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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

Chimney Tuckpointing

When the weather warms and it’s time to close out your chimney for the off-season, you should have your system inspected in order to repair any winter damage. Even minor winter damage can lead to water damage after a wet spring, and water damage can lead to substantial costs in the future. This spring, let a certified professional repair your masonry before it leads to a structural problem. The most common type of masonry repair is tuckpointing and it should only be done by a professional.The Process of Chimney Tuckpointing - Suffolk NY - Chief Chimney Services

What is Tuckpointing?

Tuckpointing is literally tucking mortar into the spaces left behind when mortar cracks and falls out of the masonry. This type of damage can occur over time or due to serious water damage or natural disasters. The structural integrity of the chimney depends on the masonry–the bricks and mortar together–to keep it standing and working properly. When the mortar falls out of the cracks, bricks can begin to fall, leaving holes to allow water inside, and become a hazard as pieces fall to the roof and ground below.

A certified chimney sweep should be able to repair this damage, called spalling. At Chief Chimney Services our technicians specialize in masonry repair, and we’re proud to offer tuckpointing services. All of our sweeps are experts at matching the color, strength, and consistency of the existing mortar with the new. If the mortar is different in strength or consistency it can weaken the integrity of the masonry. By matching the color perfectly, you won’t be able to tell that a repair was even done, except your chimney will be fully restored. Many homeowners schedule tuckpointing services before a refinance or home sale because it restores the chimney to it’s original beauty as well as function.

When Does My Chimney Need It?

Your chimney sweep will tell you if your masonry needs to be repaired, but some obvious indicators include: chipping, flaking, cracking, and falling mortar and bricks. Spring is the best time for these services because the weather is mild and your masonry will be repaired and ready for burn season. There are other benefits to tuckpointing as well:

  • Provides structural security to the chimney
  • Restores beauty to the structure
  • Waterproofs your chimney
  • A simple, cost-effective repair
  • Prolongs the integrity of your chimney while preventing major repairs

You can enjoy your summer without dwelling on masonry repairs and possible chimney leak. When a masonry expert from Chief Chimney Services repairs your chimney, you can rest assured it’s been done correctly and your chimney and fireplace is ready for your first fire in the fall.

Call us today at 631-863-2460 schedule your inspection today.

By John Pilger on May 24th, 2017 | Tagged with: Tags: , , , | Leave a Comment

Now Is The Time For Masonry Repairs

Spring has sprung! At Chief Chimney Services in Suffolk County we are so excited to gear up for great season of chimney sweeping and inspection. We are sure that every homeowner has a long list of items on their spring cleaning checklist and we are grateful to be able to serve the area for another year.

While you are scheduling your professional chimney sweeping and inspection, consider tackling those chimney masonry repairs you have been putting off. Spring is the perfect time to take care of some basic chimney repairs and it is important to stay on top of any fireplace or chimney damage before they escalate into costly rebuilding. Hiring a professional chimney sweeping and repair company can save you money on costly repairs in the long run.

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Winter Chimney Damage

Winter is tough on chimneys. Firstly, the weather is wet and cold, and the harsh elements of winter can wreak havoc on the masonry of your chimney. Bricks can last a long time, but mortar (the cement holding each brick together) is not as durable. Moisture from severe winter weather can seep into the mortar and cause it to crack, break and crumble. If you do not take proper precautions to repair this it can result in the bricks in your chimney shifting and crumbling, which can jeopardize the overall integrity of the structure of your chimney.

Another common chimney danger is when pests make their home in your chimney. Chimneys are typically warm and dry so pests like rats, mice and birds often make their homes in this environment. Some birds build nests right into the mortar of the chimney, which can cause it to crack and break and cause subsequent damage to the bricks. These common winter problems can be held at bay with some simple masonry repair work during spring.

Tuckpointing

Tuckpointing is probably the most common form of masonry repair. Tuckpointing is when mortar is “tucked” into the damaged mortar joints of your fireplace and chimney. The result is an easy repair that reinforces the bricks to avoid potential damage to the overall integrity of your chimney.

We have had a severe winter with a lot of wet weather and this can be particularly damaging to the mortar and masonry work of your chimney. Be a proactive homeowner by schedule a routine masonry repair to keep your chimney intact and your home looking beautiful.

Additional Benefits Of Tuckpointing

  • Provides structural security to the chimney
  • Restores beauty to the structure
  • Waterproofs your chimney
  • A simple, cost-effective repair
  • Prolongs the integrity of your chimney while preventing major repairs

Tuckpointing and other types of simple chimney masonry repair are the best ways to prevent costly modifications to your chimney. Because the weather is so mild during spring, this truly is the best time to schedule a chimney inspection and masonry repair. A professional technician like those at Chief Chimney Services, Inc will come to your home, thoroughly inspect your chimney and answer any questions you may have about basic repairs. Schedule your chimney inspection and masonry repair today.

How Winter Weather Affects Your Chimney

Weather experts have forecasted a winter just as frigid as last year’s, which has everyone thinking about ways to stay warm. For some, that means turning on the heat in the house or lighting a toasty fire in the fireplace. To help the fireplace and chimney continue keeping us warm, they need regular care themselves, particularly before the winter weather sets in. In fact, winter weather does more damage to the chimney than any other season.

winter-chimney-picture-suffolk-ny-chief-chimney

Many people believe chimneys are built to endure the winter elements and only need the occasional sweep to function properly. Chimneys do hold up remarkably well to the weather, considering they experience it 24 hours a day, but they cannot survive indefinitely without a little help. The main concern for chimneys in the winter actually comes from water damage, which often surprises people.

Masonry chimneys, in particular, can suffer extensive and costly damage as a result of water exposure in the winter. Materials such as brick, concrete, and mortar are used to build a masonry chimney and they all have a porous texture. This means these materials readily absorb any water that settles on its surface. Although water alone does relatively little damage, when winter weather drags temperatures below freezing, the trouble starts. In sub-freezing temperatures, water undergoes a freeze and thaw cycle in which it continuously contracts and expands. The water inside the masonry materials also goes through this cycle and expands the bricks and concrete right along with it. Water can cause severe and costly damage to a chimney, particularly during to masonry chimneys. After several seasons of this constant motion, the materials start to degrade and lose strength. The damage can even extend to cracking or collapse.

If water has a chance to seep inside the chimney, it will happily cause damage there, as well. A metal flue lining can rust after repeated water exposure, and this leads to cracks and holes in the lining. Damaged flue lining does not effectively protect the house from the heat of the fire and the water leaking into the chimney. Eventually, this can lead to an unintentional house fire or to further water damage in the house. Water damage may come in the form of a rusted damper, which inhibits the proper ventilation of the smoke, or may even appear as ugly water stains on the walls or ceiling around the fireplace.

Fortunately, some simple and cost effective fixes can prevent all of this expensive damage. At the next chimney sweep and inspection, ask the chimney specialist about the application of a special sealant to the outside of the chimney. A chimney cap or chimney crown repair or replacement can help keep water out of the chimney and house, too. The chimney specialist can provide and install these fixtures for you upon request. With winter closing in, the roof is going to start icing up, soon making it too dangerous for the chimney specialist to access the chimney, cap and crown. Therefore, you should call now to schedule an appointment to have your chimney protected this winter. If you live in the area of Suffolk County on Long Island, contact Chief Chimney Services, Inc. for a professional consultation.