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.

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.

6 Ways to Repair Damaged Brick

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Do you need to repair your home’s masonry? How can you tell if you need cracked brick repair? What signs should you be looking for? Many masonry issues result from natural settlement. The soil around your home loses strength over time. The building foundation alignment depends on the pressure of the earth around it. When soil shifts, it creates stress on the foundation. The brick then cracks or breaks, causing serious structural issues.

Many problems result in damaged brick. Some signs that you need repair include:

  1. Bowed Brick – Moisture warps the concrete causes the bricks to push out. A mason will remove any affected bricks after inspection. They may need to rebuild your outer wall to help with the structural integrity of your home.
  2. Vertical Corner Cracks – A vertical results from natural settling. Your mason will be able to repair this with an epoxy injection. This will fill the crack and prevent any moisture from entering the home.
  3. Spalling – What is spalling? A corroding shelf angle can chip at the brick. The mason will inspect your home and determine if the shelf angle has been corroded. If it has, expect lengthy repair.
  4. Staining and Efflorescence – You will see soluble salt exiting the pores. These stains have a common cause like moisture and dew. Pressure cleaning will remove the stain at the earliest stages. If left longer, your mason will use special chemicals to remove the stains.
  5. Compacted Bricks – Compacted bricks lose shape over time. They may be cracked, chipped, or bowed. Moisture can enter the spaces between the bricks. A mason will replace any affected bricks as well as recommend underpinning. This helps strengthen your foundation.
  6. Deteriorated Mortar – Repointing and tuckpointing will address weakened foundations due to mortar deterioration.

Contact Cummins Restoration

Contact the masonry professionals at Cummins Restoration. We offer quality workmanship at an affordable price for every homeowner. Don’t wait until your home has structural damage. Instead, call our friendly staff today with your questions. We offer an inspection and services like brick repair, masonry, parging, tuckpointing, and more. Call us today.

What is a Spalled Brick?

Have you noticed falling or missing bricks from your chimney? This can be an issue called spalling. Spalling happens often to masonry chimneys, retaining walls, and more. Small cracks lead to bigger cracks, leading to significant deterioration that requires professional masonry work.

What Causes Spalling

Moisture penetrates the brickwork. Depending on your climate and the weather conditions, the exterior condition of your brick can deteriorate considerably over time. The masonry work suffers more in harsher climates. Colder climates cause spalling due to the rapid freeze and expansion during the winter months. Leaks can cause serious spalling. Pressure washers and careless sandblasting further damage your brickwork.

In some cases, the spalling has been caused by reusing older bricks during construction. Older bricks are more porous. These leaves them much more susceptible to moisture and damage. Be sure to use a quality licensed professional when addressing your chimney needs.

Fixing the Problem

If you have allowed your chimney to deteriorate for a long period of time, you may need professional contractors to inspect and repair your chimney. This can include costly work like an entire chimney replacement. Catch the problem before it reaches a crucial tipping point and you can save considerably. Your contractor may have to replace the crown or simply replace and seal the bricks. A chimney cap can add extra protection against future damage.

Preventative Measures

If your chimney is not damaged, take a few preventative steps to avoid damage. Yearly inspections can result in early detection for chimney issues. Monitor trouble spots. Apply masonry sealant to prevent additional issues. Install a quality chimney cap. Contact a professional if you find that bricks are falling or that there has been leaking and moisture in the brickwork.

Cummins Restoration has a long history of quality masonry in the Greater Toronto Areas since 1992. Our family owned business is fully licensed and insured. Let our friendly staff help you inspect and repair your chimney. Contact us today.

3 Dangerous Signs of Structural Damage

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Major structural issues with your home can be a homeowner’s worst nightmare. Fortunately, quality masonry techniques and early detection can help save you thousands of dollars and the structural integrity of your home. Look for these key issues in your home:

1. Cracks

No, not every crack means that you have serious structural damage. However, certain types of damage are more serious. Small cracks can be repaired with professional masonry techniques. However, look for stair-step cracks, large cracks along foundation walls, and large cracks in the sheetrock. If you have these glaring problems, then call our professionals today. We will provide you with an inspection and estimate for work needed.

2. Doors and Windows That Won’t Open

Over time your house will naturally settle and shift. However, if you find that the doors are jammed you might have a serious structural issue. Because the walls and foundation are shifting, the doors and windows no longer fit in their frames. This results in jammed windows and doors. Besides providing a fire hazard and safety issue for your family, this also might indicate that you have a serious structural issue in your home. You need a professional inspection to determine if you have structural problems.

3. Chimney Pulls Away from Home

When you purchase or own an older home, the chimney may begin to shift as the house settles. When a home has serious structural damage, the chimney itself may detach from the home. In more extreme cases you can see the lean just by standing outside the home. However, you might need a professional to check the chimney in the earlier stages. Remember that you want to address foundation issues much sooner than later to save time and damage to your home. If you suspect your chimney has been compromised because of foundation issues, call a professional immediately.

Foundation repair is possible. If you catch the issues earlier, you might be able to avoid a large expense and headache. Have us inspect your home today. With years of experience in masonry and home restoration, we guarantee that we can repair your foundation. Enjoy your home for decades to come with quality foundation repair.

How Do You Fix Decaying Bricks?

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Beautiful brick homes require little maintenance. They provide aesthetic beauty and security. However, sometimes you need chipped brick repair to maintain the look and structural integrity of your home. What are some ways to fix decaying brick? What do you look for? Let’s find out.

Crumbling and deteriorating brick is a common issue. However, a simple surface repair will not fix any underlying moisture problem. Chipped brick repair, tuckpointing, and masonry by a professional will ensure that your home maintains structural integrity and its overall elegance.

What Causes Decaying Bricks?

The number one reason that bricks chip and deteriorates over time is moisture. Bricks close to the ground will deteriorate over time due to ongoing splashing and puddling. When a home has poor drainage, water will add further damage to bricks. Mortar turns sandy. Bricks chip, break and crack. In cold climates, frost will break and crumble bricks.

Prevention

If you want to avoid costly repairs and damage, then keep your brick walls dry. Avoid any sort of puddling of water near the foundation. Repair drainage issues. Keep hoses and water sources away from the brick. Inspect the mortar over time. Watch for ground sloping towards the home. This will cause water to move closer to your foundation. Gutter leaks can cause damage. Check downspouts for debris. Essentially, keep your brick walls as dry as possible.

Repair

Have a professional inspect any damage to bricks, walls, and foundation. Remember that simply fixing the bricks aesthetic look will not address serious structural problems. When remortaring, be sure to remove any damaged materials. Check for structural problems. Tuckpointing is a temporary fix for eroding brick. However, tuckpointing only helps the issue on a surface level. Whatever the type of repair, be sure to remove all of the damaged areas. Don’t leave any loose mortar between joints. Simple repairs and patching can be done by the handy homeowner. However, most serious issues can be addressed by a professional masonry company.

Call our experienced professionals today. We will help you assess your damaged brick walls and provide you with high-quality repair and installation.