In this article, we’ll be providing you with information on chimney repair ideas, chimney fixes, and brick chimney repair options available to you.
Also, we’ll be giving you tips on how to go about fixing your chimney in winter or summer.
How To Repair A Chimney
A chimney, like most parts of a building, requires taking appropriate maintenance measures. This doesn’t only ensure it remains functional for a long time but also ensures the safety of people within the building.
Chimney repair is quite a broad term and involves a whole lot of procedures. However, all of these are aimed at ensuring it stays functional and effectively serves its purpose.
All of these points touch on various aspects of chimney repair that will prove useful to you. The information provided should help you resolve your chimney issues much easier.
Here is a guide if you need to fix only the stack.
Chimney Repair Ideas For Homes
What exactly do we mean by chimney repair ideas?
Well! This can also mean tips on how to fix your chimney problems. If you have a chimney, chances are that you’ve encountered different types of issues in the past that have been fixed.
If you’re just facing such problems, the ideas provided here could be of immense help. Now, there are multiple chimney issues you could face. These range from having a mortar that sucks or absorbs water, water penetrating through bricks, and cracked chimney crowns.
Other issues you may encounter with your chimney include unwanted stuff getting into your flue, smoke finding its way into your house as well as a flashing problem. All of these are chimney problems, so, what are the repair ideas or solutions to these?
Let’s break these down by briefly discussing each problem as well as ways to fix them. In other words, the repair ideas could help solve such problems.
Having a Mortar that Absorbs Water
Water problems are quite common with chimneys. Here, water may get absorbed through the mortar or brick. This is normal when brick walls get exposed to the elements for extended periods.
GUIDE: Chimney Flaunching Process
The resulting damage includes the formation of cracks as well as falling off of mortar chunks.
The repair idea for this chimney problem is quite simple!
First, it involves identifying parts of the chimney having missing or damaged mortar. You’ll need to get a new mortar (the right kind) and mix it in the right amount before filling empty mortar spaces and cracks.
Water Penetrating Through Chimney Bricks
Water penetration through chimney bricks is another common issue faced by homeowners.
Here, we’re talking about the bricks on the side of your chimney. Continued exposure to the elements will result in severe damage, thus increasing chimney repair costs.
- Repair Idea
There’s a way to cut down on future chimney repair expenses due to the action of the elements on your exposed bricks. This involves power washing your chimney.
Sounds weird right? Well, this action should be followed by spraying the bricks with a chimney sealant.
Cracked Chimney Crown
Chimney crowns do not last forever. Over time, they get cracked, thus exposing the bricks. Now, this becomes a problem when water seeps in.
Not fixing this on time may lead to irreparable damage which will require a complete chimney rebuild.
This chimney repair idea is quite straightforward. You’ll need to clean up the existing crown and fill the cracks up with mortar. This should be applied in a way that no cracks are left behind.
Here are some products for crown repair.
Unwanted Stuff Getting Into Your Flue
When a chimney is left exposed (without a cap), you’re likely to have all sorts of things ending up in your flue. These aren’t restricted to the elements but also include animal nests which lead to blockage of the chimney.
- Repair Idea
Getting a cap that fits your chimney is very important. Only this will prevent unwanted stuff from getting into your flue. Chimney caps come in different designs.
You’ll have to go for what fits your needs.
Smoke Finding its Way into your House
Having smoke entering your home through leakage in your chimney is very risky. The problem may result from a damper that isn’t opened.
- Repair Ideas
Fixing a smoke escape problem can be carried out by opening a closed damper. Another way to repair a smoke leakage is by finding and sealing cracks in your flue.
Flashing is an important part of a chimney as it helps keep out water that comes in contact with the roof from penetrating your chimney. When damaged, water easily gets in.
This is a situation you don’t want to happen to you.
- Repair Idea
To fix this problem comprehensively, you’ll need the help of a professional. Extensive repair work will need to be done to fix the flashing problem. It’s not advisable to carry this repair task yourself.
Doing so might lead to further problems.
Brick Chimney Repair Options
It’s always great to have options when fixing a faulty brick chimney. Now, a lot of chimneys are made of bricks which makes it important to know what to do in a situation where such chimneys develop issues.
So, what exactly are these options? It all boils down to the type of problem faced. Not all brick chimney problems are the same. They vary and require different approaches. Some of the most common issues have been listed earlier, as such; we won’t be going into further details.
Common issues include damaged chimney crown, improper dimensions, absent or faulty chimney cap, leaning chimneys, water penetration, and also cracks found on chimneys. Now the repair options available to you will depend on the type of problem.
Some chimney issues may require a complete teardown and rebuild while others may require replacing mortar, sealing cracks, and so on.
When Is a Chimney Due for Repair?
It is very important to know when a chimney needs some repair. It does not matter if it’s a major or minor issue. Such a problem needs to be fixed. Knowing where such a problem lies and when repairs are due is also as important as fixing such problems.
We recommend calling for a professional annual chimney inspection. Doing this goes a long way to identify and fix underlying issues before they worsen. Apart from the yearly professional inspections, it’s also necessary to conduct a monthly visual inspection.
Monthly visual inspections can be done by you. However, you’ll need to know just where to look in identifying possible issues. To help you with this process, we’ve included a basic monthly inspection checklist.
So, what’s included in our monthly inspection checklist?
Actions to carry out include visually inspecting the fireplace hearth, inspecting the firebox, checking the damper, visually inspecting the exterior chimney as well as repairing cracks. All of these processes are visual.
With continued use, the fireplace hearth may eventually develop cracks. Also, the fireplace bricks may loosen. These are observable issues you can easily detect without having to call a professional.
Inspecting the Firebox
Like the fireplace, the firebox is also inspected for signs of cracks or damaged bricks. Any of these issues is likely to further deteriorate when not addressed. You’re conducting a visual inspection to have such issues fixed.
Checking the Damper
The chimney damper is usually found just above the fireplace.
This is designed to seal your fireplace and also keep heat from escaping through the chimney. Now, the damper will need to be checked too when visually inspecting the chimney.
Here, you’re inspecting the damper to ensure it’s operational. Any issue detected with this part of the chimney as with other parts will need to be repaired immediately.
This helps with the smooth functioning of your chimney.
Inspecting the Chimney Exterior
Monthly visual chimney inspection must include the chimney exterior. Here, you should be looking for visible cracks or damages. On spotting any issue, urgent steps must be taken to rectify or repair the problem.
Fixing All Issues Before Operating your Fireplace
To extend the lifespan of your chimney and boost its performance, all issues must be fixed before operating your fireplace.
Important Questions to Ask Chimney Repair Companies
Whenever you have issues with your chimney, knowing who to call is essential to getting the best results possible.
Part of the things you need to know includes asking the right questions. Not every chimney repair company is reliable. Some make huge claims which turn out to be false.
Questions to be asked should look like these;
Are you certified by the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA)? Can I have a quote before work is started? What type of chimney repair service best fits my situation? How long will the repair last? What other repair services (plans) can I benefit from?
There are only a few of several questions that help point you to the right service provider. More importantly, we recommend going through online reviews. This gives you an idea of the most reliable chimney repair companies to hire.
Chimney repair as we’ve seen involves a wide range of actions and considerations. The major goal here is to identify issues affecting your chimney as early as possible and have them fixed before they worsen.