It’s up to you to call us when you have a concern about your fireplace. Just like everything else, fireplaces, furnaces, and wood stoves have a life cycle that can either be extended or cut short based on maintenance.
Sometimes it’s easy for homeowners to identify a chimney that needs repair; sometimes it’s not so easy. Symptoms of a chimney that needs attention include smoke backfilling into a room, a fire that’s hard to start, or water dripping into the firebox. Even though an annual inspection would likely have prevented these problems from ever occurring, we come across plenty of chimneys that desperately need repairs because they’ve gone too long without being inspected and/or cleaned. Homeowners shouldn’t put off chimney repairs, as further delay could have disastrous consequences.
Most chimneys require repair because of basic wear and tear issues, like the amount of wood burned every year and the type of wood burned. And of course animals and weather (think high winds, extreme rain, tornadoes, and lightning) can damage a chimney, causing it to crack, leak, and shift.
How to Know if Your Chimney Needs Repairing
- A dripping sound. Water is the chimney’s number one enemy. A dripping noise in your chimney indicates a leak, which can cause profound damage if ignored.
- A bad smell. There are plenty of chimney problems that can be sniffed out. If your chimney smells like a dead animal, it’s because there’s probably one in there. To prevent this from happening in the future, it’s advised that you have a chimney cap installed to the top of your flue. Chimney caps have screens that keep critters out.
- A strange smell. If it’s not the season for you to use your fireplace or furnace but your chimney smells like wet smoke or like a charcoal grill, you probably have a buildup of moisture on top of creosote. This means your chimney needs sweeping, and badly.
- Smoke in your home. If you light your fire and find that smoke fills your living space instead of traveling up the flue, it is likely that your flue is blocked by debris, creosote, or birds’ nests. If this is the case, your chimney needs to be inspected and swept.
- A white substance. Is your chimney’s masonry coated in a powdery white substance? This probably means you have water damage and that you need to have your chimney professionally cleaned and treated with a commercial water repellent. A chimney cap can also keep water out of your flue.
- Bricks that are cracking, flaking (spalling), or crumbling. Because bricks are porous they can easily be damaged by water and weather. Damaged firebricks can be replaced, but they should be replaced by a certified chimney repair company that understands which brick and mortar to use.
5 Chimney Enemies
These five things contribute most often to the degradation of chimneys:
- High wind
- Lack of maintenance
- Creosote and debris
Protect Your Chimney
A chimney repair is the last home improvement you should put off. The certified chimney sweeps at Chimney Saver Solutions of Richmond are here to help fortify, waterproof, and maintain your fireplace and chimney so that you can keep your family safe and your fireplace or woodstove working properly.
Our chimney repair systems correct safety and performance issues found in many furnace, fireplace, wood stoves, and hot water heater chimneys. If you’ve been putting off a chimney repair, don’t risk your home’s safety any longer.
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Sometimes the only fix for problems with a chimney is a rebuild or major restoration. That’s a chimney and fireplace service that calls for experienced professionals, so give Chimney Saver Solutions a call today.