Common Chimney Repairs

By Doug Hetsch

March 28, 2014

Annual inspection, Chimney Maintenance

Chimney system repairs are inevitable. Some repairs are more common than others, however, all repairs are important. Making minor repairs as soon as problems arise will help you prevent (or at least postpone) major chimney system repairs down the road. Some parts of the system are exposed to the outside elements and are adversely affected by them, whereas other parts are exposed to the heat of your fires, which causes them to wear out. Either way you cut it, these parts will unsurprisingly need to be repaired or replaced at one point or another.

Your Chimney’s Crumbling Mortar

Your chimney is exposed to the elements on the outside and the heat from your firebox on the inside. As a result of this two-front attack, the weathering process is sped up. As such, it isn’t atypical for your mortar to begin to crumble and/or break away. This leaves open areas between the bricks, which exposes even more surface area to these weathering agents and processes. Repointing your chimney might be recommended. During this process, the damaged, old and loose mortar on your chimney is removed from the joints between the bricks and replaced with new mortar.

Your Chimney Needs a Cap

The main purpose of a chimney cap is to cover your chimney’s opening to keep water, birds and other wildlife, leaves, twigs and other debris from getting into your chimney. Water is directed away from the center and off the sides of your chimney. Birds, other wildlife, leaves, twigs and other debris are blocked from getting into your chimney altogether, thereby preventing it from becoming a trashcan, which could damage the chimney and/or create a huge fire hazard.

Nothing could be Finer than a Fully-Functional Flue Liner

According to the CSIA, problems in your chimney’s flue pose serious risks to your home and family, because it’s no longer able to safely contain and vent the harmful gases that are products of the combustion process to the outside of your home. If your current liner was installed improperly or is beginning to crack, it is highly recommended that you have a licensed professional either repair your current liner or install a new one altogether. It is a critical component of your chimney system! Every functioning chimney needs a working liner.

As you can see, a chimney technician’s job is extremely labor intensive. Chimney systems are comprised of many parts that depend on one another to function at optimal levels. A problem with one part of the system can lead to increased and premature wear and tear on other parts of the system. This can become a vicious cycle rather quickly if the initial problem isn’t addressed in a timely manner.

The central theme here is clear: repairing minor problems in a timely manner will decrease the likelihood of them becoming major problems in the future. We encourage our customers to have annual chimney inspections and cleanings to help reduce the chances of chimney system surprises. Be proactive; give us a call today!

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