Every chimney needs some type of repair during its lifetime, and neglecting this can pose a risk to the home and its inhabitants. When a chimney technician carries out an inspection on a regular basis, minor damage may be found from one season to the next. Repairing small problems quickly is less expensive and it guarantees that the chimney will be ready for the next winter.
Summer weather presents the ideal opportunity for fixing chimneys, so this is the right time to get the work done. Chimney deterioration will occur at some point; masonry is strong, but it is not indestructible. Here are the most common chimney problems that homeowners face on a regular basis and how to deal with them:
- Creosote: Smoke goes up the chimney to escape through the opening at the top when you burn something in the fireplace. What most people don’t realize is that more than smoke goes up the chimney. Wood doesn’t burn 100%, so tiny particles of unburned wood also travel up the chimney. They combine with humidity as they near the top of the chimney and become the sticky substance we know as creosote. This substance is extremely flammable and has the ability to produce a chimney fire. It must be cleaned on a regular basis to prevent buildup which can lead to deadly gases being leaked into your home.
- The Flue: Many things can cause damage to the flue; an improper cleaning, too much heat, animals, or even age. A damaged flue causes faster creosote buildup and may allow dangerous gases like carbon monoxide to filter back into your home.
- Animals and Other Blockages: Animals may seek refuge from poor weather conditions or prey animals in your chimney. The chimney cap should prevent animals and birds from getting into the chimney, but a damaged cap won’t do this job very well. Which leads us to the next item that may need repair.
- The Chimney Cap and Crown: The chimney crown is the concrete top that the cap covers. The crown is designed to drain water away from the opening in the top of the chimney. A damaged crown may allow water to penetrate the chimney and cause damage to the cap as well. The cap itself is designed to allow smoke to escape the chimney without allowing birds and small animals access to the interior of the chimney.
- Masonry: The rock or brick body of the chimney may develop problems over time. Masonry is strong, but it is not indestructible. Water and weather play big roles in how well your masonry holds up from year to year. Visible damage like cracks and spalling need to be addressed as quickly as possible.
Chimney repair is not something that you should postpone. Visible damage to the masonry could indicate a problem deeper within the structure. Our chimney services extend well beyond Drexel Hill and into most townships, towns, and cities along the Main Line. Call us at 610-626-2439 to schedule a consultation, chimney repair, chimney inspection, chimney cleaning, or dryer vent cleaning.