5 Different Types of Chimneys

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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.

How Your Chimney Works

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Every homeowner should understand the scientific basics of how your chimney works. Reduce chimney repair cost by maintaining your chimney over time. Learn how to diagnose problems with your chimney that may require professional repair. Save money with a more efficient chimney.

Your House Works Together as a Complete System

Your home has constant airflow. Wind loading, stack effect, furnaces, and fireplaces all contribute to changes in the home’s overall airflow. Modern homes from the last two decades have much tighter airflow. Older homes often suffer from drafts and inefficiency overall. Your chimney repair cost will be affected by numerous factors including the age of your home, the structural integrity of your chimney, and the overall airflow in your home.

The stack effect refers to warm air rising to the upper levels of your home. The air attempts to escape your home from the upper levels. Meanwhile, new air pushes its way inside your home on the lower levels. The Natural Pressure Plane (NPP) is the point where the indoor-to-outdoor air pressure is essentially zero. Each home has at least one NPP, and possibly more. Factors like a home with two chimneys can result in smoke in the home because of changes in the air flow.

Wind-loading occurs when wind causes additional air pressure by striking the home. Open windows and doors will help pressurize the house. Backdrafting may result if windows are open on the leeward (downwind) side of the home. Other devices like kitchen fans, bathroom fans, and central vacuums will affect depressurization, as well. Furnaces, fireplaces, woodstoves, and water heaters require large volumes of air. Innovative mechanical devices will help manage air flow.

Your chimney is considered a negative pressure system. In other words, your chimney pulls air through a firebox, creating a draft. Poor chimney flow can result in your home being full of smoke, structural damage, or dangerous creosote build-up. There are a number of reasons why your chimney does not function properly:

  • Creosote deposits
  • Plugged and closed dampers
  • Structural damage
  • Improper construction
  • Dirty or damaged chimney cap

Think of a dirty chimney cap like a water hose plugged at the end. The water builds up. In the same way, a damaged chimney will prevent airflow through the chimney and out of your home. A professional inspection will help determine if your chimney is functioning correctly.

Regular maintenance and cleaning help maintain your chimney and fireplace. Call the experts at Cummins Restoration about your chimney repair needs today. Our friendly staff will be happy to answer all of your questions. Please set up your consultation 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.

Cracking the Dirty Chimney Code

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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.

Top 20 Things to Immediately Do to Your Chimney this Winter

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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

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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

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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?

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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.

How Much Does It Cost to Fix a Leaning Chimney?

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An unstable chimney detracts from the home’s overall curb appeal and can present a danger to your family and valuables. Regular chimney repair and maintenance, chimney repointing, fixing a leaning chimney, and replacement will ensure that you and your family will enjoy years of warmth and comfort. What are the costs of repairing a leaning chimney?

No Time to Wait

A leaning chimney often points to serious structural and foundational issues with your chimney. While regular maintenance and chimney repointing helps, if you have a leaning chimney, it is important to speak with a chimney repair professional today. A leaning chimney can collapse at any time, landing on a house, roof, or vehicle. Additionally, an unstable chimney presents a serious fire hazard and an opportunity for irreparable water damage from precipitation.

Take the time to identify the structural problems. For example, does your chimney seem to be leaning away from your house or falling onto the yard? Does it seem to be falling towards your roof? If you do not know what to look for, call our professionals today about an inspection.

Chimney failure can be because of inferior footing, water drainage issues, or inferior soil under your chimney. This is a significant problem that needs to be taken care of before further damage occurs. Fortunately, once you repair the leaning chimney with a quality chimney repair contractor, you will enjoy your chimney for years to come.

How Much Does Leaning Chimney Repair Cost?

Leaning chimneys often point to a foundational issue in the home. The brick pulls away from the side of the house. Expect to spend a few thousand dollars to repair this issue. However, a chimney repair professional will be able to most accurately assess the actual damage done and find ways to repair your chimney within your budget with the best materials.

5 Professional Tips to Repair Your Chimney

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When the weather’s chilly, nothing is as comforting as warming up by the fireplace. Maintaining your chimney protects your family and provides a safe cozy home for your family. Chimney repair prevents dangerous creosote buildup. Upkeep the chimney flue to prevent illness from smoke fumes. Follow these simple professional tips to maintain brick chimney construction. Enjoy your fireplace for decades to come.

Common Chimney Repairs

Your chimney has a few common problems. Some issues, like replacing the entire brick chimney construction will require the work of a professional. A common problem involves debris blocking the chimney flue. The debris may be a nest, leafs, or debris. Blocking the chimney may cause dangerous fumes to enter your home. These can make you and your family ill. Inspect your chimney at least once or twice a year, preferably before the winter. The inspector will check for debris and a blocked chimney. Keep your chimney clear of debris and critters to prevent injury.

Creosote Building

Creosote building can create a hazardous condition in your home. Always burn your fires hot to prevent creosote buildup. Have working carbon monoxide detectors throughout your home. Check the detectors regularly. Keep your chimney flue clean. Hire professionals to clear out any excess buildup.

Restoring Your Chimney

Minor steps like preventing chimney leaks by applying mortar can be done by homeowners. Mix mortar and apply to the crown. Keep the mortar the consistency of cookie dough. You don’t want the mortar to be too dry or too wet. Plug minor cracks and protect your home.

Tuckpointing

Some handy homeowners feel comfortable doing minor tuckpointing work on their chimney. Restore the brick joints to restore deteriorating mortar. Apply the mortar using a trowel. Clear away any extra mortar.

Structural Issues

Finally, structural issues like cracks and breakdown of mortar can ruin the structural integrity of the chimney. If you spot any major cracks or structural issues, contact a chimney repairman.