Chimney systems are comprised of many parts that rely upon one another to operate at peak efficiency. A problem with one part of the system can cause another part of the system to have to work harder to pick up the slack, thereby causing that overworked component to wear out at a much quicker rate. This can quickly become a vicious cycle if the initial problem isn’t addressed in a timely manner. The moral of the story here is quite simple: repair minor problems early on to prevent them from becoming major problems down the road. Keep reading to get a better understanding of ways you can help to extend the life of your chimney.
Put a Cap on your Chimney
A chimney cap is designed to cover your chimney’s opening in order to keep water, birds and other wildlife, leaves, twigs and other debris from getting into your chimney. Water is diverted away from the center and off the sides of your chimney. Mesh screening on the side blocks birds, other wildlife, leaves, twigs and other debris from getting in. Purchasing a chimney cap and having it installed by a certified chimney professional is a choice you won’t regret!
New Chimney Flashing will help Prevent Leaks
Chimneys are notorious for leaking; the source of these leaks is almost always the flashing. It keeps water out of the chimney and protects your flue and roof. Flashings are made from a variety of materials (e.g., aluminum, copper, galvanized steel, and/or tin). You should have new chimney flashing installed if any of the following issues exist:
- Your flashing is missing.
- Your flashing is rusted through.
- Your flashing is falling off.
- Your flashing is completely covered with roofing tar (this is a common short-term fix that’s sure to be hiding bigger problems).
Many homeowners also opt to have new flashing installed when having a new shingle-roof installed.
Crumbling Mortar is a Definite Warning Sign
The mortar used in your chimney’s construction is exposed to various elements on the outside and heat and chemical compounds from your firebox on the inside; all of these things speed up the weathering process. Because of this, it’s common for mortar to crumble and fall away sooner or later, which leaves open areas between the bricks. This only makes a bad problem worse, giving rise to more issues. During chimney repointing, the process for repairing your damaged mortar, a chimney professional will remove the damaged, old and loose mortar from the joints between the bricks and replaces it with new mortar. It can’t be stressed enough that only a skilled professional should perform this work, as it requires an experienced hand.
Problems in your chimney’s flue can present serious risks to your home and family, because it’s no longer able to perform its primary function: safely containing and venting the products of combustion to the outside of your home. If your current liner has deteriorated, it’s recommended that you either have a new one installed or have your current liner repaired. There are several different relining options available to you, depending on both the type of flue liner you currently have and the overall condition of your flue. Because of the nature of the job completed by your chimney’s liner, it’s a critical part. Every chimney must have a working liner!
Your chimney system is comprised of numerous parts, all of which are inspected by a chimney professional during your yearly chimney inspection and sweeping. To prevent major chimney system repairs, it is of paramount importance to make minor repairs as soon as problems arise. Some parts are in the line of fire more than others and are adversely affected by the heat, while other parts are exposed to the elements, thereby causing them to wear out faster. Contact the team at Weststar Chimney Sweeps with any and all of your chimney service related questions. We want you to have all of the information you need!