Some of the more common chimney repairs that are performed by Lou Curley’s Chimney Service are:
Crown Repair – The crown is the cement that covers the top of your chimney. The crown is your chimney’s first line of defense against water damage and its function is to shed water away from the chimney structure and away from the flues. We offer several different options for crown repair including:
- Pouring a new concrete crown – this replaces the crown with a slab of concrete with a built in drip edge to direct water off of the chimney entirely
- A brushable sealant – this is a permanently flexible product intended to be painted on crowns with minimum damage and comes with a manufacturer’s 15 year warranty
- A trowelable sealant – this is also a permanently flexible product intended for crowns with moderate damage and comes with a manufacturer’s 10 year warranty (pictured below)
Repairing your crown will prevent water damage and save you money on costly repairs to the rest of the masonry on your chimney.
Waterproofing – Masonry chimneys are porous and tend to hold water. This water is what causes most of the deterioration to the outside of chimneys. One clue that your chimney is holding excessive water is when it can support plant life, like in the picture below.
Our solution to this common problem is a VOC compliant solvent-base water repellent spray. The product that we use is 100% vapor permeable, does not leave a glossy appearance, and carries a manufacturer’s 10 year warranty.
A commercial grade water repellent, especially in combination with a water-tight crown, will greatly reduce the negative effects water has on your masonry chimney and will save you money over time on maintenance and repairs.
Firebox Repairs – The firebox is where the actual fire takes place and the excessive heat tends to wear out the bricks and mortar. It’s very common that the firebox mortar needs to be pointed (see the picture below) or that the bricks need to be replaced.
We offer repointing and rebuilding services, as well as products like cast iron firebacks that help prevent the excessive heat on the firebox back wall. A well maintained firebox will contain the heat from your fire and won’t allow heat transfer to nearby combustibles.
Smoke Chamber Repairs – The smoke chamber is generally the “weak link” of any fireplace system. Many times these areas are not built thick enough, lack the proper clearance to combustibles, and are not built smooth.
The function of the smoke chamber is to contain the heat, smoke, and other products of combustion. When the smoke chamber is not parged smooth with cement, it leaves a rough path for the smoke to follow which will hinder the flow of smoke up the flue.
The smoke chamber in the picture on the left is missing many of the mortar joints between the bricks and there are various gaps throughout the entire chamber. Any gap or missing mortar joint is a potential area where heat can transfer through and ignite nearby combustibles.
The picture on the right is the same smoke chamber after we repaired it by parging the entire thing with a high temperature cement. Not only will this help keep the heat from transferring through the bricks, missing joints, or gaps, it will also improve the flow of smoke up the chimney by giving it a completely smooth path to follow.
Other Services That We Offer:
- Minor Brick or Stone Pointing on the Exterior of Chimneys – The masonry on the exterior of the chimney, especially above the roof line, takes abuse from the weather. This portion of the chimney is not warmed by the house, which makes it especially susceptible to the freeze/thaw effects of winter.
- Smoke Stain Removal – From the front face of a fireplace. There’s a new product on the market that has amazing results.
- Smoking or Draft Problems Corrected – If your chimney isn’t drafting properly, hundreds of different factors come in to play. Lou has taken the Chimney Safety Institute of America’s (CSIA) “Chimney Physics” class online and in person, as well as many other classes through the National Fireplace Institute (NFI)