Chimneys are wonderful when they work right, but they can present serious (and expensive) problems when they don’t. Doodlebuggers Fireplace, Grill & Outdoor Store of Pensacola and Destin, Florida, would like to cover a few common chimney problems and their solutions.
This may be the most common chimney problem. A chimney leak can start in several places and, if ignored, can end up causing widespread damage to the chimney structure, chimney components and materials of your home.
Typical causes of chimney leaks and how to resolve them include:
Loose bricks in the masonry: Loose bricks can be replaced by skilled masons so that strength is restored and the chimney looks uniform.
Crumbling mortar: A process called “tuckpointing” scrapes out decayed mortar and replaces it with a strong new compound.
Damaged chimney cap or chimney chase top: These chimney covers should be replaced if they’re severely damaged. Sometimes they can be repaired.
Warped or rusted chimney flashing: The skirting around the base of your chimney where it connects with the roof can become warped or rusted. Flashing can be re-sealed, but it’s usually best to replace it.
Cracks in the concrete chimney crown: The crown at the top of your chimney is susceptible to cracking. As more and more water moves in, the crown can decay and fall apart. Minor damage can be repaired; major damage calls for a crown rebuild.
Another common chimney problem is faulty masonry, which basically means that the chimney was not built correctly. Misaligned bricks, inferior mortar compounds, poorly constructed chimney footings and other oversights can end up costing you a lot of money and causing a safety risk for you and your family.
Above, we talked about basic masonry repair. For very serious structural problems, partial or complete chimney rebuilding is the proper solution.
The problem with chimney fires is, you don’t always know when they’re happening. They can start and go out on their own, and they always do some level of damage. Of course, you can’t miss a major chimney fire.
Most chimney fires are caused by excess creosote, which forms in the flue when smoke from a fire condenses. Annual chimney sweeping (cleaning) by an experienced chimney technician is the first line of defense against destructive chimney fires.
If smoke is backing up into your room and you’re not burning excessively smoky wood, it likely means one of three things:
Every fire-safety and hearth organization in the U.S. recommends regular chimney inspections by a licensed, experienced professional. This is the best way to learn about early signs of chimney damage and malfunction.
Your inspector will find out the cause of known problems and often uncover unknown problems. You can then arrange for the necessary repairs to restore safety and efficiency to your chimney.
Doodlebuggers is ready to help with all of your chimney issues. We provide licensed inspections, expert chimney sweeping and all levels of chimney repair services.
Reach a chimney expert today at 850-477-1151 in Pensacola, FL, or at 850-243-0154 in the Destin, FL, area. You can also get in touch with our handy contact form.