How to Maintain Your Chimney’s Health
For homeowners, maintenance is a fact of life; and chimney health should always be given at least annual consideration. The chimney system may be the largest single component in your home that requires upkeep, and safety is a big reason for ensuring that your chimney operates properly. Fortunately, certified chimney professionals are in your area. They have the training to get a good reading on your chimney’s health and provide any necessary repairs. In addition to calling the experts, there are things you can do to keep your chimney fit.
Schedule Annual Inspections and Cleaning
Before each winter season, it’s important to have your chimney checked to determine whether it’s ready for winter use. During an inspection, every component of the chimney is checked for signs of damage. If there is an obstruction in the chimney, it must be removed. When creosote has built up to about 1/8-inch or more, it’s time to schedule chimney cleaning.
Moisture is the number one enemy of a chimney. Chimney technicians check to see whether there is water intrusion due to a damaged chimney crown, faulty flashing, deteriorating mortar, and more. Once your chimney has had a thorough check-up, any needed repairs will be recommended. Damage should always be addressed immediately, to cut repair costs.
Watch for Chimney Health Issues
It’s not always obvious that a chimney is damaged in some way. Over time, certain clues begin to appear, and homeowners can discover signs of chimney trouble for themselves. For instance, if the chimney has white staining, which is known as “efflorescence,” the stains provide evidence that there is water intrusion in the chimney. Masonry will collapse eventually, unless repairs are made. The follows are more indications that a chimney may not be in the best of health:
- The fireplace is smoky
- There is mildew, staining, or dripping on the interior or exterior of the masonry
- Odors seem to be coming from the fireplace or chimney
- Bits of tile or masonry are inside the fireplace or around the exterior of the chimney.
The harshness of weather conditions can wear chimney masonry down, but nothing affects the chimney as much as moisture. Some of the problems caused by moisture include:
- Spalling, which means the brick face flakes and pops off
The useful life of your chimney can be prolonged if you have it treated with water repellent coating. Waterproofing is a cost-saving form of preventative maintenance because it helps to stop costly moisture damage from occurring. The sealants used on masonry chimneys are completely vapor permeable, which allows the chimney to breathe.
Contact Chimney Solutions
Chimney Solutions has provided the highest level of technical chimney expertise to the Atlanta area since1998. Your chimney is in good hands with the pros at Chimney Solutions, whether you need a masonry rebuild, inspection services, chimney relining, chimney repair, chimney cleaning, or installation of a fireplace or stove. Contact us today at (770) 771-5501 for help keeping your chimney in tip-top shape.