When people buy older homes, they usually accept the fact that that they will have to make a number of improvements. Even if an old house is in reasonably good shape, some areas will have to be considered for remodeling. This may have as much to do with comfort as it does in bringing the house up to building code standards. An old fireplace should be on the list for inspection, cleaning, and improvements as well. They do not operate as efficiently as newer chimneys, and they may not meet current building code standards.
Inspect the Old Chimney
If you have an old fireplace, it could be putting more stress on your budget without you realizing it. Even if you like the old world look, you will have to be practical about your expenses. The first thing you should do is have the old chimney inspected. This will reveal any flaws in the design that make it less efficient. We can also tell you what needs to be done to modernize it.
It is essential that you pay attention to maintenance if you have an older fireplace, even if it is in good condition. Inspection will reveal problems like loose masonry, and it will tell you about the condition of your fireplace and chimney. Creosote buildup saps efficiency, and forces you to spend more to keep warm. A clean chimney and fireplace will save you money.
Efficiency and Incompatibility
The condition of the components is especially important for older fireplaces. Any damage to the flue, liner or damper will decrease efficiency. There is a good chance that one or more of these components will need to be replaced. You should also note that the design of the fireplace may make it incompatible with modern components. In this case, some modification will be necessary.
Cap the Chimney
Adding a cap to the chimney is another step in the right direction. Some older types have no cap, and this creates an opening for debris and small animals. Make sure to purchase a cap that has the right type of base so that it properly connects to the top of the flue as intended.
When Chimney Replacement is Necessary
So what about the issue of completely replacing the fireplace and maybe the chimney as well? If the home is really old, this is a real possibility. While this might seem like an expensive undertaking, it will provide a number of benefits. You will not only have a newer fireplace that offers more warmth, you will have one that is safer for your home and family. Give us a call to learn about what we can do to revitalize your old chimney, and help it perform better than before.
The fireplace and chimney are important aspects of home maintenance, so give them the attention they deserve. Call us at 610-626-2439 if you would like to schedule an appointment for a chimney inspection or cleaning.