Your Guide to Chimney Inspection

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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

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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?

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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

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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?

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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

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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

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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?

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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.

How serious is a crack in the foundation of my home

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Finding a crack in your foundation can be unnerving. Do you need repair? Or is there extensive damage caused by the crack in foundation slab? When do you need to call a professional? Not all cracks are equal. Some indicate serious damage to the structure of your home.

Vertical Crack Troubles

A vertical crack usually indicates foundations settling over time. A vertical crack in foundation slab needs to be sealed. Usually this is an easier job. Sealing will protect your home from moisture damage. Even a new home can have vertical cracks. A vertical crack is typically up and down or can be slightly diagonal. However, if the crack has more than a 30-degree angle, you have a different issue.

Diagonal Cracks

Unlike a vertical crack, diagonal cracks have a 30-70-degree angle. It might be a hairline crack with some variation in width. Sometimes uneven settling causes diagonal cracks. For example, a home built on a hill may have uneven settling. New gutters may address the issue by channeling rainwater away from the foundation. The additional water might cause your home’s foundation to shift over time. This crack needs sealing by a professional as there might be additional repair needed.

Horizontal Cracks and Structural Issues

Finally, the horizontal cracks in your home foundation cause the biggest concerns. They indicate problems with structural integrity. Homes with brick or concrete foundations will develop these cracks. Repair the damage as soon as possible. The contractor will need to reinforce your foundation. Professional repair will prevent additional damage and help build up the structural integrity of your home.

Cummins Restoration experts will help you diagnose foundation cracks. With decades of experience, our seasoned staff will gladly answer your questions. We pride ourselves on superior masonry and repair. We offer a wide range of quality services like masonry, parging, brick repair, and tuckpointing. When you need a contractor you can trust, call the team at Cummins Restoration. We will be there to help you. Contact us today.

What a Crack in the Basement Floor Really Means

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Does your basement have unseemly cracks? Many homes have nonstructural settlement cracks. These cracks often result when the concrete shrinks over time. Stress caused by vehicles and moisture can cause these cracks. When do you need repair? Do you need to worry about basement waterproofing? When do you need to call a professional?

What is a Settlement Crack?

Non-structural cracks can be either settlement cracks or shrinkage cracks. For example, when the house drops over time, small cracks occur. Usually, they will not extend far. Shrinkage or curing cracks occur at the corners. You might have water or moisture enter through some of these cracks. Basement waterproofing and repair will be necessary.

Non-structural cracks could let radon into your home. Air leakage can cause this dangerous gas to enter your home. Radon has been linked to lung cancer. Additionally, methane gas can also come in.

Basement Cracks with Heaving

Heaving cracks mean the floor is slowly expanding. This happens with clay soil. The wet soil lifts the slab floor. A professional can address the issue. Large cracks can also cause tripping and accidents. These floors need to be leveled.

Wall-Floor Joint Cracks

Any crack along the wall-floor joint could let in moisture. They need to be sealed. The water can cause property or structural damage over time.

Hairline Cracks

Most hairline cracks do not need to be sealed. They result in natural shrinkage over time. However, if the crack grows visibly, results in heaving, or becomes wider, you need a professional to look at it. You don’t want to let moisture, soil, and radon gas to enter your home.

Ugly Basement Flooring

If you have minor cracks, flaking, or spalling, you can opt to have the basement redone for aesthetic purposes. If you aren’t sure if you have structural problems or radon gas, call the paving professionals at Cummins Restoration. Cummins will inspect your home and let you know what options are available to repair your basement. We pride ourselves on excellent customer service and superior workmanship. Cummins Restoration works within any budget, for all homes large and small. Contact us today.