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Plan for Masonry Repairs This Spring

Winter is not yet over, but the weather will become milder in the next few weeks, and it’s the perfect time to schedule necessary masonry repairs. You might schedule masonry repairs if you’ve noticed damage to the masonry, if a professional made a recommended repair, or if you’re looking to raise value for a refinancing. Repairing the masonry will help your chimney work better, will make it safer, and will improve the exterior look of your chimney.

Plan For Spring Masonry Repairs with Chief Chimney Services

Planning Spring Repairs

First, you need to know what your masonry needs. Schedule a chimney inspection with a certified professional so that you will have a complete report and repair recommendations. Your masonry problems may be minor or major, and need to be assesed as soon as possible. Your chimney professional can help you determine which repairs need to be first.
Second, get ready for your repair. Schedule an appointment with Chief Chimney Services. On the day of your appointment, discontinue use of the fireplace and clear out the area in front of the fireplace opening. Your chimney professional will make the repairs without leaving a mess or damage behind.
Lastly, it’s important to have the financing for your masonry repairs in order before the work begins. If your masonry damage is from a natural occurrence or a fire, your homeowners insurance may cover repairs. Otherwise, you might use your tax refund, savings, or financing from a bank. The repairs we do will be according to code, guaranteed and will be an investment in your property.

Common Masonry Repairs

At Chief Chimney Services, Inc. we see masonry damage during spring for a variety of reasons.

  • Water damage is one of the worst things that can happen to your chimney system. During winter, it is even worse. The water that enters damaged portions of the masonry freezes and expands, breaking apart the mortar. Then it melts and runs further into the damaged masonry. This process, called the freeze/thaw cycle, repeats through winter and leads to serious damage within the masonry. Tuckpointing, a tedious process of removing damaged mortar and replacing it with new mortar, is used to repair the damage.
  • Poor design or incorrect installation can lead to necessary repairs. This problem is most common when a firebox becomes damaged. Have the firebox repaired before using the fireplace to ensure your safety. Chief Chimney can repair the firebox properly by using fire bricks and refractory mortar to keep the fire in its place.
  • Wear and tear causes masonry damage over time. When the masonry becomes cracked, this minor damage can be repaired through simple methods.

Other factors that can lead to masonry damage include, environmental changes such as extreme temperatures and natural disasters. Let Chief Chimney Services maintain your masonry throughout the year, and complete your masonry repairs this spring.

Call Chief Chimney Services today at 631-863-2460 or schedule online.

By John Pilger on February 15th, 2019 | Tagged with: Tags: , , , | Leave a Comment

The Importance of a Chimney Cap

The official start of winter is just a few days off, which means homeowners everywhere are lighting up their fireplaces and wood stoves to keep warm. The privilege of having a fireplace in the home includes cozy evenings curled up on the couch and creating the perfect holiday backdrop. However, having a fireplace also comes with a certain set of responsibilities for keeping it safe and functional. Most homeowners know the basic rule of having the chimney swept and inspected every year, but the knowledge usually stops there. The details about the fireplace and chimney often go unnoticed. One aspect of the chimney that often gets forgotten is the chimney cap.

chimney-cap-picture-suffolk-ny-chief-chimney

The chimney cap provides protection in surprising, cost-effective ways, in spite of its basic structure. Generally built with stainless steel or copper materials, the chimney cap guards the inside of the chimney from where it sits at the very top. A key function of the chimney cap is to stop critters from making a home of the chimney. With colder weather upon them, the animals that stick around for winter become very intent on finding a warm home out of the elements. Unfortunately, the warm chimney makes a pretty attractive home for little animals that do not know any better, and an uncapped chimney could end up blocked by a nest. With an obstruction like this, the fumes from the next fire cannot properly vent from the home. They start to back up into the living air, putting inhabitants at risk of carbon monoxide poisoning and other harmful inhalations.

Chimney caps also act as an umbrella for the chimney by preventing water from freely pouring down the inside. If water is allowed to enter the chimney, it can leave some serious damage it its wake. First, the metal flue liner starts to rust, which exposes the interior of the chimney and the home to the acidic smoke and heat from the fire. Next, the water trickles down to the damper and rusts that out too. A rusted damper could prevent the fireplace from venting properly. Water damage may also show up inside the home, as evidenced by water stains on the walls and ceiling around the fireplace.

Luckily, by investing in the installation of a chimney cap, you can completely avoid expensive problems like this. Ask your chimney specialist if your home needs a new chimney cap. Your current chimney cap may be outdated or damaged, or it may be completely missing! Either way, a chimney specialist can safely determine this for you and help you choose the right new chimney cap. If you live in the Suffolk County area of Hudson Valley, contact Chief Chimney Services, Inc. for a professional consultation.