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.

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.

5 Common Reasons Your Chimney Leaks

Additional moisture in your chimney can cause irreversible damage. Roof leaks at the base of a chimney can cause structural problems for years to come. There are many reasons for chimney leaks. You may need chimney repair for flashing that is worn, tuckpointing, or chimney replacement. What are some of the most common causes for chimney leaking?

Old Flashing

The flashing provides a waterproof seal between the chimney and the roof. However, this area can be susceptible to moisture and deterioration over time. The materials have less durability. Chimney repair for flashing that has damage will prevent significant structural damage over time.

No Chimney Cap

Your chimney needs a functional chimney cap. This prevents unnecessary moisture from entering the chimney. The chimney cap protects against rain, snow, and even little critters that want to make a home in your chimney.

Mortar Problems

Chimney mortar lasts about twenty years. The bricks last for a century. This means that mortar will deteriorate well before the bricks. Freezing and thawing during the winter can cause serious problems. Deteriorating mortar can cause a chimney to lean or fail entirely.

Crown Issues

A cracked crown lets in water between the flue lining and the chimney. This will cause issues to walls and ceilings of your home. An annual chimney inspection will help you find these common issues before they cause expensive damage to your home.

Regular Maintenance

Your home needs a chimney inspection at least twice a year. Usually schedule the inspection before the winter months, when the chimney will be in use the most. Cummins Restoration can provide a detailed assessment to determine what repairs your chimney needs. Don’t wait until the chimney is beyond repair. The longer you wait the costlier the repairs may be.

Trust Cummins Restoration to repair your chimney. Our family business provides the best masonry and chimney repair in the region. Call us today.

Top 20 Things to Immediately Do to Your Chimney this Winter

concrete-block-masonry-workmanship

Don’t wait on protecting your family. This winter takes the time to check your home, from the basement to chimney, from windows to concrete block masonry workmanship. Follow this essential chimney safety checklist.

The Ultimate Chimney Safety Checklist

Take the time to protect your family by going through this safety checklist, especially for old chimneys. If you find that your chimney needs chimney crown repair, a cleaning, inspection, or replacement, please call the professionals at Cummins Restoration right away. Our talented team does a wide variety of chimney repair and concrete block masonry workmanship. Your family deserves to be safe.

  1. Have your chimney inspected at least once or twice a year
  2. Inspect your chimney and have it serviced before the winter or extended use
  3. Check for any settling or cracks at the foundation
  4. Check for masonry wear or evidence that the chimney has moved away from the house
  5. Look at the base of the chimney to see that the firebox rests on the thick reinforced masonry
  6. Check for any excessive leaning
  7. Check to see if your chimney is three inches higher than the roof surface. A short chimney may spew sparks and cause a fire hazard
  8. Inspect exterior chimneys for weathering
  9. Check to see if the chimney is lined properly
  10. See if there are any obstructions and if the chimney is clear of debris
  11. Check the flue for pipes, TV cables, electrical wires, and other service cables that may have been run along the chimney
  12. Check for masonry holes and cheaply done repairs
  13. Does your chimney have a cleanout door? These help with maintenance. Older chimneys may not have these
  14. Clear out the chimney door
  15. Check the flue for the damper and check its operation
  16. You need a minimum of two inches between the fireplace opening and the trim, mantel, and flammable materials
  17. Check for two inch clearance between the wall and ceiling framing and the flue masonry
  18. Check the chimney cap for damage and cracks
  19. Use a knife to see if the mortar has deteriorated
  20. Check the interior mortar joints

A Professional Inspection

Do you need help inspecting your chimney? Call our incredible team at Cummins Restoration. We pride ourselves on superior workmanship. With decades of experience, we will provide you with the chimney repair you deserve. Contact us today.

Common Chimney Complaints

chimney-repair-masonry

Your chimney requires regular maintenance and inspection to prevent fire damage and structural problems for your home. Some common issues that require chimney repair and masonry include brickwork problems, chimney obstruction, creosote, and replacing a cracked crown. Let’s talk about some of the most common chimney complaints you may encounter.

The Chimney Crown

Your chimney top has a chimney crown or a chimney cap. This protects your home from precipitation, birds, small animals, and any leaves. If you do not upkeep your chimney, over time structural damage may result. This requires extensive chimney repair and masonry, especially if the entire chimney must be replaced. Because of this, be sure that your chimney crown is intact.

Creosote

Smoke goes up the chimney. The smoke deposits flammable creosote in the flue lining. A dirty chimney results in possible fire damage. Have your chimney inspected annually for hazardous creosote buildup. You need to have your chimney checked regularly for creosote. Sometimes a simple chimney cleaning can address the issues. Contact us about our cleaning services.

Brickwork Issues

Sometimes your chimney has cracked and broken bricks due to aging or moisture. Tuckpointing removes damaged mortar. The new mortar gives additional stability and protection to the chimney. Your main concern will always prevent moisture from damaging your chimney.

Cracks in the Flue

If the moisture and creosote combine, the lining can deteriorate. Always make sure that any wood-burning system is safe. An annual inspection before the winter months will ensure that your home is safe. The professional will make recommendations regarding cracks in the flue, creosote buildup, and structural damage. You want to address the flue. The chimney lining has undue stress and can have much damage over time.

Cummins Restoration provides professional detail and care for your home. Contact us today about scheduling an inspection of your chimney. We provide extensive tuckpointing, masonry, and chimney replacement services. Keep your family safe this winter. Contact us today.  

What if I Have a Missing Crown on My Chimney?

chimney-repairChimneys need regular maintenance over time. Chimney repair is essential to keeping your home safe and beautiful. But what if you need to repair your chimney? Or what if you have a missing crown? Help your chimney last for decades with quality repair and maintenance.

Missing a Chimney Crown?

The chimney crown at the top of your chimney covers and seals the top of the chimney. Water is the number one reason that a chimney falls into disrepair. A chimney crown is tantamount to protecting your home from precipitation, critters, and debris. Hiring a chimney repair professional to replace a missing crown is necessary.

Figuring out if you are missing a chimney crown is simple. You don’t need to climb a ladder. All you need to do is look and see if you are missing the crown. If you are, then take the steps needed as soon as possible. Call a professional and set a date to restore your chimney. At the same time, you can take advantage of other services like sweeping the chimney, repairing broken bricks, and restoring any structural damage. You should inspect your chimney at least once a year, and it may be convenient to schedule this at the same time that you replace your chimney crown.

Defective Crown?

Maybe your home has a chimney crown but it is defective. It can be cracked, have structural damage, or just might be filled with mold, debris, and buildup. A quality chimney crown (sometimes called a chimney cap) needs to slope away from the flue. There should be room for thermal expansion of the liner. Corrosion can cause damage to the crown.

Contact a professional before leaks and water damage destroy your chimney and home. Experienced inspectors will check the chimney crown closely for any cracks or damage. They can replace a missing crown and ensure that you have the highest quality materials protecting your home. Call a professional today.