Folks are starting to use their chimneys again now that winter is making its first appearance. You would expect your chimney to perform just as effectively as it did the previous winter. Nevertheless, as there are several components that form part of a chimney, these need to be checked. Some of these components can fail or leaks can set in, which is why regular maintenance of your chimney is essential. We advise homeowners to be aware of some of the warning signs that their chimney is not up to code. It’s important to have routine inspections and repairs conducted on your roof. If something is amiss with your chimney, wait before lighting the fire. Arrange for a reputable company to conduct a fireplace inspection. The fireplace, chimney and all the relevant parts need regular, thorough inspection. Look out for signs of chimney damage by paying close attention to the following:
Can You Spot Any Leaks?
Is water entering your home via the chimney? It could be through the flue or along the chimney’s sides. If so, it’s best to have this looked at by chimney repair specialists as soon as possible. There are many different factors that could cause leaks and the source of the leak is not always easy to spot by the untrained eye. Water or moisture moves quickly and seeps through various places, making it hard to pinpoint the exact origin of the leak. For instance, a leak brought on by incorrectly installed or peeling flashing on a chimney, may first enter your attic. Water can then travel across the rafters before continuing to seep along a wall that is not necessarily close to the chimney. If you spot a leak, don’t wait to call on professional chimney service specialists, like Delta Chimneys. Our team will identify the problem and fix it before it becomes a bigger problem.
Could Your Chimney Be Obstructed?
Your chimney may have a blockage due to an obstruction that can come in many forms. A bird could have made a nest inside your chimney, or it could even be due to a trapped rat. A blockage can also occur when your flue has an excessive buildup of creosote and soot. It could also be due to your damper being jammed shut or your chimney may be blocked with snow and ice. Whatever the reason, a blocked chimney can be a safety risk. Avoid starting a fire if you think that there is a chance that your chimney may be blocked. Sometimes we only realize that there is an obstruction when the smoke does not leave your home via the chimney, which can be a rather unfortunate situation. You can do a small test to make sure your chimney is open, before lighting a fire. Listen closely if you can hear some airflow through the chimney, but make sure your damper is set in the open position. You can also visually examine your chimney to make sure the damper is open by using a flashlight.
Checking that the daylight shines all the way through is another way to make sure your chimney is not obstructed. Note though that if you carry out these inspections, you may get some soot on you. If you suspect a chimney blockage, call on Delta Chimneys. We provide a variety of fireplace and chimney services, including chimney cleaning and chimney inspections.
Damaged Brickwork or Missing Bricks
Any chimney that has damaged bricks or even missing bricks will need urgent repairs. Although chimneys can last for a long time, they are constantly exposed to the elements. After some time and with no regular maintenance, the bricks and mortar will eventually wear out and start to crumble. Your chimney can also sustain damage due to falling branches, strong winds, hail, changes in temperature, and more. Inspect your chimney’s structural integrity regularly. Furthermore, chimney inspections should be scheduled annually to ensure your chimney is kept in good shape.
As we have already established, mortar is exposed to the elements in the same way that bricks are. Mortar will gradually erode over time. Fortunately, chimney repair is possible by using a process called tuckpointing. Chimney tuckpointing involves the application of fresh mortar to restore the structural support which it is meant to offer. Mortar can also be used on bricks to restore their strength. The color of the mortar is adjusted to match the existing bricks and mortar to create a neat and beautiful finish.
Check For Corroded Chimney Components
Your chimney may be fitted with a cap or other components that can start to corrode and rust over time. Rust can eventually lead to leaks or other chimney damage. If any of the components are showing significant signs of rust, you may want to replace these parts. A new chimney cap will help to avoid leaks and new flashing will aid in the proper drainage of your roof.
A Damaged or Absent Chimney Crown
The chimney crown offers protection against the elements that your chimney needs to withstand daily. If you don’t have a crown or if your crown is damaged or crumbling, your brick and mortar will deteriorate much faster. Most crowns are made of exceptionally durable material like concrete, metal, or stone. These materials are able to withstand the force of nature well, but eventually they all succumb to wear and tear or other damage. When this happens Delta Chimneys can assist you as we provide this chimney service and
As we previously stated, rust makes flashing on a chimney susceptible to failure. Additionally, it can start to separate from your chimney and roof, which might result in leaks or other damage. If you spot a leak in your home and think that it may be due to flashing failure, Delta Chimneys can assist you.
Hazardous Chimney Buildup
Smoke flowing continuously through your chimney makes it harder for your flue to stay clean. Folks that use their fireplace regularly or if you haven’t had your chimney cleaned for a few years, it’s time to do so. Be careful of the buildup that can happen in your chimney over time as this is hazardous. When enough soot and creosote have accumulated along the chimney’s lining, it can catch fire, resulting in a home fire. This is another reason to have an annual chimney and fireplace inspection done by the experts. For domestic chimneys, we recommend you schedule an inspection at least once a year.
Defective Chimney Damper
One of the few mechanical parts of your chimney is the damper. As such, it can malfunction due to wear and tear or damage. You will not be able to sustain a fire in your fireplace if the damper is no longer able to open and close on demand. You can test the effectiveness of your damper by checking to see if there is any change to the airflow when adjusting your damper. If there is no change you could either have a blockage in your chimney or your damper has become defective.
We Take Care of All Chimney and Fireplace Repairs
Delta Chimneys are experts with ample experience in all fireplace and chimney related problems and components. Get in touch with us if you have a chimney or fireplace related problem and our friendly team will gladly be of service. You can also arrange with us for your annual chimney and fireplace inspection. We proudly serve the community with chimney repair and inspection services.