Chimney Repairs You Need to Address Right Away
You may love sitting by your fireplace in winter, but have you forgotten about chimney repairs and maintenance? The truth is, for many homeowners, the chimney is out of sight and out of mind. Chimneys are highly vulnerable to damage, and there is an excellent chance that chimney repairs are needed right away. Some issues affect the safety of your home and family and others may represent high costs of repair if you don’t contact trusted chimney sweeps sooner rather than later. The following are among the most common types of chimney repairs and other issues that are often overdue.
Damaged Chimney Liner
It is difficult to spot damage within the chimney flue that runs from the top of the firebox to the top of the chimney. If there is even a small crack in the flue lining, repair or replacement is needed before using the fireplace again. There are two threats associated with a damaged chimney liner, as follows:
- Intense heat from inside the flue causes nearby combustibles to undergo a process called pyrolysis where the materials will suddenly ignite at a much lower temperature than what is normal.
- Toxic fumes from the fire can leak into the home, including deadly carbon monoxide, which is invisible, odorless, & tasteless.
If you have a wood-burning fireplace, creosote buildup occurs in the chimney flue every time you have a fire. Creosote is a highly flammable tar-like substance that builds up in chimney flues in layers.
Any creosote in your chimney puts you at risk for a dangerous chimney fire. Many people don’t realize that chimney fires often cause home fires. Also, chimney fires virtually always cause some type of destruction, particularly to the chimney flue.
Another creosote hazard is that the layers of buildup eventually obstruct the chimney. Chimney obstructions are dangerous primarily because the blockage causes toxic gases from fires to go into the home instead of outside.
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), a leading fire safety organization, recommends scheduling annual chimney cleaning, no matter how much creosote exists inside the chimney.
If your chimney is leaning or has cracks in it, this is a time when chimney repair is needed right away. Chimneys are very heavy structures. Before they are constructed, a special foundational base has to be built to ensure that the weight is properly supported. If your chimney is leaning, the possibility of a collapse is very real. Someone could be injured if a collapse occurs, and you will likely end up with roof damage as well as needing a full masonry rebuild for your chimney.
Cracks in a chimney occur for a wide variety of reasons, but whatever the reason, chimney repair is needed without delay. The biggest enemy of a chimney system is moisture. The cracks in a chimney signify that the worst kind of damage is happening. Water penetrates the masonry and freezing and thawing weather cycles create damage in the affected masonry. The water expands and contracts, damaging the masonry with the movement.
Masonry in which there has been water intrusion must be removed and replaced. Once you have restored the condition of your chimney masonry, a preventative measure you can take to minimize the need for future chimney repairs is to schedule a waterproofing treatment applied by a chimney professional.
At Burlington Fireplace & Solar, we can handle all of the chimney repair and maintenance services that you may need. We also specialize in the installation of heating appliances. Give us a call today to schedule your chimney inspection, chimney maintenance, chimney cleaning, and chimney repair that may be needed right away.