Let’s discuss chimney flaunching.
The parts of a chimney serve specific purposes.
With use, these components deteriorate. You’ll need to have them fixed to restore full functionality. Chimney flaunching is one of such. This is the bed of mortar that serves the purpose of holding chimney pots in place.
Where are the chimney pots located? At the very top of the chimney stack.
This article will be discussing this chimney component with a focus on how to maintain it, the type of mortar it’s made from, and several other areas.
The point is to give as much information as possible for persons seeking to learn.
About Chimney Flaunching
In introducing this important part of a chimney, we’ve mentioned that it serves the purpose of holding the chimney pots in place. However, the flaunching does much more than that.
While holding the pots, it also serves to prevent or keep moisture from penetrating the brickwork.
When new flaunching is installed it serves a period of time before a replacement is needed. Why has it been replaced? Being exposed to the elements, it’s only logical to expect a steady deterioration of the flaunching.
The degree of deterioration largely determines whether it should be fixed or replaced.
Type of Mortar Used
We’ve said that a chimney flaunching is a bed of mortar that holds together the chimney pots. Now, the type of mortar matters. The better the mortar, the longer a flaunching lasts.
Many recent flaunchings consist of cement designs. Lime mortar was mostly used for flaunching in older homes.
Does any have an advantage over the other? Human societies are always driven towards improvement. In phasing out of lime mortar for cement mortar it will seem that cement mortar tends to be preferable, but is that so?
Compared to cement, lime tends to harden much slowly compared to cement-containing mortar. However, that doesn’t mean it won’t serve the purpose. Such mortar is much more workable and tends to be less brittle.
In the case of the cement-containing mortar used for flaunching, the characteristics are a bit at variance. With cement-containing mortar, you get the advantage of quick hardening.
Re-layering your flaunching using this mortar will need to be performed by a pro to prevent it from getting brittle.
In terms of what’s best to use, that question is best answered by the professional charged with carrying out the process.
Flaunching Condition Needs to Be Checked Regularly
As with most parts of the chimney system, your flaunching needs to be checked or inspected frequently. The next question will border on the frequency of inspection. A yearly inspection should suffice.
So, why does the chimney flaunching need to be inspected?
It’s due to the cracks that may emerge due to the action of the elements. As cracks develop, they need to be fixed to prevent moisture penetration. Asides from moisture protection, flaunching also holds chimney pots in place.
When cracks appear and remain unchecked, the grip loosens.
This may result in the pots toppling over during a strong or windy storm. You don’t want to have this happening as it could create all sorts of problems. The yearly chimney checks must include inspection of flaunching.
Doing so ensures that problems are addressed as soon as they occur.
Climbing up the Roof is Necessary for Better Flaunching Inspection
From the ground level, it’s difficult to have an idea about how your chimney’s flaunching is. Serious deterioration may go on unchecked. To have a better idea of the chimney’s condition, a professional will need to climb up.
This can be done by homeowners who aren’t scared of heights.
It isn’t a great idea to want to carry out such an inspection if you have no proper climbing equipment. Sometimes, while carrying out repairs on roof and gutters, flaunching may be included for inspection.
To be on the safe side, it’s best to schedule a yearly chimney inspection.
Cast Chimney Flaunching
Improvements have been made in regards to chimney flaunching and how they’re installed. The most common type is the poured flaunching consisting of mortar.
Sometimes, chimney flaunching is cast on site. Instead of the usual mortar, this consists of a concrete-type mix.
So, how do cast chimney flaunching measure up against those made from a mortar? As expected, cast flaunching tends to be more durable. These will last longer than what you’re used to.
However, this isn’t to say that cast flaunching is indestructible. Cracks will occasionally appear as well.
A logical question to ask is how chimney pots will sit on cast flaunching. The answer is simple; the pots are set into it from inception.
When occasional cracks occur, they only need to be fixed by adding some mortar.
Although a chimney flaunching serves the purpose of preventing moisture penetration while holding the pots, it eventually succumbs to harsh weather conditions.
One of the best ways to keep it functional is by having it waterproofed. There are lots of sealant products that serve this purpose.
However, the use of a sealant for waterproofing should only come after fixing the cracked flaunching. In other words, you’ll need to adopt a systematic approach.
Fixing a cracked flaunching is first, before anything else.
For one having no cracks, you can proceed to have it waterproofed.
Who to Call for Flaunching Repairs and Maintenance
Whether you wish to have your chimney flaunching inspected, repaired, waterproofed, or replaced, there are professionals to call.
Chimney maintenance companies offer all sorts of chimney-related services ranging from installation, repairs, and maintenance.
You’ll need to research the nearest service provider around you for immediate fixing of any issues. There may be a temptation to cut down on maintenance-related expenses by performing DIY repairs.
For most people, this never ends well.
This is due to inexperience in this field. Such inexperience leads to a job that’s below standard. Before long, cracks and other issues worsen.
When handled by a pro, you won’t have to deal with such problems at all as the job is professionally and satisfactorily performed.
Now you know the basics about chimney flaunching.
Do you maintain a regular maintenance schedule? You may want to do more by having it checked frequently and any issues fixed as soon as possible.