Posted by & filed under Chimney Information, Chimney Maintenance, mortar chimneys

Why Do Chimneys Need Repair?

Chimneys may seem no more complicated than a glorified hole in the roof. It would appear their only purpose is simply to release smoke into the outside air. Yet these structures involve complex construction, and their proper function is important. When wear or damage occurs, resident safety may be compromised.

Can Weather Harm a Masonry Chimney?

A masonry chimney can be built from various materials such as brick, concrete, steel, mortar, flue tile, and cast iron. Unfortunately, extended exposure to moisture can hasten the deterioration of all these materials. Freezing and thawing will trigger penetrating moisture to expand and contract, applying stress to the chimney. In addition, flue gases tend to be acidic. Moisture may condense gas residue and generate corrosive damage.

Damaged Caused by Moisture

Water can lead to various problems, including:

  • Exterior mortar decay
  • Flue lining damage from cracks or deterioration
  • Masonry or metal firebox assembly deterioration
  • Exterior chimney staining
  • Damper assembly rusting

How Can Fiddler on the Roof Chimney Service Help?

We can assist with many repairs and improvements, including:

Install a Chimney Cap

This relatively inexpensive device is widely known to be an effective safety measure. Flues (openings at top) may allow large amounts of water and snow to enter the chimney. A chimney cap will block water entry, prevent sparks from escaping, and stop animals from entering or nesting within the interior.

Repair or Replace Chimney Crown

The crown seals and covers the chimney top extending from the flue liner out toward the exterior edge. Many are made from simple mortar mix that will crack and erode from weather exposure. This can be repaired or replaced with properly durable materials.

Flashing Replacement or Repair

Flashing is a type of seal connecting the chimney to roofing material. It stops snow and rain from streaming down the chimney sides and into the building interior. Flashing can be fixed to ensure a watertight seal that maintains integrity as the roof and chimney experience normal expansion and contraction.

Repair Mortar Joints

Correctly installed joints will direct water away from the joints. Weather exposure may lead to gaps, missing mortar, or material that has become too absorbent. Repair may include “repointing” – removal of damaged mortar and repacking fresh material properly shaped for water removal.

Contact us to identify and repair any chimney problems you may have – even those lurking quietly away from view.

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