Everything You Need to Know About Masonry Chimney Repairs
Qualified chimney sweeps are the professionals to call for masonry chimney repairs. That’s the first thing every homeowner should understand about their brick, stone, or concrete chimney. It can also help to understand that almost all brick-and-mortar chimneys are initially built with a clay tile flue lining but that it rarely makes sense to choose clay tiles for a chimney flue replacement. Below, learn the whys of the statements above and the most common types of chimney repairs needed in Dubuque IA and the surrounding area served by Dubuque Fireplace & Patio.
Who to Call for Masonry Chimney Repairs
Chimney sweeps with experience and training know best how to optimize the functionality of a chimney when making chimney masonry repairs. Moisture is enemy number one for masonry chimneys, and the most common types of chimney repairs involve deteriorating masonry resulting from moisture infiltration. Chimney sweeps have the knowledge required to identify early signs of moisture damage. The sooner moisture infiltration is addressed, the cheaper the repairs.
Why Steel Flue Liner Replacements?
The reason clay flue tiles are standard in new masonry chimneys is that clay tiles are both economical and highly durable. Replacing them, however, is another story. Once clay tiles begin to deteriorate, the likelihood that all are gradually wearing out is very good. Meanwhile, replacing clay tiles involves the tearing down and rebuilding of the surrounding masonry. It simply makes more sense to install a stainless-steel chimney flue than to have repeated occasions of tearing down and rebuilding the masonry to address other deteriorating clay tiles.
Flue liners are essential safety components. If there is any amount of damage to a flue liner, the fireplace or stove should not be used until there has been flue liner repair or replacement. The life-threatening risks home and family are exposed to when a chimney flue liner is damaged include a sudden and out-of-control home fire and exposure to deadly carbon monoxide.
Common Types of Masonry Chimney Repairs
Besides chimney flue liners, other common masonry chimney repairs needed include chimney crown damage, cracks in the masonry, and mortar deterioration. More details follow.
Chimney Crown Damage
The chimney crown is the white part of the chimney at the very top, and it is highly susceptible to harsh outdoor elements. One of the important reasons to schedule annual chimney inspections, as fire safety experts recommend, is to ensure that the chimney crown is intact. It requires a trip on the rooftop to determine whether there are cracks in the crown. Caught early, cracks and deterioration can be repaired. To ensure that moisture does not seep down into the chimney masonry system, however, chimney crown replacement may be needed when deterioration is extensive.
Cracks in chimney masonry occur for various reasons, such as moisture infiltration, freezing and thawing cycles of winter, faulty chimney footing, and general lack of maintenance. When masonry is cracked, the entire masonry system is vulnerable to the destruction caused by moisture intrusion.
The issue with moisture inside masonry is that the water expands and contracts during freezing and thawing cycles. Such movement destroys the masonry, though it may occur gradually. Unless damaged bricks are removed and replaced, a chimney will lean and eventually collapse.
Masonry can usually last a century and potentially much longer. The mortar between bricks only lasts around 25 years at the most, however. Once the masonry begins to flake and crack, it is important to schedule tuckpointing services. Chimney sweeps remove expired masonry and replace it, bringing renewed strength to the overall structure. Once water has gotten into the chimney masonry, however, cost-cutting tuckpointing is not the right service. Instead, a partial or complete chimney masonry rebuild becomes necessary.
Contact Dubuque Fireplace & Patio Today
Faulty chimney design is another of the reasons chimney repair might be needed. Contact Dubuque Fireplace & Patio to ensure that your chimney services are provided by experts who specialize in chimney masonry repair. Our NFI-Certified chimney sweeps also have training in conducting chimney inspections and providing professional services in heating appliance installation. Call us today at (563) 582-5156!