There is no doubt that your chimney takes a beating year after year. During the winter the structure is cold on the outside, and hot on the inside. At other times of year it has to deal with rain and sun exposure. All of these factors combine to create a hostile environment for these structures, but you can fight back with regular maintenance. A poor maintenance schedule can force you to dig deeper to pay for repairs.
Understanding Your Chimney
One common problem with older chimneys is that the bricks may be too softened by previous elemental damage to stand up to future elements in the long term. If the bricks are too soft, they will absorb moisture more quickly and lead to spalling. When this moisture freezes during the winter months, it reduces the integrity of the bricks even further. You can repair these spalling or flaking areas, but as you continue to use your chimney, the problem will persist. Even the areas you repair can begin to flake again. While spalling mostly affects older chimney it can happen with newer ones if the material used is of poor quality or isn’t waterproofed on a regular basis.
Anyone who is building a home should be careful about the selection of bricks for the chimney. High quality bricks will last longer, and with regular maintenance, the chimney will need only occasional repairs. Another key factor is the ability of hard bricks to stand up to moisture intrusion. This will play a big role in keeping your repair costs down over time.
If your mortar is not holding up, damp spots will eventually become visible inside your home. Using the best quality mortar available will ensure that you don’t have to worry about repairs for a while. Any repairs to an old chimney should include replacement of parts and material with better quality ones.
Clearing creosote from the chimney’s interior will also keep you from spending unnecessarily on repairs. A chimney fire caused by creosote burns very hot and very intense. They can quickly spread to other areas of the home by catching the surrounding boards on fire.
Without regular inspection, you will not know what is happening to the chimney. If you want to avoid spending a lot of money on maintenance, inspections are essential. Thorough inspections do not only take place inside the structure, but on the outside as well. A Lou Curley professional chimney sweep will look for cracks or spalling that will cause deterioration. Fix these problems right away, and you will save money by keeping the structure in good condition.
A yearly inspection is recommended by the CSIA (Chimney Safety Institute of America). The chimney sweeps at Lou Curley’s Chimney Service are CSIA certified and we hold several other prestigious certifications. We can clean, inspect, waterproof, and repair damages. We will take the time to show you what’s going on and why our services are needed if you’re interested. Give us a call at 610-626-2439.