The Essentials of Chimney Repair

Chimneys are exposed to a lot of wear and tear, including moisture-related damage. While minor damage can be repaired with a process called tuckpointing, more extensive damage may require a chimney rebuild.

Moisture seeping into brick joints causes them to crack. Over time, this deterioration can lead to structural problems and water leaks inside your home. Click the Baltimore Chimney Repair to know more.

Flashing is a sheet of metal that sits at the joint where a roof meets the chimney, protecting it from rain and snow. If the flashing isn’t properly installed, water can leak into the chimney, causing serious problems like wood rot and structural damage to the chimney itself. Fortunately, flashing is easy to fix with the right tools and knowledge. Our chimney professionals are highly trained and attend industry conferences to keep their skills sharp, so you can rest assured knowing that your chimney’s flashing is in good hands.

First, you’ll need to remove any shingles that are covering the flashing. Carefully pull them off, being careful not to damage the flashing underneath. Then, use a chisel to remove any hardened roofing cement that is holding the flashing in place. Next, clean out the gap between the flashing and the chimney. Ensure that the area is clear of leaves and other debris and that there are no cracks or other signs of wear.

Once the gap is clear, it’s time to install new flashing. Start with a base piece of flashing, which is bent up against the roof and chimney, then add smaller step pieces, each overlapping the one above it. Then, apply a layer of caulk around the edges to seal the gap and prevent water from seeping into the chimney.

Finally, add a counter flashing piece to the front of the chimney, which is then mortared into the brick course. It’s important that this flashing is deeply embedded into the mortar, as it’s the chimney’s final line of defense against leaks.

Once the flashing is in place, it’s time to install a new roof. Be sure to take your time and work carefully, as any mistakes could lead to costly water damage. Also, be sure to test the flashing with a garden hose to simulate rain and make sure there are no gaps or other signs of leaks. With regular inspections and routine maintenance, your flashing can protect your home from moisture for decades. And don’t forget to replace your shingles as soon as they show any sign of wear or damage.

Chimney Crown

Chimney crowns are a very important part of your chimney structure. They are not only aesthetically pleasing, but they also provide crucial protection for your chimney. Without a properly constructed crown, your chimney could be in serious trouble.

The chimney crown sits at the top of your brick chimney stack and is usually made from concrete or mortar. The crown is designed to shed rain water off of the chimney structure while also securing the bricks to one another.

Without a properly poured chimney crown, rain can seep into the bricks and mortar of the stack, which causes freeze/thaw damage. As the water thaws and refreezes it pushes against the bricks causing them to crack. Over time this can lead to spalling (peeling) and eventually a chimney collapse.

A correctly poured chimney crown has sloped sides and an overhang which directs rain water away from the chimney structure, protecting it. The chimney crown also covers the top of the chimney, which helps to keep debris and critters like birds or squirrels from nesting in the chimney and causing further damage.

Many masons will simply use a mortar mix to pour a new chimney crown. While this is a quicker solution it is not as durable as a properly poured concrete crown. Chimney masonry is exposed to the elements and needs to be made of a weather resistant material such as concrete in order to stand up to its wear and tear.

A professionally poured concrete crown will last much longer than a mortar crown and will be able to withstand the freeze/thaw cycle. If you notice hairline cracks in your chimney crown it is very important to contact a professional for inspection and repair. A chimney sweep can recommend a breathable crown sealer that will help stop further damage and allow your chimney to function properly. The earlier chimney crown damage is repaired, the less expensive it will be in the future. It is recommended to have an annual chimney inspection so a chimney technician can catch any problems before they get out of hand.

Chimney Liners

The chimney liner is one of the most essential parts of any fireplace system and a key factor in protecting your home. A chimney liner allows the heat, smoke and corrosive byproducts of burning wood to escape safely into the environment without transferring this intense heat and toxins through the walls of your home or igniting adjacent combustible materials.

A chimney liner also protects the masonry of your chimney from corrosive byproducts like creosote that attack and degrade mortar causing significant deterioration. This deterioration reduces the structural stability and usable life of your chimney. It can also lead to carbon monoxide leaking into your living spaces and can make your fireplace unsafe to use.

Chimney liners are available in several different materials including clay tiles, metal and cast-in-place cement. Clay tiles are the most common and can be easily repaired or replaced. Metal liners are typically made from stainless steel and offer superior durability and longevity. Chimney liners are made to fit your chimney flue and can be custom shaped to meet your fireplace design.

When a chimney flue is lined, it can be used for either wood or gas burning fires. Wood burning chimneys produce a high level of toxic byproducts including carbon monoxide and smoke. These byproducts can deteriorate the masonry and mortar of your chimney, leading to expensive repair and replacement.

Keeping your chimney liner in good condition helps prevent moisture from entering the chimney system. This moisture can cause a variety of problems ranging from brick deterioration to mold and mildew growth. A chimney liner prevents water from entering the chimney and keeps it free of debris.

A damaged or unlined chimney presents many hazards to your family and guests. A damaged chimney flue with gaps, cracks or spalling is a major fire hazard that can burn down your house. Every year hundreds of homes are destroyed by fires that start in unlined or damaged chimney flues.

Chimney Saver Solutions recommends having your chimney and chimney inspected annually to ensure that your chimney is functioning correctly. This annual inspection will identify any potential problems and allow them to be addressed promptly.

Chimney Caps

Chimney caps are a vital part of any chimney system, preventing water, animals and debris from entering the flue. These metal covers come in a variety of sizes and styles to meet the specific needs of each chimney. They’re available in galvanized metal, stainless steel and copper.

The type of chimney cap you choose will depend on your budget and fireplace situation. Galvanized metal chimney caps are the cheapest option, but they’re not durable and can easily rust. Stainless steel chimney caps are more expensive, but they’re highly durable and corrosion-resistant. Copper chimney caps are the most aesthetically pleasing, but they’re also the most expensive.

A chimney without a cap is open to the elements, which can cause damage to the flue, walls and roof. Chimney caps prevent rain, snow, sleet and debris from entering the flue and damaging the chimney structure. They’re also the best way to keep out birds, squirrels, raccoons and other animals that can nest in your chimney and cause chimney blockages.

When you need to install a new chimney cap, it’s important that you hire a professional to measure the flue and get the right measurements for the chimney cap. This ensures that the cap will fit properly and stay in place during a strong storm.

Chimney caps have a ring of wire mesh that keeps critters and debris out of the chimney, while allowing smoke and embers to escape. The mesh openings should be about 3/4 of an inch across. Openings any larger can cause embers to fall into the home and a fire to start inside the chimney. Chimney caps with mesh that’s too small can also create ice, which can block off the flue and prevent airflow during a fire.

If you’re installing a chimney cap yourself, it’s important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully. It’s also important to make sure you have the proper ladder for climbing on your roof and that you’re comfortable working at such a high height. If you aren’t comfortable climbing on your roof or if the job requires specialized tools, it’s best to call a professional.