There aren’t many things that can bring a chimney down. Earthquakes, tornadoes, even fires can take their toll, but most damage to the chimney system occurs over time, chipping away at efficiency and safety bit by bit. At Chesapeake Chimney & Co. we inspect and sweep chimney systems year-round, and after a long winter, there is always damage that is most common. Since we see it often and we have a trained eye, we know exactly where to look and how to stop it.
Water and weather can cause damage to various parts of the chimney, but especially the masonry. Once the masonry is damaged, it allows more water into the system that leads to rust, mold, deterioration, and more.
Damage: Spalling (cracks, gaps, crumbling, etc.) masonry
Cause: Shifting/settling foundation, storms, insects, etc.
Solution: A process called tuckpointing in which a mason will remove the brick and mortar carefully, replacing it with new mortar of equal strength, consistency, and color.
Over time even a well-constructed crown will become damaged due to prolonged exposure to sunlight, water, and other weather. A crown can flake or crack allowing water into the system that can lead to damage over time.
Damage: Cracks, gaps, and improperly shaped crown.
Cause: Exposure to weather and time.
Solution: Professional crown repair involves a professional applying a coat of industrial-grade product that seals and repairs all cracks and gaps. If the damage is extreme, a crown may need to be custom-made to replace the damaged one.
The firebox endures the highest temperatures for the longest periods of time but gets the least attention. The firebox can become stained, cracked, and otherwise damaged that can lead to serious safety hazards when the fire is burning.
Damage: Stains, cracks, gaps, and spalling bricks in the firebox.
Cause: Ongoing use, prolonged exposure to extreme temperatures.
Solutions: Firebox repair and rebuild may require new firebricks and mortar in order to restore safety. In extreme cases, a repair can be avoided by installing a fireplace insert.
When the damper malfunctions, the fireplace may push smoke into the home. It may become difficult or impossible to light a fire in the fireplace, and drafts may waste your heated or conditioned air in winter or summer.
Damage: Damper is broken or malfunctioning.
Cause: Creosote buildup or rust leading to the deterioration of the damper.
Solutions: New throat damper or top-mount damper installation
No matter the cause for your chimney damage, one of our experts at Chesapeake Chimney & Co. can help restore your chimney to proper function. Your chimney damage may not warrant a big restoration or major repair, but we can help you determine the severity of the problem and make minor repairs if possible.
If you think your chimney system has a problem, call Chesapeake & Co. at 410-535-0052 or request an appointment online.