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Chimney repair is crucial for the safety of your home and family. A chimney that isn’t properly maintained can quickly become a fire hazard.
Cracks in a chimney’s crown let moisture in. As water freezes and thaws, it damages the cement. This leads to spalling, where bricks or stones peel or flake off. Visit Website to learn more.
A damaged flue liner is a serious chimney safety problem and a major cause of house fires. The primary function of the chimney flue liner is to separate combustible building materials from the masonry of the chimney. The flue liner prevents a chimney fire from spreading to nearby combustible surfaces like the roof and attic. A damaged chimney liner can also allow deadly carbon monoxide to escape from the fireplace and into your home.
A chimney flue liner can be damaged by improper construction, a chimney fire, corrosive byproducts of combustion, and excessive creosote buildup. The chimney sweep can inspect the condition of the chimney liner with a specialized camera and make recommendations about needed repair services. The best way to keep the flue liner in good condition is to have a professional chimney inspection and cleaning service done annually.
The most common method to repair a cracked or damaged chimney flue liner is to install a stainless steel chimney liner. A chimney sweep can measure the inside of your chimney flue to ensure that a new stainless steel liner will fit properly. The chimney sweep will then use a tool called the applicator plug to push a new HeatShield (r) Cerfractory (r) flue sealant (with an added drying accelerator) onto the walls of your chimney. The applicator plug is then pulled upward to press a custom-fitted CeCure(r) Sleeve into the first coating of the HeatShield(r) chimney sealant.
Another chimney lining option is to use a flexible metal liner. A flexible chimney liner is a safer, more affordable, and easier-to-clean alternative to traditional clay tile chimney liners. Unlike traditional chimney liners, flexible metal liners can expand and contract with temperature changes. These liner options are insulated to improve a chimney’s efficiency and are designed for fireplaces that use wood, gas, oil, or solid fuel.
Before modern chimney technology, a damaged masonry chimney liner usually required tearing down the entire chimney and rebuilding it from the bottom up. With the introduction of new chimney lining technologies, many homeowners opt to have their damaged masonry chimneys rebuilt using these modern methods.
When the brick in a wall becomes damaged, it creates holes that allow moisture to enter and damage other components of the building. The mortar in a chimney is no exception. If left untreated, it can lead to the sudden collapse of a part of the structure. Moisture can also deteriorate the inner walls, which may then require extensive and costly repairs.
Most brick structures are prone to some degree of water damage, but certain buildings face greater risks than others. Chimneys are particularly susceptible to moisture damage because they have smaller walls than houses and less space to absorb water. A properly installed rain or snow cap, however, can help prevent moisture penetration and related problems.
The mortar in a brick wall is often damaged by weather changes, which cause the brick to crack and crumble as it expands and contracts with variations in temperature. This can cause small cracks that eventually widen. The best way to avoid brick damage is by using a weatherproof sealant on the surface of any load-bearing brick walls or masonry chimneys. Standard brick sealant does not block moisture from absorption but instead locks it in and exasperates the problem.
Brick damage can also be caused by other elements in a building, such as poorly fitting windows or faulty gutters. If any load-bearing brick walls in your home or business are damaged, it is important to contact a professional as soon as possible to repair the affected area.
If a large portion of a brick wall is damaged, it may be necessary to replace the entire section. To do this, the first step is to remove the damaged brick. This is a job that requires an experienced mason, so it’s a good idea to hire one for the task rather than try it yourself. Once the damaged brick is removed, the surrounding area should be cleaned thoroughly. Then the new brick can be placed in place. It is important to use a matching brick when replacing the damaged brick. This can be done by taking a piece of the old brick to a brickyard and selecting a replacement. Then, the mortar can be filled in to match the surrounding joints. The joints can then be raked with a joint raker to make sure they are consistent and even.
Damaged Mortar Joints
Mortar joints are the essential link between brick and mortar in a brick wall or chimney. When these joints are damaged or crumbling, moisture can penetrate the brick walls, causing damage to the interior masonry and foundation of the house. The best way to prevent this is by regularly inspecting the structure and addressing any problems immediately before they become severe. To help protect these vulnerable areas, homeowners should use appropriate sealants to protect the walls and chimney from water penetration.
Repairing eroding mortar joints is called repointing or tuckpointing, and it’s an inexpensive way to save a brick wall or chimney from serious structural damage. Repointing involves removing the old, damaged mortar and replacing it with new, properly mixed mortar. It’s a time-consuming job, but it will stop moisture from penetrating brick walls and brick foundations, and it will make the structures more attractive as well.
To begin the repointing project, put on protective gear, including a dust mask, to avoid inhaling any particles. Use a hammer and cold chisel to chip out the old mortar, starting with the vertical mortar joints and then working your way down the horizontal ones. When all the old mortar is removed, flush out the cleaned mortar joints with a garden hose, using fairly high water pressure. This will remove any loose debris or dust from the mortar joints and prepare them for the new mortar filling.
Mix the new mortar by following the directions on the sack and adding mortar coloring as needed to match the existing color of the bricks. A good test is to smear some of the mortar on a piece of cardboard, which will dry quickly and allow you to see what the color will look like once it dries in the joints.
Once the new mortar is ready, apply it to the clean mortar joints with a trowel, packing it tightly into the joint. Then, using a pointing tool or your finger, shape the new mortar to match the existing joints. Once the new mortar is applied and shaped, cover it with plastic or damp burlap to keep it from drying too quickly and cracking.
When a chimney leaks, water can damage the materials inside your home, including the walls, floors, and ceiling. Even a small amount of water can cause severe and expensive damage. And that moisture, when it gets to the drywall in your attic or the wood framing of your attic floor or ceiling area, can cause mold. Mold is nothing to sneeze at, especially if you have children or pets. Mold can be very dangerous to their health, and it can also cause other health problems.
Chimney leaks can be caused by a variety of things, including the lack of a chimney cap, a damaged masonry crown, or cracked flashing. Chimney professionals can help identify and repair any leaks that are present. Cracks in the chimney crown occur when repeated cycles of freezing and thawing cause the masonry to crack and crumble. Chimney flashing is the metal that runs between the chimney and roof, and it can be susceptible to corrosion from exposure to water, rust, and harsh weather. Chimney flashing should be installed by a professional and should always be properly sealed.
Water damage caused by a leaking chimney isn’t something to ignore, and it should be fixed immediately. The longer a chimney leak is allowed to continue, the more damage it can cause. Even a minor chimney leak can lead to costly water damage that will require a complete remodel of the affected areas of your home.
If you suspect a chimney leak, call a qualified chimney repair professional as soon as possible. Chimney technicians can apply a special brick sealant that will stop leaks for the time being, but they will need to rebuild your chimney if there is extensive damage.
Chimney sweeps may claim that a chimney leak will lead to carbon monoxide poisoning or a house fire, but beware of companies that attempt to use these scare tactics to get your business. Carbon monoxide poisoning is a serious health hazard, and chimney fires are extremely dangerous.