3 Ways to a Better Chimney

masonry-repair-specialistA beautiful chimney adds value and elegance to your home. Over time, your chimney may need repair due to weather, water damage, or regular wear-and-tear. There are several things that a masonry repair specialist can do to help restore and repair your chimney as well as ways that you can maintain your chimney.

Regular Chimney Cleaning

Does your chimney need regular cleaning? Major repairs and cleaning require the help of a masonry repair specialist, but there are many ways that you can help keep your chimney clean. Sweep out the entire chimney, from the fireplace to crown, at least once or twice a year. Try to clean the chimney before the busy winter season when the fireplace will be in use more often.

Remove any excess build-up of soot and creosote. Creosote build-up is a prime cause of fires as it is a very flammable substance. If you don’t know how to clean your chimney or need help contact a professional service to inspect and clean your chimney.

Chimney Repair

Sometimes your chimney will have cracks, damaged mortar joints, rust or damage to the chimney crown. It is important to address these issues once you see them. Why? Small cracks and damage can easily lead to massive repairs and replacement, especially if water damage occurs. What else to look out for? Watch for any excess moisture, debris, or cracked tiles accumulating in your fireplace. This can indicate damage that needs immediate attention.

Chimney Replacement

Unfortunately, sometimes the damage is too great for a simple repair. If that is the case, then you may have to replace the entire chimney. While costly, replacing your chimney will add value to your home in the long term, providing you with a safe and beautiful fireplace and chimney. A professional contractor can give you an estimate for your chimney. For homeowners that hope to resell their home in the future, replacing a dilapidated chimney is just one way to enhance the overall beauty and curb appeal of the home.

How to Improve Your House in 3 Steps

chimney-cleaningHomeowners find a variety of ways to restore and improve their homes. Some ways to renovate and improve their homes could be something as simple as chimney cleaning and repair or replacing a cracked driveway. Here are several ways that you can improve your home.

Chimney Repair

What is one of the first steps to improving your home? When you purchase your home, aesthetic beauty often travails over function. Yet one feature that homeowners continue to love is a beautiful fireplace. One way that you can affordably add value to your home is by chimney cleaning and maintenance. If your chimney is starting to look worn, has cracks and loose bricks, or has a high amount of soot and buildup, it is time to have your chimney professionally inspected and repaired.

Surprisingly enough, many times only minor repairs and maintenance will restore your chimney and fireplace to its former glory. This is ideal if you are looking to sell your home in the future or just want to enjoy the warmth and elegance of a luxurious fireplace. A professional service will inspect the entire chimney, from inside the home all the way through the flue to the crown. They will assess what damage may exist from water damage, critters, and weather. Have professionals look at your chimney at least once or twice a year, preferably before the winter months when the fireplace will be in regular use.

Driveway and Landscaping

Another easy step to improve the overall curb appeal of your home affordably is by repairing the driveway and landscaping. Professional landscaping, while relatively inexpensive when compared to most major home repairs, can impress visitors and potential buyers. The first impression means everything. So maintain your landscape and driveway regularly.

Masonry and Insulation

Older homes have natural wear and tear. Sometimes a brick home may have loose bricks or a foundation may have cracks. Looking into the benefits of masonry repair can improve the overall look of your home and improve insulation while providing extra much-needed protection against water and weather damage.

Maintain your home for a lifetime. Speak to a professional today about how you can improve your home in a few simple steps.

 

It’s fall, and homeowners depend on their fireplaces and wood stoves to keep them warm chimney-sweepduring the cool days and nights. However, each year injuries and property damage occur due to preventable fires. Some fires could be prevented by hiring a chimney sweep to clean up build-up. Why does it pay to repair your chimney?

Safety First

A fireplace is a cozy way to warm your family during the colder winter months. However, regular cleaning, whether with a professional chimney sweep service or simple maintenance is essential to maintain safety for your family and property. With any fireplace, residue from creosote and soot will build up in the flue and masonry. If the creosote becomes very thick, a single spark can start a fire. Chimney cleaning is a simple way to remove soot and creosote build-up. Make your family safer by regular maintenance and cleaning.

Additionally, birds and critters might clog up your chimney over time, increasing chances of carbon monoxide poisoning. Carbon monoxide is an odorless gas that can quickly build up if your chimney is clogged. Professionals will clean your chimney and ensure that your family is safe from fire and other dangers.

Eco-Friendly Efficiency

Those additional creosote deposits minimize the effectiveness of your chimney. This lessens the warmth of your home, causing you to use more fuel to keep your family warm. The takeaway? Stay warmer with a clean chimney.

Regular Cleaning Saves Money

Besides helping your family stay warmer and safer, regular professional chimney cleaning reduces overall wear and tear to the different components of your chimney. Ashe, soot, and wood particles can affect the smoke shelf, damper, and masonry of your chimney. The grime and dirt will break down the components and structure, sometimes leading to costly premature replacement.

How Often Should I Clean My Chimney?

It is recommended that your chimney is cleaned every six months. Additionally, regularly maintain, sweep, and clean your chimney to prevent build-up and damage. Speak with a professional about how you can maintain a safety for your family with regular chimney cleaning.

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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.

How Often Should My Chimney Be Inspected?

brick-chimney-repairFireplaces provide extra warmth on the cold days of winter and a sense of home and comfort to your family. Maintaining your chimney ensures that each homeowner can enjoy their fireplace safely. This can include a number of things, like a chimney inspection and basic brick chimney repair. Cleaning a chimney is integral to enjoying your fireplace for years to come. How often should your chimney be inspected?

Yearly Inspection

Simply cleaning out your chimney will not maintain the structure long-term. Chimneys should be inspected every year. The inspection will let you know if you need clean out old soot, conduct brick chimney repair, or need to replace the crown. Wood burning stoves and fireplaces should be checked halfway through the winter. This ensures that everything is working safely and properly.

Sweeping and Cleaning

Regular sweeping and cleaning of the chimney will help maintain it. Checking regularly for too much soot and debris like twigs, pine cones, and leaves is important. You want to check for too much build-up of creosote. What is creosote? It is the material that builds up due to chimney use. It is very flammable and can easily set fire to the home. In fact, neglecting to clean up creosote is one of the leading causes of home fires.

Weather Damage

Check your chimney regularly for signs of deterioration and damage like cracking, broken bricks, and structural damage. High winds can damage your chimney considerably. A rain cap will keep out critters and destructive precipitation.

Professional Cleaning

A professional inspector will take the time to sweep and clean your fireplace and chimney. He or she will also check the smoke chamber and flue, the exterior, the firebox, and the liners. A professional will check for any structural damage or need for repair. A newer option is a video inspection. Ask about the latest technology during your next inspection. Check your chimney on a yearly basis to maintain it for a long time.

Chimney Repair on a Budget: 3 Tips

chimney-repair

If you are a homeowner with a chimney, you enjoy the many benefits of having a chimney. From being aesthetically pleasing to providing energy efficient warmth during the cold winter months, a chimney makes every home cozy and comfortable. However, regular chimney repair and maintenance can add up over time. What are some ways to save money?

A Little Chimney Maintenance Goes a Long Way

Want to save thousands in chimney repair over the course of your lifetime? Then regularly maintain your chimney. What does this mean? If you see a leak, notice that there has been significant build-up in the chimney, or notice that the structural integrity of your chimney is suspect, don’t wait on fixing the problem.

Small leaks especially can allow precipitation and water in. This will damage your chimney significantly. Additionally, the water can run into your home and cause additional problems. Because the chimney is exposed to the outside elements, they often require repair. Additional moisture can cause deterioration.

The Chimney Crown

Because the chimney crown is exposed to inclement weather on a regular basis, it is important to check the crown on a regular basis. Seal any cracks that you find. Brick and mortar are susceptible to damage from water, leaks, and cracks. In the worst case scenarios, the entire chimney crown needs to be replaced.

Regular Cleaning

Save money by regularly cleaning the inside of your chimney. You can hire a professional chimney sweep surface or do the minor cleaning yourself. You do not want buildup because that can lead to structural damage or fire hazards. Contact a professional service get an estimate of your chimney repair costs. A professional service will include replacing damaged tiles and mortar. They can inspect your chimney for damage and will ensure that the vents and ducts are clear to prevent home fires.

Enjoy your chimney for decades to come with good maintenance, regular cleaning, and repair.

What is Tuckpointing and Repointing?

tuckpointing-and-repointing-tools

Though the terms tuckpointing and repointing are often used interchangeably, they are actually not the same. Each is a method of adding new mortar joints to a brick structure, but tuckpointing and repointing tools are different. Every homeowner with a chimney, wall, or any masonry will at one time need to fix mortar damage. But does their home need tuckpointing or repointing? Let’s find out.

The Basic Difference

Both repointing and tuckpointing involve repairing masonry by diffing out mortar joints and adding in new mortar. However, when a professional repoints masonry, they are removing damaged joints. Tuckpointing, though very similar, doesn’t always involve repairing damaged joints. Instead, it is a type of pointing using two different colors of mortar. This will change the appearance of the mortar joints. They use different tuckpointing and repointing tools to accomplish this. Which does a homeowner need?

Tuckpointing

The process of tuckpointing was invented in English centuries ago. It was meant to create an illusion that the mortar joints were very fine instead of thick. They accomplished this by sandwiching alternate color between the mortar joints, creating the appearance of the expensive rubbed brick building material. Although this is an ancient term, homeowners still will use it when referring to repointing.

Repointing

Filling in or repairing damaged or cracked joints are the technical definition of repointing. This prevents irreparable damage from leaks, cracks, and water. The structural integrity of a chimney or wall is maintained when the exposure is minimized through the repair. Avoid the eventual destruction of valuable masonry with repointing.

How Often Does Mortar Break Down?

Does a homeowner need to repoint masonry of their home on a regular basis? While a brick wall can last a century or more, the mortar joints typically need to be repaired every two or three decades to prevent long-term damage to the structure of the home. Cracks and leaks can lead to long-term damage and costly repairs. Therefore, it is very important to continue to repair and maintain the structure throughout its lifetime. The materials that are used for mortar repair are very specific, especially if you want to maintain a uniform look and avoid further damage. Contact a professional to assess the status of your home’s masonry.

These are very labor intensive processes. Tuckpointing and repointing are necessary to maintain the structural security. Speak with a licensed professional about how you can best maintain walls, chimney, and masonry, especially for an older building. Be sure to address any mortar joint issues immediately to lengthen the lifetime of your home.

 

What Does Chimney Repair Cost?

chimney-repair-cost

Enjoy the beauty and comfort of a luxurious fireplace. However, be sure to maintain the fireplace to ensure a lifetime of use. Chimney repair cost may seem daunting to calculate, but there are actually several very basic pieces to consider when evaluating the overall price of professional chimney repair.

Chimney Sweeping

Reduce the risk of fire and maintain an elegant clean look by regular chimney sweeping. Costs can range into hundreds of dollars. The chimney repair cost overall will depend on the amount of creosote resin is coating the chimney wall. Creosote resin is released into the smoke. It accumulates quickly.

If you peek into your chimney with a flashlight and see more than a third of a centimeter or thicker, it is time to sweep your chimney. Routine cleaning will prevent the creosote from accumulating to high levels. While you should hire a professional to clean your chimney, some minor maintenance can be done by using chimney cleaning logs which help the tar fall away from your chimney walls. However, this is only a basic way to maintain the chimney. Most of the time, you will need a professional to remove the buildup.

Leaks

Mold and wood rot can be a problem if water leaks into the chimney. Water is acidic. Combining with the creosote rust can permanently destroy dampers. Water will also damage mortar and wood. Cost ranges from a few hundred to several hundred dollars. Contact a professional for an estimate.

Chimney Crown Repair

Chimney crown repair is an important part of good chimney maintenance. The crown prevents precipitation from traveling down the flue, protecting your home, the brick and mortar, and the overall structural integrity of your chimney. The crown may prevent critters from entering your home. The spark arrestor protects your home from stray embers and sparks. A cracked crown can allow water to enter the home, causing irreparable damage to the brick and mortar, wood, and your home. During inclement weather, smaller cracks in the chimney crown can expand, requiring a full chimney replacement.

Cracks and Chimney Replacement

A crack in your chimney can range from a couple of hundred dollars in repairs to a few thousand. If you find a crack in your chimney, it is best to repair it as soon as possible. A brick mortar repair is more affordable and may prevent nearly irreparable damage to your chimney. If you need to repair the entire chimney or replace it from the crown to the roofline, expect a price tag up of a few thousand dollars. In some cases, structural damage is too extreme for a partial repair and the entire chimney would have to be replaced. Expect to pay more than ten thousand dollars for a full chimney replacement.

Maintain your chimney regularly. Look for buildup, cracks, and leaks that may lead to larger costs. Call a professional to assess the status of your chimney to ensure safety and security for years to come.