Chimneys are the culmination of a house or business to keep soot and smoke out of the building. However, this also means that they are more exposed to the elements and are often the hardest hit by the weather. Although they are designed to stand up to Mother Nature, they do not last forever as they are usually constructed of mortar, bricks, and similar materials that can deteriorate over time. The damage begins at the plug and eventually sinks. It is therefore likely that if the top of your chimney is in poor condition, the lower half may also lose strength.
The chimney repair is an essential but often ignored part of the house. Apart from the chimney sweep, very few homeowners are really aware of the repairs or maintenance that the chimney might require. At the bottom, it is far from the eyes, far from the heart. It should not be. Leaving the chimney in bad condition can not only generate additional expenses but also endanger the health of everyone inside the house.
An inefficient chimney can also increase levels of carbon monoxide and other exhaust gases in the room, which rarely happens, but be careful because it can be deadly.
The services of repair contractors should be the first call of action. They have to be well trained and certified and should have been working in this field for many years. To ensure you have a good chimney that functions, you must follow a procedure;
- Inspection: The first most important thing a contractor does is to inspect your chimney thoroughly, making sure it is in good working condition.
- Detailed report: After the inspection, the contractor must present to you his results and explain the notable problems in detail.
- Budget: The contractors should try and be moderate in their price tags for their services, in order not to scare customers with excessive bills.
- Fast and quiet: The contractors should carry out such exercise swiftly and discreetly, so as not to cause further complications in the near future.
IMPORTANT AREAS OF REPAIR
The contractors should be very well equipped to deal with any setbacks concerning the chimney repair. Usually, your chimney requires only minor repairs, but sometimes there are major defects in the structure that need to be corrected;
- Chimney cap: An effective chimney cap would prevent water, dust, and debris from entering the chimney. If the plug is damaged, water and debris may enter the chimney, which can damage the entire structure.
- Structural Damage and Crumbling: Cracks in the chimney structure can be a major problem if ignored. At first, it is an easy solution for any contractor.
- Fireplace Repair: The firebox is directly exposed to heat and smoke. This is the part of the chimney that is most likely to be damaged. It is recommended to have it inspected at regular intervals. Thorough maintenance would reduce the cost of repairing the chimney.
- Chimney flue: The flue is what prevents you from escaping dangerous gases and exhaust fumes. Keeping it in good condition is essential.
DIY STEPS FOR FIXING CHIMNEY CRACKS
- Select your tools and materials: This usually requires a hammer, a flat utility chisel, safety glasses, brick trowel, 3/8-in pointing trowel, and a joint contouring tool.
- Remove loose mortar clumps: Break out aging mortar with a hammer and cold chisel or utility chisel. An angle grinder is preferable for larger jobs.
- Mix the mortar: Mix the mortar as guided by the manufacturer until it is evenly mixed and appears sticky.
- Fill the joints: Pack the joints closely and leave no space for the strongest joints.
- Match the new joints: With your contouring tool that matches the contour and depth of your joints, rake the joints.
While carrying out the DIY procedure, always make sure you have protective covers over your open skin to prevent direct contact with the mortar being used. Always try and follow the guidelines by the book so as not to make mistakes that might be too grievous to correct. Also, provide yourself with suitable support and scaffolding to prevent any slightest trip or lethal injuries from falling. If you know you are not physically capable of carrying out such task, always contact a contractor to get the job done.