A chimney that isn’t properly repaired will cause damage to the home. Fortunately, Baltimore Chimney Repair doesn’t involve major reconstruction. These minor repairs include sweeping, waterproofing, and tuckpointing.
The mortar that holds a chimney’s bricks, stones, blocks, and concrete together is exposed to water damage all year. This moisture is especially destructive during the freeze-and-thaw cycle of winter.
The mortar joints that connect the bricks in your chimney need to be strong and sturdy to keep water out of the structure. However, deteriorating mortar makes the chimney more vulnerable to water leaks and other issues that can lead to expensive repairs. If you suspect that your chimney’s mortar is damaged, a CSIA-certified chimney mason can fix it using a process known as tuckpointing. During this process, the damaged mortar is removed and replaced with fresh mortar of a color that matches the existing brickwork.
The best way to protect your chimney from damage caused by deteriorating mortar joints is to regularly have it inspected by a professional. A chimney masonry repair expert will look for signs of water leaks, such as damp brick or cracks in the flue tile. They’ll also check the condition of the crown, which is a concrete slab that sits on top of the chimney and keeps rainwater out. A cracked crown isn’t just unsightly; it can be a serious fire hazard. If you spot any signs of water leaks in your chimney, call a professional for immediate repairs.
When the mortar in a chimney’s mortar joint begins to deteriorate, it becomes more absorbent and weakens the brick. This can cause structural damage to the chimney and lead to even more problems, like cracks in the flue tile or a collapsed chimney. Chimney masonry experts can repair deteriorating mortar using a process called tuckpointing, which involves grinding down the existing mortar joints to a uniform depth and replacing it with new mortar of a color that matches the existing chimney brick.
If you’re interested in trying to repair deteriorating mortar yourself, it’s important to remember that working on a roof is dangerous and requires special safety equipment. You should rent a fall-arrest harness from a home improvement store or tool-rental outlet before starting any work. These harnesses feature a metal ridge anchor that attaches to the peak of the chimney, a body harness that fits around your back and hips, and a rope with an automatic locking mechanism that prevents you from falling a long distance.
The chimney crown is the sloping cap that covers the topmost section of your chimney. It’s designed to protect the masonry section from water damage, and it also prevents rainwater from pooling on top of the chimney. Cracks in the crown aren’t just unsightly; they can actually weaken the structure enough to lead to a chimney collapse.
A cracked chimney crown is a serious problem, and you should have it repaired as soon as you notice it. The cracks are caused by water that seeps into the cement and thaws repeatedly, creating a cycle of moisture damage that is extremely hard on the bricks and mortar. The best way to repair a cracked chimney crown is to have it rebuilt using high-quality materials, such as concrete or stone. However, this is a complex task and can only be done by an experienced mason.
Even if your chimney crown isn’t cracked, it should be sealed with a waterproof sealant to keep out moisture and prevent more cracks from forming. It’s important to use a waterproof sealant that’s vapor permeable so that the brick can breathe. Otherwise, the sealant will lock in any moisture that’s already there and cause the very cracks and spalling that you’re trying to prevent.
One of the most common places for water leaks in a chimney is where the flashing connects to the chimney. This is usually a metal strip that wraps around the sides of the chimney, and it’s designed to stop moisture from seeping into the chimney structure from above. If the flashing is missing, loose or damaged, it should be replaced as soon as possible to avoid water leaks into your home.
The chimney flashing should be checked regularly for cracks or gaps, which should be caulked as soon as possible. If the flashing is deteriorating, it should be replaced with a new piece that’s rust-resistant and weather-proof. Chimney repointing can also be used to tighten up gaps in the flashing, and it’s a good idea to have all flashings caulked every five years. The longer you wait to repair the flashing, the more costly the repairs will be.
If you have cracks in the chimney lining, you need to get them repaired as soon as possible. These cracks let water into the chimney, which causes further damage and weakens the masonry structure. If left untreated, the deterioration can cause structural problems that threaten your home and even lead to chimney collapse.
Chimney liners protect the masonry from heat and other hazards by containing combustion gases and directing them to the outside air. Chimney liners are generally made of clay, metal, or cast-in-place material. A clay tile flue liner is the most common type of chimney lining, and it can wear down over time. Chimney liners are also susceptible to damage from corrosive chimney byproducts, including acidic creosote, which hastens the deterioration of mortar joints.
A chimney with a cracked clay tile liner can be dangerous because it creates gaps and holes that let smoke, combustion byproducts, and other contaminants into your home. These harmful gasses can cause carbon monoxide poisoning, a serious health threat for your family.
Over time, a damaged clay tile liner can also become unstable and fall off the top of your chimney. If you notice this problem, it is important to contact a professional chimney company to examine the issue and recommend a solution.
Chimneys need to be free of gaps and cracks for them to work properly. These cracks allow more air to enter the chimney and slow the flow of smoke and gases up and out of the fireplace. Chimneys that are not free of these cracks and gaps can be a fire hazard, especially if the flue tiles are cracked or damaged.
The most common way to fix a cracked clay tile chimney liner is to remove the existing liner and replace it with a new one. This procedure is usually complicated and expensive, but it’s the best way to ensure that your chimney is safe and efficient. A metal chimney liner can withstand high temperatures and is more durable than clay chimney liners. This liner is also suitable for fireplaces and wood stoves using all types of fuel.
The flashing is a metal strip that protects the joint between a roof and a chimney. This recognizable L-shaped section can sometimes pull away from the chimney, especially when it’s only held in place by roofing cement. This can allow rainwater to enter the house, causing structural damage and water penetration that leads to mold and mildew.
Flashing is typically installed in a stepped pattern and interwoven with the roofing materials. It’s important to check it regularly for problems such as holes or rust through. If you notice any problems, it’s best to contact a professional chimney repair company. They can inspect the flashing and make recommendations for any needed repairs.
Chimney flashing is usually made of a durable material such as galvanized steel or copper. Over time, it can rust or become damaged through exposure to extreme heat and weather conditions. These damages can lead to a leaky chimney. A chimney repair company can replace the flashing and apply a new coating of masonry caulk to seal it. They may also recommend installing a chimney cap and screen to reduce the risk of blockages and animal infestations.
If you’re planning to replace the flashing yourself, be sure to wear safety equipment when accessing your roof. This includes a sturdy ladder and non-slip shoes. You should also work on a dry day to minimize slip hazards. If you’re inexperienced with working on roofs, it’s recommended that you consult a roofing contractor to handle the job.
To start, remove any debris that’s accumulated in the gap between the flashing and the chimney. You should also clean the chimney and roofing materials. Once the area is free of dirt and debris, you can begin repairing the flashing.
If the flashing is rusted through, it should be replaced. To install the new flashing, you’ll need to cut a slot in the shingles and remove the old piece. You can do this with a cold chisel or a saw with a diamond blade. Once the slot is cut, you can apply a flashing plate and a layer of masonry caulk to create a strong waterproof seal.