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A chimney is an essential part of your home. One of the leading causes of fire breakouts begins with chimney problems. Besides its aesthetics that can improve your home’s curb appeal, it plays a significant role in ensuring no fire emergencies. Thus, working on chimney repairs is best once you spot them. You can work on repairing the chimney immediately after you spot the damage.
✓ The repairs require precision and caution when working on them. During the process, you might damage the surrounding areas, which results in extra costs. Although chimney repairs are costly, you can use the tips below to save on them:
5 Tips To Help You Save On Chimney Repairs
a. Conduct Regular Inspections
✓ Chimney repairs are costly. If severe, they can mean tearing down the whole structure and building a new one. Regular maintenance and inspection are ways to stay on top of chimney repairs. They’re preventive measures that ensure it doesn’t get out of hand. On that note, here are some preventive maintenance routines that can help you detect problems with your chimney:
- Annual thorough inspection
- Inspecting the firebox
- Testing the damper
✓ Regular inspections help you discover problems and decide on the best technique to resolve them. It’s essential to work with professionals when it comes to chimney-related issues. Their work experience is helpful in the best way to work on each problem. If you live in Connecticut, you’d want to check out chimney repairs CT or other experts in chimney services near you. It’s the only sure way to resolve all your concerns ultimately.
b. Clean Your Chimney
Cleaning the chimney is one of the best ways to reduce repairs. It ensures maximum efficiency and avoids causing fires. First, remove soot, creosote, and other debris that build up and attach to your vent over time. They’re the leading cause of the fires.
You can use home cleaning supplies to work on the soot. Also, use a ladder to climb on your chimney and get to the highest point. After cleaning, you’d want to consider some measures to avoid the buildup of soot and debris on your chimney. They include:
- Installing A Chimney Cap: You should check to ensure the chimney cap is still in place. Harsh winds can misplace the lid during a storm. Thus, it’s essential to check if it’s still there. It safeguards the top so debris or rainwater doesn’t reach your chimney. It can also prevent animals from getting into your house. While at it, check to ensure the chimney flue is in good condition. If there are any blockages, remove them to pave the way for the gases or smoke from the fire.
- Inspecting The Chimney Crown: You should check your chimney crown for cracks or crumbling in the cement. Before working on the damage, clean the crown using a nylon brush. You can patch the cracks with cement or silicone caulk. Make sure you squeeze some directly on the cracks to seal them completely.
- Flashing: The part that connects the chimney to the roof can be an escape way for moisture or debris. If you notice any warped flashing, it’d be best to call professionals to fix the cracks.
✓ Cleaning your chimney is the first step toward preventing minor repairs. You can embark on a Do-It-Yourself cleaning spree or hire professional cleaners to work on your chimney. It’s essential to schedule a cleaning routine.
✓ Most homeowners use the fifty-burn trick. It means you should clean your chimney after every fifty days. It can also be sooner. However, it depends on how often you use your chimney. You can consult your service providers on the best chimney cleaning products.
d. Upgrade Your Chimney Equipment
✓ One reason why you keep having maintenance problems with your kitchen could be that you’re using outdated chimney equipment. Especially for old homes, it can start to wear out.
✓ Even if you have just moved to a new house, it’s best to inquire how old it is. It helps you determine whether you’ll need to upgrade the house equipment. Although renovations are costly, they come in handy.
✓ An old chimney will be rusty and could lead to several repairs. In such a case, revamp the entire chimney. You can buy new equipment such as fireplaces, brick-and-mortar, and mesh.
✓ Note that upgrades on chimney equipment make cleaning and maintenance easier depending on the type of chimney installed in your home. For instance, new fireplaces are easy to clean and consume less fuel. Upgrading the equipment is ideal as it helps avoid frequent repairs, which can be costly.
e. Ensure The Chimney Is Waterproof
✓ One timely maintenance tip is to ensure no water flows into your chimney. Rainwater leaks are the leading cause of the damage. The chimney is projected on the roof, exposed to extreme weather conditions. Some telltale signs of a chimney leak include:
- Wet and dry rot
- Oil spots
- Mushy smells
- Interior wall damage
✓ If you spot any of the signs, it’s evident your chimney is leaking. Waterproofing includes installing rain caps or a top-seal damper. You also need to ensure there are no loopholes in the structure that can allow water to penetrate through. Below are some tips to consider when waterproofing your chimney:
- Use breathable water repellent
- Repair all the cracks before applying a water-resistant sealer
- Apply a flood coat from the bottom to the top of the chimney
- Use an accurate cap on your chimney to cover the whole open space.
✓ The tips above ensure your chimney is waterproof. Ask for professional guidance on the best practices to waterproof your chimney.
e. Repoint The Brickwork
✓ A damaged chimney structure can increase repairs. Repointing the brickwork involves taking out the old and replacing it with new brick. You might be forced to reconstruct the whole chimney if you don’t inspect the brickwork.
✓ Inspect your chimney for cracks, bulging, or damp areas. Once you find it, repoint the brickwork. As you work on it, you must cover the surrounding areas to avoid causing construction damage. It helps prepare your chimney for site work. You can use plastic sheeting or drop cloths. For the best covering, secure them with tape. It’s also a safety precaution to wear a dust mask or safety glasses if you use power tools in construction.
✓ Remember, the structure relies heavily on the strength of bricks or stones. So, you must select building rocks or bricks in their peak condition. You can use a mixer to make the paste consistent for the best results. You’ll need to give the brickwork time to cure. After fully cured, you should seal the brickwork and mortar joint using a high-quality sealer. The sealer prevents moisture or other elements from damaging the brickwork.
✓ One way to avoid the uncertainties of a non-functioning chimney is by practicing preventive measures. Also, you must work with professional chimney service providers to make the most of your repair decisions.
✓ They can offer insights on ways to prevent damage to your chimney. They’ll also guide you on the best protective practices. This way, you minimize damage and hence avoid frequent repairs.