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Home is where the hearth is. Associating the fireplace with a space that feels like home is as old as time because, for many of us, having family and family huddled around a warm and cozy fireplace is emotional and intimate.
However, if the fireplace is working improperly, such a cozy space can easily turn into a fire hazard.
A working chimney system isn’t necessarily a safe one—and that’s why understanding the signs you need a chimney repair is key to ensuring that your fireplace area is not just warm and cozy but also safe.
This is the most visible and critical form of damage to your chimney. Treating this damage should be a priority as it threatens the basic structural foundation of your chimney system.
Damaged brickwork is most likely a moisture problem. This can affect any part of the chimney exterior, including the crown. Masonry readily absorbs moisture which then goes through the freeze-and-thaw process. This speeds up damage and causes the bricks to flake and crack. In an extreme, untreated case, chunks of bricks can fall off, causing the chimney structure to lean.
A chimney inspection is necessary to detect the root problem and locate water entry points. Next, a chimney rebuild ensures that the chimney structure is restored. Chimney rebuilding is a labor-intensive task demanding immense skills and resources. As such, for both of these tasks, reaching out to a certified chimney professional is the only safe bet.
The mortar between the bricks is highly vulnerable to water damage. Moisture seeping into the joints causes the mortar to crack and wear off. This can be seen as the mortar slowly thinning out between the bricks. Without the mortar holding the bricks together, the brickwork becomes vulnerable to further structural damage.
Treating this issue is less tricky and cheaper than a chimney rebuild, but it still requires a professional. Chimney re-pointing is a chimney repair method that restores the joints with fresh mortar, giving your chimney an enhanced appeal. It also reinstates the chimney structure, improving the chimney’s lifespan.
If you find shards of flue tiles lying in your fireplace, it indicates poor flue liner health, and that your flue liner needs revamping.
The flue liner is an essential part of your chimney machinery. It serves as the air duct and ensures the two-way exchange of smoke and outside air, keeping your home safe from toxic fumes. The flue liner also actively guards the brickwork and woodwork against overheating and possibly igniting. Installing a flue liner and regularly cleaning it is highly recommended as a safety measure by the CDC. Therefore, a sign that indicates flue deterioration is bad news for your fireplace safety.
Shards of flue tile falling off the liner into your fireplace is known as shaling. It’s often a result of water damage or even creosote buildup. Once you encounter this problem, a chimney professional should be contacted to know whether it should be reinstalled or repaired before you start using your fireplace again.
Your chimney leaking from places may not seem serious, but it signifies a larger underlying problem.
Water making its way into your house is never a good sign. The presence of water within the chimney system can fuel all kinds of problems like the growth of mold, degrading brick, and rusting.
Wet stains on the chimney are telltale signs of water damage. Your chimney needs a proper inspection to locate the exposed points of water entry. Next, the damage is assessed, and the chimney is repaired accordingly. Keeping water out might entail repairing your chimney cap, installing a chimney cover, or even a repair of your chimney crown.
Regular burning in the fireplace builds up creosote in the flue liner. Creosote is a by-product of combustion, and its higher concentration makes the flue a highly flammable space. Chimney fires cause more than 25,000 house fires each year in the United States, and creosote buildup happens to be the main culprit. Therefore, a sharp, smoky smell is a critical sign that you should immediately prioritize an inspection of your chimney.
Excessive creosote can wear off your flue liner, rendering it useless. A thorough chimney inspection can locate the root cause of the smell and confirm the presence of creosote. Flue reinstallation will ensure that the flue liner is working properly.
Another type of pungent smell signifies the growth of mold within your chimney system. This also needs to be dealt with quickly as it can quickly damage the materials inside the chimney.
Observing a chimney and assessing whether it needs repair isn’t always simple. Many unnoticed issues could be brewing underneath your chimney. Water damage goes largely unnoticed by many homeowners in Connecticut and is a recurrent invisible issue in chimneys.
This is why keeping up-to-date on your chimney health is important and routine inspections can largely help. It can help locate problems before they become very hard and costly to fix.
Ensure the safety of your family by making your fireplace system safe to use. Get in touch with us and hire professional chimney sweeps for all your chimney-related needs.
At Creative Masonry & Chimney, we offer regular chimney inspection, chimney cleaning, and chimney rebuilding, among many other services. Our team is based in Farmington, CT, but we also serve in Cromwell, Berlin, Wethersfield, and surrounding areas.
Additionally, we offer fireplace repair, chimney liner, cap installation, waterproofing, and more.
Get in touch with us today to get a free estimate.