Why Chimney Repair Is Necessary
Charleston Chimney Repair is necessary if you have damage to the chimney structure or flue lining. Even tiny cracks can cause expensive structural damage and pose the danger of carbon monoxide leaks into combustible areas inside the home.
The most common chimney crack repairs are remortaring, sealing, and tuckpointing. Repointing replaces mortar to protect the chimney from collapse, while tuckpointing also improves aesthetics by making the new mortar match existing bricks.
The crown of your chimney is the big block of concrete at the top of the entire structure. It does a very important job, protecting everything and everybody beneath it. However, it is extremely susceptible to moisture damage, which can be very costly. If your chimney crown is damaged and not repaired, it can allow water to penetrate the masonry and do a lot of damage very quickly.
A damaged chimney crown can be caused by many different factors. It can be weakened by erosion from the weather, it can crack due to shifts in the ground around your house, or it could be made of the wrong material that isn’t able to withstand temperature changes. Even seismic activity can cause small cracks in the chimney crown. These minor cracks will not only allow moisture into the chimney, but they can also lead to brick spalling.
If you notice that the mortar joints are crumbling or if you see spalling bricks, it’s time to have the chimney crown repaired. The mortar is the material that holds the bricks together, and as it ages and gets exposed to the elements, it can start to break down. The mortar will eventually erode, and the bricks will fall off the structure. This problem can be avoided if the chimney crown is repaired as soon as possible after signs of damage are noticed.
Chimney crown repair can be a tricky project to do yourself, but with the right tools and equipment, it isn’t impossible. First, you need to make sure you have a ladder that can reach the top of your chimney. Then you need to clear out the debris, rocks, particles, and mold that may be in the area of the chimney crown. Use a wire brush to do this, and be very careful as you work on the roof.
Once the debris has been cleared, you need to mix a batch of high-heat mortar. Once the mortar has a peanut butter consistency, apply it to all the cracks in the chimney crown and smooth it with a putty knife. Let the chimney crown dry for a few hours, and then you can apply a coat of a waterproof sealer that is made specifically for masonry.
Cracks in the flue
Chimney flue tiles are subject to intense thermal stress and moisture damage year after year. They also corrode under the acidic influence of combustion byproducts. These issues lead to cracks in the flue tiles, which can create dangerous conditions for the chimney and home if left unattended. The cracks allow combustible creosote to escape the chimney, which can then easily catch fire and threaten the safety of home occupants as well as cause expensive structural damage to the brick and mortar chimney.
Cracks in the flue tile can also allow smoke to leak back into the home, which is called blowback. This is an emergency situation, and it’s important to have a chimney professional inspect the condition of the chimney and determine what needs to be done.
Another common cause of chimney cracks is the deterioration of the mortar joints. This is caused by repeated exposure to weather elements like snow, ice, and rain. When these elements erode the mortar joints, it causes them to crack, which leaves the bricks of the chimney vulnerable and unable to support the weight of the chimney. Cracked mortar joints must be repaired as soon as possible to ensure that the chimney is able to withstand the elements and prevent water penetration, which can result in costly interior water damage.
When the lining of the chimney is damaged, it is important to have a professional chimney sweep inspect the condition of the chimney and make the necessary repairs. Damaged liners are a major health hazard because they can allow poisonous carbon monoxide to leak into the home. Carbon monoxide is odorless, tasteless, and invisible and can be fatal when inhaled in large quantities.
The deterioration of the mortar joints in the chimney can also cause water damage that leads to leaking and structural problems. When this occurs, a chimney expert should be called in to examine the problem and repair the mortar joints using a process known as “tuckpointing.” This involves applying a fresh layer of mortar to the joints in order to preserve the masonry and protect it from water damage.
Cracks in the chimney cap
The chimney is a vertical structure fitted right on the roof that encloses flues, which carry off smoke and hot gases from the fireplace. One of its essential components is the chimney cap, which keeps elements from entering the chimney and causing further damage to the masonry. Chimney caps can become cracked over time due to various reasons, including exposure to extreme weather and changes in temperature.
The deterioration of the mortar holding the bricks together can lead to cracks, which allow water to penetrate the bricks and cause further damage. This can lead to spalling bricks that crumble or break apart, as well as leaky chimneys that let ash, debris, and dangerous carbon monoxide leak into the house. Cracked mortar joints should be repaired as soon as they appear.
A faulty chimney crown can also cause problems. The chimney crown is a slab of concrete that covers the entire top of the chimney. It can crack due to seismic activity or from the constant beating it takes from rain, snow, and wind, as well as from changes in temperature. As it ages, the crown can begin to crumble and develop cracks. These small cracks can eventually enlarge and allow water to leak into the chimney.
While it may be possible to do some minor chimney repairs, many homeowners prefer to hire a qualified chimney repair professional for the task. This is primarily because chimneys are hard to access, and working on them requires a ladder or scaffolding. The use of this equipment presents a fall risk to novice homeowners and can lead to serious injury. A chimney repair service can provide the proper safety gear and take all the necessary precautions to work safely on the roof.
In addition to providing the best value, a CSIA-certified chimney sweep can inspect the interior of the chimney and spot obstructions or damaging creosote. A damaged chimney can be a fire hazard and could cost thousands of dollars in water damage. Taking the time to get a thorough chimney inspection will ensure that you aren’t overlooking any potential issues and will save you money in the long run.
Cracks in the Masonry
A chimney is a structure that is designed to withstand stress, and the masonry that makes up its bricks can crack as a result of a variety of causes. The older a chimney becomes, the more likely it is to have cracks that will need repair. However, even a new chimney can be damaged by various events and circumstances.
Weather is a major cause of chimney damage. Rainwater, melting ice and snow, and wind can all stress the masonry. Liquids that seep into cracked masonry deteriorate it, weakening the bricks and mortar and allowing more water to get inside the chimney.
Heat and a lack of water also cause bricks to crack. Using large fires in the fireplace can lead to creosote buildup that dries and cracks the masonry. The vapors from these fires can also corrode the steel chimney liner and cause it to crack. In addition, wind can damage a chimney by causing it to lean or bend.
Cracks in the masonry can be repaired in several ways. Hairline cracks can be sealed with a commercial chimney waterproofing sealant that is liquid in consistency. Apply the sealant to the cracks with a brush. Larger cracks on the chimney crown, the sloping cap at the top of the masonry section of the chimney, can be repaired by using premixed cement or mortar. Brush on the repair mix, fill the cracks, and smooth with a putty knife. It typically takes 4 to 6 hours for the sealant to cure.
If you notice cracks in your chimney, contact a certified chimney sweep right away. If left unrepaired, these cracks can lead to serious water damage and a chimney that is unsafe for use. If you decide to sell your home, a qualified real estate agent can evaluate the value of your chimney and its condition. You should never rent out your home to a family member or friend who doesn’t know what they’re doing. They could be in danger of carbon monoxide poisoning or a chimney fire that destroys the home and kills them.