failing mortar. The process can be extensive. Experienced professionals like our masonry experts at Cummins Restoration take the time and attention to detail needed to maintain the structural integrity of your home.

A Quick Inspection

Do you need to tuckpoint? Take a look at the different brick structures around your home. This can be your foundation, the chimney, or other areas. Do you need to call masonry restoration contractors? Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Is there any cracking?
  • Do you see damage to the structural integrity?
  • Is there crumbling?
  • Does the mortar have holes?

If you aren’t sure if you see extensive damage, you can call Cummins for a professional inspection.

The Scratch Test

One simple way to tell if you need to tuckpoint is the scratch test. Wash the surfaces. Powerwashing will clean the surface well. Observe for any cracking, crumbling, and holes. Take a small sharp object. Scrape the mortar. If it comes off easily you need to call the professionals.

How Long Does Tuckpointing Last?

You only need to tuckpoint every twenty-five years or so if you do not observe any damage. If you have moved into a new home, you might need to schedule an inspection if you do not know when the home last had tuckpointing.

Don’t Wait

You don’t want to wait if you see damage. Humidity and moisture can cause serious damage over time. Like most home repairs, the sooner you address the problem the less costly repairs will be. If you wait too long, large chunks of brick may fall to the ground. This results in property damage and possible personal injury. The repair may involve an entire replacement and become a serious home repair.

Call the professionals at Cummins Restoration today. Schedule your first consultation. We are happy to answer all of your important question. Contact us now.