In our article “The Problems With a Broken Chimney,” we discussed several different issues that accompany a damaged or broken chimney. This week we will outline how you can make sure that the repairs you’ve done to your damaged chimney will last the expected amount of time, which will save you money in the long run!
Damaged Mortar Joints
Damaged mortar joints allow moisture to get into the bricks of your chimney, which can eventually lead to cracking and potentially collapse. A high quality brick can last 100+ years, but the mortar joints will need to be fixed and/or replaced more frequently than that. However, professional and quality workmanship can make your mortar joints last up to 25 years! Fixing damaged mortar joints requires a technique called repointing, which should always be done by a professional. If you want your chimney repairs to last in the long run, hire a professional!
The flue lining in a masonry chimney is clay, ceramic, or metal tiles installed on the inside of a chimney. This lining protects this house from heat transfer to combustible objects (e.g. wood furniture) which would cause a house fire. It also protects the brick masonry itself from the corrosive byproducts of fires. Without a flue lining, the heat from the fire would eat away at the mortar joints of the chimney and allow carbon monoxide to leak into the house. The flue lining also optimizes the efficiency of the masonry fireplace. While clay tiles are the most common type of masonry liners, metal liners (stainless steel or aluminum) are safer and more durable. If you need to replace your chimney liner, consider using a metal liner instead to increase the longevity of its life and safety.
Just like you go to the doctor every year for a check-up, you should provide a check-up for your chimney! A chimney check-up will include the following:
Checking for blockages in the chimney
Emptying the clean out of debris
Examining the exterior brickwork
Ensuring that the vent pipe or flue that connects your furnace to your chimney is secure
Once a year your chimney needs to be inspected for soundness, clearance and debris. An annual chimney inspection will inform you if any cleaning, maintenance and repairs are necessary. Staying on top of this will help you catch any issues early on, making your repairs smaller and less expensive. Yearly check-ups will help your chimney repairs last longer by preventing any serious problems from developing.
Blackwell Masonry Ltd. – Masonry Specialists for Kitchener/Waterloo
Blackwell Masonry has served the Kitchener/Waterloo region for over 25 years, and specializes in all areas of residential masonry. Visit our services page for a full list of the services that we provide.