A fireplace provides warmth and ambiance during winter months. However, it can also be a fire hazard if not properly maintained. Therefore, each year you should inspect your chimney. From a safety perspective, the chimney repair must be done appropriately, so hire a masonry professional to look for and fix these five common problems.
- Faulty Flashing
If your chimney is leaking water, one likely culprit is faulty flashing. Water is very damaging to masonry, so contact a professional as soon as you come across this problem.
- Major Blockage
Items that have fallen into a chimney flue can catch fire. To prevent access to your chimney, have a chimney cap installed.
- Built-up Creosote
Soot buildup inside a chimney is called creosote. This combustible material, visible when you shine a flashlight into the chimney, is crusty, black, and brown. In its most severe form, called third degree, it looks like tar and is highly susceptible to fire. To avoid reaching this stage, each year you should schedule an appointment for this chimney repair.
- Missing Brickwork
If your chimney is missing bricks or has cracks, its structure may be compromised. If not properly attended to, it could become unstable. A masonry professional can recommend the best course of action to keep your chimney in good working order.
- Cracked Chimney Crown
The chimney crown, located at the top of your chimney, is made of concrete and protects your chimney from harsh weather. In winter, the chimney crown can crack from freeze-thaw damage as it alternates between melting snow and ice when your fireplace is going and refreezing when the fireplace gets cold. After repairing these cracks, the masonry specialist can seal the chimney crown to avoid this problem in the future.
Having your chimney inspected by a masonry specialist not only identifies chimney repair that must be done, but it also protects your home from fires and keeps your family safe during cold winter months.