Chimney repair does not have to be painful! As you burn combustible items in a fireplace, the gas that is produced needs to be exhausted from your home. This is done through the chimney flue.
The flue is designed to allow combustion gases to dissipate in the air outside of the home. However chimney flues that are blocked or damaged don’t always work properly and that can put your family in harm’s way.
Here are a few of the problems that may develop in your flue over time and what you can do about them.
Chimney Repair | Vertical Cracks, Missing Mortar Joints and Misaligned Tiles
Masonry chimney flues are often constructed with Terra Cotta clay tiles. These tiles can be damaged by a catastrophic event like a chimney fire, foundation shifts or extreme temperature changes.
As the flue is exposed to changing temperatures from internal fires and external weather, it will naturally expand and contract. Chimney repair is necessary when general deterioration causes the failure of mortar joints between the tiles.
Gaps between tiles can exist due to misaligned tiles as a result of sloppy construction. Regardless of the cause, these various conditions and damages can eventually lead to gaps and cracks in the chimney tiles and mortar joints that allows heated gases to escape into the interior of the chimney chase and the home.
An easy fix is to have a liner installed. In addition to sealing up cracks, the liner also provide an insulating layer to minimize expansion and contraction in the future.
Moisture and Dampness Damage Mortar and Brick
Rain that enters the chimney from above can cause a problem. Moisture can also enter through humidity. As the dampness builds up on the walls, it can combine with the sulfates to form a corrosive acid that damages mortar joints and the surrounding brickwork.
Proper ventilation will prevent this problem, and you can minimize it further by having a chimney cap installed. Burning wet fuel also contributes to the buildup of moisture inside the chimney.
Install an interior wood rack and continue rotating fuel through it so that you can avoid burning wet logs and kindling. If the damage has already occurred, a liner may be installed to help get the flue back in working condition, without additional chimney repair.
Incorrect Fuel Levels
The chimney is carefully balanced with the expected heat output to allow for the quick release of gas and fumes.
If the fuel is putting off too much heat, then the gases cannot escape quickly enough. If the fire is not hot enough, then the gas rises too slowly and will hamper the flow of air back down to the fire.
When you have your chimney repaired, cleaned or other work performed, you can ask the professionals for guidance concerning the amount of fuel you should use at a time.
Some homeowners will feel comfortable replacing their own flue liner, but you may want to leave this job to the professionals.
The chimney should be thoroughly cleaned beforehand, and the flue should be properly sealed to ensure that it’s working properly. The professionals can also provide you with valuable guidance regarding flue sizing, firebox dimensions, fire size and maximum temperatures.
Another benefit of trusting the professionals with this service is that you’ll have a warranty behind the work and the material.
We also offer insulated liners if condensation or cracking has been a problem for you in the past. Make the investment in a quality liner today so that you can start safely enjoying your fireplace again.