An annual chimney inspection is the best way to maintain and keep your chimney system performing to its potential, and to make sure that you are able to identify the problems before they affect the chimneys function of removing smoke and the byproducts of fire to the outside atmosphere. With that in mind, these are some things to keep an eye out for:
Chimney and fireplace systems are very complex and contain many things that can become damaged over time from exposure to rain water or freezing temperatures. Regular inspection and preventative maintenance can keep your chimney like new for years to come.
A chimney system and home can succumb to an immense amount of water damage. It is very important to have repairs performed as soon as possible when an issue is discovered, regardless of the source of the leak. Over time, any problems involving water and chimneys will much worse! Call Chimspector Venting Specialists to find out how our professionals can help you prevent and repair any leaks!
Keep Water, Leaves, Debris, and Critters Out of Your Chimney!
It is crucial for the proper operation of your chimney to have a properly functioning chimney cap, as this helps to prevent water, animals, and debris from getting in. Due to its location at the top of the chimney system, it is especially susceptible to tampering or damage. If there is any damage discovered, it is pertinent to have a new cap installed as soon as possible by a qualified professional. All elements of your chimney system are equally important, but the chimney cap is the key to keeping out unwanted critters and water out of your home. Birds, squirrels, and many other different kinds of animals will try to come into your house through an open flue. Once they are in, it can be extremely difficult to get rid of them. Without worries, you can call the local animal control service provider and their technicians will safely and humanely remove any unwanted animals from within your chimney system. We also offer repairs or replacements to chimney caps to prevent any animals from entering your chimney in the future. You can see a selection of chimney caps we offer at www.chimneycaps.net
It is most likely that your chimney liner will need to be replaced or repaired at some point in time if it is made from clay tiles. Due to the constant heating and cooling inside of the chimney, clay tile liners are more susceptible to fractures than other kinds of liners. It is important to have a properly functioning chimney flue liner, or else the chimney’s masonry will atoll to much of the temperature changes, which can cause cracking and spalling of the mortar and masonry work. Combustion byproducts being deposited on any exposed masonry will result in damage also. Is it possible that your clay tile liner could be in better condition? It is much cheaper and more efficient to have your chimney flue relined and repaired instead of having your entire chimney rebuilt!
Call us at Chimspector Venting Specialists for more information and to learn more about our chimney liner options.
Here at Chimspector, we also offer smoke chamber repair and damper repair!
Masonry Tuck-pointing is a process that resolves and masonry damage issues. Changes in weather can batter a chimney with wind, rain, snow, and temperature changes, causing the mortar that holds the bricks or stones together to crack, chip, and fall apart. If left unchecked for too long, these once small chips and cracks can cause much bigger problems. Fortunately, it is a relatively small repair process if caught early on. At Chimspector, our masons have the right skills to do a professional job and will have your chimney looking good as new upon completion!
Water penetration in prefabricated fireplace systems generally begins at the top of the chimney at the chase cover. The chase cover is a metal pan, generally field fabricated by the builder out of galvanized sheet metal, that is made to protect the wood framing inside the chase surrounding the chimney. The site built covers are nailed down from the top and covered with a silicone. Over time the galvanized metal will begin to sagging and holding water. This will begin the process of the pan rusting and the seal around the collar will start to fail allowing water in to the wooden chase. This has the potential to cause the fireplace to shift as the wood inside the chimney chase deteriorates. We install brand new chase covers made from stainless steel, or copper. These covers are made with cross breaks in the metal to cause the center to pop up in the center and shed water away from the chimney as the cover was intended to. We offer powder coating options on the stainless steel chase covers and all of our installations carry a Forever Warranty on the cover itself and we guarantee them up to 60mph winds.
Many people may think that masonry is very durable and essentially indestructible, while it most certainly is not! Commonly, the chimney sticks up at the highest point of the roof above the rest leaving it exposed to rain drops, and freezing, and thawing. A great quality chimney cover, also known as the chase top, along with a waterproofing treatment will prevent expensive future repairs.
When the face of the bricks are falling apart, this is called brick spalling. This is typically caused when moisture penetrates the bricks and can be caused from either the interior or exterior, such as from a poor quality furnace liner. Spalling can also be caused by freeze/thaw cycles in the winter when moisture is trapped inside the brickwork and the temperature drops below freezing causing the brick facings to pop off. Depending on the extent of the damage, we can normally patch the chimney back up and waterproof it to prevent further deterioration but in some cases a full rebuild may be necessary.
At old demolition sites, brick is reclaimed and named Old Chicago Brick. From the late 1800’s up to the 1970’s, these bricks were made in the Chicago area using natural clay. These antique bricks have unique colors, textures, and character that cannot be recreated and matched in today’s bricks. Due to this reason, if your chimney styled with Old Chicago brick falls into disrepair, we will usually be required to do a total rebuild. We can find bricks that are relatively similar, but we cannot guarantee a perfect match.
A chimney crown or cap is a piece of mortar or poured concrete on top of the chimney which prevents water from entering the chimney stack, which seals off a hole between the cap and chimney flue liner. It is necessary for chimney crowns to slope away from the flue in order to direct water down the bricks. Expensive and extensive repair must be done if your crown cracks or breaks apart because it will allow water to seep into the chimney stack. Fixing the brick is merely a minor part of the process in repairing chimney damage. Being able to identify what caused the problem will prevent you from having to rebuild your chimney in years to come.
A throat damper, which is installed above the firebox, is common in older chimneys and is used to close off the flue when the stove or fireplace is not being utilized. Dampers of these types usually end up needing repairs for the following reasons:
Throat dampers can sometimes get stuck due to rust from water penetration or debris; and
Throat dampers can sometimes become misaligned or knocked off of the track that they are seated on.
It is greatly important that the damper works properly since it provides protection against water penetration, it helps to limit energy loss, and allows for accurate draft. It can be a serious threat to your and your family’s health if your damper is stuck in the closed position because it would allow all of the dangerous byproducts of combustion to be pushed directly into your home and infiltrate your air supply. At Chimspector, our professional technicians will either repair or replace your damper with a more efficient top-sealing damper, if there are any issues with the previous one.
Unfortunately, repairs are an unavoidable aspect of being a homeowner regardless of how well-built or however well-maintained the systems within the home are. Eventually, some repairs will become necessary.
Our professional chimney technicians at Chimspector Venting Specialists are prepared to repair any chimney in the Columbia area. We have inspected, assessed, and fixed just about every single problem a chimney system can be faced with. We aim to provide the kind of service that makes the chimney repair process as easy as possible, as we know it can be quite frustrating. If you may be experiencing a problem with your chimney system, call us at Chimspector Venting Specialists, and we will send one of our professional technicians to inspect your problem and propose repairs and we will complete those repairs efficiently and thoroughly. We are passionate about our work with chimneys, and it definitely shows!