Here is a guide on repairing masonry fireplaces and chimneys.
Chimney and fireplace maintenance is one necessary action that needs to be performed regularly.
This keeps the chimney functional while also increasing its efficiency. More importantly, it enhances the lifespan of the chimney system as a whole as well as its components.
Fireplace And Chimney Masonry Repair
Masonry chimneys are expected to remain functional for some time. However, fails and deterioration are natural with these systems and need to be fixed as often as possible.
So, what does such repair entail? What could go wrong with such systems?
Let’s discuss the details about this and more.
Parts of a Masonry Chimney and Fireplace
To have an idea of what chimney repairs are, we’ll need to first identify the different components of the masonry chimney as well as the fireplace.
The basic components of the system consist of both the exterior and interior sections. For the exterior sections, these components include the chimney cap and chimney crown.
Others are the chimney chase covers, and chimney flashing, while the interior parts consist of the chimney flue, smoke chamber, throat damper, and chimney liner.
For the fireplace, the different parts include the ash dump, cleanout door, lintel, outer hearth, inner hearth, and lintel.
Other sections include the damper, firebrick, smoke shelf, and mantel.
All of these masonry chimney components (both chimney and fireplace) function seamlessly to provide adequate venting and heating to a home.
The Need For Chimney and Fireplace Mortal Repair
You might wonder what types of repairs need to be performed on a chimney. The answer depends on the problem. Quite a lot of things could go on.
Certain components such as the chimney cap may get blown off or damaged and need to be replaced.
For others, sections of the chimney may get damaged, hence the need for fixes. Speaking of the nature of possible problems, water damage easily comes tops. Moisture and masonry chimneys don’t mix.
Continued exposure to moisture could lead to all sorts of issues.
Apart from moisture, flue damage could result as well as the need for chimney crown and chimney cap repair. There are also issues like creosote buildup and obstruction.
Although these are the most common chimney problems, they’re in no way an exhaustive list of all chimney-related issues.
Common Masonry Chimney Problems and Possible Fixes
The issues identified are among the most reported by homeowners. Experience has shown that any delay with fixing the problem can only lead to its worsening.
Other issues might develop from an unresolved chimney problem. Let’s take a look at each of these problems mentioned earlier.
When it comes to moisture, a lot could go wrong. Water damage as it’s also called results because materials used for masonry chimney construction are mostly porous.
These include brick, mortar, and concrete. This simply means water can easily seep in.
For masonry chimneys built with stone, the stones aren’t permeable to water but the mortar holding them together are. Now, water seeping through the chimney may not seem like a problem at the onset.
It only starts to become a problem when freeze-thaw cycles set in.
Repeated freeze-thaw cycles due to climatic conditions lead to expansion and contraction. This condition eventually leads to wear and tear of your masonry chimney.
The most visible signs or symptoms of the problem are cracks appearing.
When left unattended, cracks in chimneys due to water damage could lead to an eventual chimney collapse. This is one scenario you want to avoid at all costs.
Such collapse could lead to severe damage including posing injury risk or even accidental death.
The troubled spots will first need to be identified and necessary fixes administered by a professional. Chimney contractors should be consulted for such jobs as doing otherwise won’t give you the much-needed results.
The chimney flue is designed to tolerate a great deal of heat throughout its lifespan.
However, this chimney component eventually gives way. As the chimney gets used frequently, the damage is likely to occur due to high temperatures as well as creosote damage.
Being an interior component of the chimney, the damaged flue will need to be inspected. Every section or inch of the flue will need to be covered during inspection to ascertain the level of damage.
Professional chimney technicians are well equipped with the necessary tools for such inspections.
Coupled with their level of expertise, they’re able to spot the problem and provide the needed fixes. A camera inspection is mostly performed for such types of problems.
Chimney Crown and Cap Repair
Located at the top of the masonry chimney, the chimney crown and cap help keep out moisture as well as debris and animals from getting into the chimney structure.
Due to constant exposure to the elements, these chimney components eventually give way to wear and tear.
This is seen in cracks as well as rust which is more common with less durable materials. As always, fixing the chimney crown and cap will require the input of a professional.
Chimney technicians offer all sorts of solutions to chimney issues. You’ll need to let them handle all your chimney issues.
Creosote buildup usually occurs when a chimney isn’t cleaned frequently. Wood burning fireplaces give off a lot of smoke and soot.
The continued buildup of creosote in a chimney and fireplace is dangerous due to its flammable nature. Creosote is highly flammable and may be easily ignited when it’s allowed to accumulate.
To prevent chimney fires, you’ll need to have a chimney sweep perform scheduled cleanups. This helps reduce the amount of creosote, thus keeping it under check.
As stated earlier, one chimney problem if left unattended might be further aggravated. An example is when a chimney cap is no longer sitting atop the chimney.
This may have been blown off by strong winds or maybe rusted and weak.
Animals exploit the absence of the chimney cap to nest within your chimney walls. The heat being produced serves as an incentive. Before long, such animals obstruct your chimney.
Also, twigs, leaves, and other forms of debris may steadily accumulate within the chimney which could lead to its obstruction.
Who To Call For Chimney And Fireplace Brick Repair Near Me
Repairs of faulty masonry chimney and fireplace are best handled by competent professionals. Chimney technicians are skilled in what they do, plus they have the needed experience to address the problem.
Repairing masonry chimneys and fireplaces will require identifying the problem such as those mentioned above and calling for professional help.