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.

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.

How to Repair Chimney Cracks

chimney-repair-masonry

Your chimney and fireplace provide your home with warmth and much-needed comfort. Whether enjoying the family around the cozy fire during the winter or simply heating your home during the cold winter months, you rely on your chimney to provide comfort and safety. Regular maintenance will protect your property and family. Yearly chimney repair and masonry will ensure that your family will enjoy your home for decades to come.

Chimney Cracks

Over time your chimney experiences harsh weather, moisture, precipitation, and high winds. This continues wear leads to damage. When the chimney’s walls crack you may experience damaged mortar joints, structural integrity loss, and spalling. Often the constant freezing and thawing of water over the winter leads to these issues. After several years, mortar might wash out, crack, and flake off. Avoid these problems with chimney repair and masonry.

Inspections

The first step to dealing with chimney cracks is setting up an inspection. A professional inspector will be able to tell you what you need to repair your chimney. Minor problems may need just tuckpointing and minor repair. During the professional inspection, the inspector will look over all chimney components, including the fireplace and the chimney cap.

Tuckpointing and Stone Chimney Crack Repair

Smaller cracks will be repaired with tuckpointing. Tuckpointing involves replacing failed mortar joints with fresh mortar. The mason may use chisel and hammer and other tools to repair the problem. After cleaning the area they may fill in any cracks with caulk or bonding materials. They might remove broken stones or bricks first.

Professional Masonry

While smaller jobs might be able to be done by the homeowner, most chimney repair work should be done by a professional. Why? Unless you have been trained in masonry repair, it is easy to miss the cause behind the cracks. A quick tuckpointing may take care of aesthetic issues, but the initial problem remains. A professional inspection will help you see how to prevent future damage. If you inspect your chimney each year, you will be able to avoid costly problems in the long-term, especially if you have a newer chimney. Regular maintenance is key.

Prevention

Once you have repaired your damaged chimney, you should waterproof the chimney. Repair and replace the chimney crown, the flashing, and install a chimney cap. All of these steps will prevent further damage in the future. Look out for problem areas like vines crawling around the chimney, which might cause excess damage over time.

Call the masonry specialists at Cummins Restoration for an inspection today. We will help you diagnose what is wrong with your chimney. We offer quality repair and chimney replacement. Cummins Restoration prides ourselves on our excellent customer service and expertise. Our technicians provide the best masonry repair in the region. Contact us today for your first consultation.

5 Different Types of Chimneys

house-chimney

Your chimney keeps your family warm and comfortable throughout the winter months. The house chimney also adds aesthetic beauty and home value to your home. Install a quality chimney with durable materials to keep your family safe. There are several key types of chimneys, each serving a different function. Your chimney pulls unwanted gases and smoke from your home and ensures proper airflow in your home.

Masonry Chimney

A masonry chimney usually includes masonry fireplaces. The contractors build them using cement, mortar, blocks, stone, and bricks. The standard house chimney allows the smoke to go through the channel and out of the home. The bricks absorb heat, keeping the home warm. Masonry chimneys last for decades with regular maintenance and care.

Metal Construction

Metal chimneys do not have the same elegant looks as traditional masonry chimneys. They can be triple walled or double walled. They sometimes cost more than traditional chimneys. The extra insulation helps dissipate the heat.

Prefabricated Chimneys and Fireplaces

In contemporary modern construction, prefabricated chimneys are a new trend. Complete with elegant fireplaces and custom design, factory-built chimneys have more style options. Prefabricated chimneys and fireplaces often come as a set. If you have a fireplace that does not match the factory-made chimney, you may need another option. These types of chimneys and fireplaces do not last as long as traditional chimneys. They require more repair and replacement over time. There are a few different types of manufactured chimneys:

  • Double Walled Chimneys
  • Air-Insulated Chimneys
  • Combination Chimneys
  • Air-Cooled Chimneys

Fireplace Insert Chimney Styles

The insert chimney has a special insert. They are often fit to open masonry fireplaces. They can be used with wood stoves. They can be installed with a masonry fireplace, then connected to the flue.

Freestanding Stove Chimneys and Wood Stove Chimneys

Another popular option involves installing a freestanding stove chimney. They can be built with masonry or pre-fabricated. Wood burning stove chimneys have a rich old tradition spanning over a century.

Speak with the experienced professionals at Cummins Restoration about the ideal chimney type for your home. We are the premier chimney repair and installer in the region. We offer a wide variety of services from chimney replacement and repair to tuckpointing. Set up an in-home consultation with our friendly staff. Contact us today. We will be happy to help you.

Cracking the Dirty Chimney Code

chimney-crown-repair

When your chimney starts to deteriorate, it can lead to a dangerous situation in your home. From chimney crown repair to entire chimney replacement, follow this safety checklist to protect your family. An old chimney can cause fire hazards, damage from the elements, and structural damage. Let us help you crack the dirty chimney code now.

Inspection First

Before you start to maintain and clean your chimney yourself, take the time and effort to schedule a professional inspection. The inspection will reveal if you need professional cleaning, necessary chimney crown repair, replacement, or simple maintenance.

Why You Need to Clean Your Chimney

Over time the growing creosote from chimney use becomes a fire hazard. Once the fire starts, damage to your home and possible injury are inevitable. The flue runs is a duct running the length of the chimney. Built-up of soot, critters, nests, and precipitation can all affect it. If you choose not to clean your chimney at least yearly, you may end up with ignition and chimney fire.

Signs You Need Cleaning

What are common signs that you need to clean your chimney? Call a chimney repair specialist if you see:

  • Creosote built up more than a quarter of an inch thick
  • Puffy honey-combed creosote formation
  • Creosote that looks like black cornflakes
  • Fireplace is not drawing
  • Damper is semi-open most of the time
  • Smoke accumulates in the home
  • Often use artificial logs
  • Soot and creosote in the fireplace

The Solution

Often regular maintenance and inspection drastically reduce fire hazards from a dirty chimney. However, chimney sweeping is a daunting process. Call a professional to determine if you need a chimney sweep service to take care of your chimney.

Call our incredible team at Cummins Restoration. Trust us to inspect, clean, and repair your chimney. We have years of experience. Our friendly staff will be happy to answer your questions. 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.  

4 Reasons Why Chimneys Leak

chimney-repair-cost

A chimney leak causes immeasurable damage to your home. Between the chimney repair cost and possible damage to your home, identifying the causes of your chimney leak can save you thousands of dollars. What are some of the top causes of chimney leaks?

Precipitation

This might seem simple, but rain will cause considerable headaches if not kept in check. You need a cover to reduce chimney repair costs from a damaged chimney. A cover makes sense. The cover will keep out critters, debris, and water. An uncovered flue can cause water problems. Additionally, you want to make sure the chimney doesn’t have a block that can cause dangerous CO poisoning. Regular inspections will identify any chimney issues.

Cracked Crown

A cracked chimney crown allows snow and rain to come into the chimney. They can crack from shifts in the chimney, structural damage, and shrinkage over time. Precipitation can result in structural damage and mold. You want to protect your home. You may need a new crown for your chimney.

Leaking Bricks

Just like a cracked chimney allows in precipitation, leaking bricks do the same. In very cold climates, the constant freezing and thawing cause considerable damage. This causes leaks in your home. Waterproofing material may help, but using the wrong waterproofing materials may lead to more damage.

Other Leaks

Sometimes your chimney leak actually originates somewhere else. Maybe you have a roof leak in your attic or one of your roof tiles has flown off. Water sometimes makes it way to your chimney through small cracks or the trusses. How can you know where the leak originates? This is precisely why you need a professional to inspect your chimney and identify any potential problems.

Contact our trusted experienced staff today. We can help you with chimney inspection, repair, and full chimney replacement. Call us now.

Can Rain Get in My Chimney?

chimney-repair-cost

Worried about rain getting in your chimney? Minimize expensive long-term damage. Your chimney repair cost for maintenance ensures that you enjoy your chimney for a lifetime. But how can you prevent rain in your chimney? What are some of the more common causes?

Why is My Chimney Leaking?

There are a few different reasons why you have rain coming into your chimney. One of the more common reasons is basic structural issues. You might have chimney crown damage or faults in the lining. A professional will inspect your chimney for possible causes for precipitation. Chimney repair cost depends on how much damage has occurred. Because of this, you want to fix the problems sooner to reduce expenses and water damage.

Depending on your climate, your chimney may be exposed to high winds, heavy precipitation, freezing temperatures, and snow. Harsh weather deteriorates masonry materials significantly. Debris and rodents also contribute to chimney damage.

The mortar and bricks pass water. Harsh winters can cause leaks in the house with continual thawing and freezing. Sometimes bricks may get soggy. The wrong waterproofing materials may even exacerbate the issues. Do you need to waterproof your chimney? Your contractor can do a Masonry Absorption Test (MAT) which checks how long it takes for the bricks to absorb water. They can identify structural issues due to water damage.

Repairing the Chimney

Your chimney professional will offer some repair and maintenance options:

  • Chimney Relining
  • Caulking
  • Crown Coat
  • Fixing a Cracked Crown
  • Chimney Crown Replacement
  • Structural Adjustments
  • Chimney replacement
  • Basic maintenance and cleaning

Most of the time the repair will be simple. However, you might have to do a costly repair like chimney replacement or structural adjustments. A professional contractor can identify and fix the issue. Ask for an inspection to identify the problem.

Do you have rain in your chimney? If you need a quality inspection and chimney repair, call us today. We are ready to help you solve your chimney issues immediately.