Spring isn’t just an ideal time for spring cleaning. It’s also a great time to complete your chimney checklist to ensure the safety and efficiency of your chimney system. As the saying goes April showers bring May flowers, and if your spring showers have caused you some chimney worries, you might have a leak, and a leak is a big deal.
It is important to call a CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep® (CCS) as soon as you suspect a chimney leak. By the time a homeowner notices signs of a chimney leak, it’s likely that it’s caused substantial unseen damage.
Some Signs of a Chimney Leak
1. Water stained walls and ceiling
2. Clogged clean-out area
3. Rusted parts
4. Dripping in fireplace
5. Fowl smelling chimney and fireplace
6. Stained Chimney
By the time these problems are noticed by the homeowner, the damage has been done. According to the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) water can cause much more extensive damage that can be detected by a professional during a cleaning or inspection.
Why Hire a Professional
A general contractor or roofer is not the right professional to make this diagnosis. Calling a certified chimney sweep insures homeowners that the job will be thorough, and damage will be detected and repaired in a timely and professional manner. When water penetrates your masonry chimney it causes damage such as: deteriorated firebox, decayed mortar, cracked or damaged flue lining, collapsed hearth support, tilting or collapsed chimney structure, and chimney settlement.
Not only will a professional chimney sweep inspect and diagnose your chimney problems, but should offer the homeowner a detailed report and repair plan.
At Billy Sweet Chimney Sweep, serving Boston, North Shore, and Portland area, we don’t only repair the damage, but trace the leak back to the source, and offer waterproofing services.
Waterproofing Your Chimney
Another reason to hire a professional chimney sweep is because prevention is cheaper than making repairs! At Billy Sweet Chimney Sweeps we apply a waterproof product on masonry chimneys that is created specially for chimneys to keep water out, but allows vapors to escape. We even offer FREE Waterproofing on exterior masonry repair.
Other Chimney Leak Prevention
While discussing your leaky chimney with a professional, don’t forget to mention these other preventative measures:
- chimney cap repair or replacement
- damper repair or replacement
- chimney crown inspection and repair
While planning your spring cleaning, do not neglect your chimney. Your annual chimney inspection is a great time to discuss waterproofing and leak prevention with a certified chimney sweep. A Billy Sweet Chimney Sweep is waiting for your call today.
November has begun, which means fall is closing in on its halfway point already. Especially in the northeast, this means less daylight and colder temperatures. Most people have given up on wearing sandals and shorts, and instead, they do not leave the house without at least a jacket and a scarf. Homeowners have likely resorted to heating up their homes at least once this season, and for those with fireplaces or stoves, that may mean lighting up a toasty fire. While many people have a basic idea of how the chimney works, using the fireplace most effectively might require a little more knowledge. Specifically, if you want to save more money by avoiding draft problems with your chimney, you may want to read on for how to catch the problem and resolve it.
Chimneys function based on the idea that hot air rises. When a fire has been lit in the fireplace, the hot gases produced by it are less dense than the surrounding air, so the hot air moves up through the chimney. Fires are generally burned during the fall and winter seasons, so the riding hot air eventually meets the colder, denser, outside air somewhere in the chimney. This pressure differential results in an upward pull on the air, creating an air flow known as a “draft.” The draft pulls the air from the home into the fire, fueling it with oxygen, and then sends the smoke and gases from the fire outside through the chimney. When this process does not happen properly, you run into what is known as a draft problem.
Draft problems can occur for a few different reasons, but no matter how you spin it, they cost you money. One common draft problem is an oversized chimney. With older fireplaces especially, large chimneys are a common problem. The wider a chimney is the more space the hot air can spread out in, which means the air cools faster and rises slower. With the rise of air significantly slowed down, the pull of the draft loses its strength. This can cause your fire to burn at a cooler temperature or even go out completely. Your mason can remedy this problem by determining the proper chimney width your fireplace and chimney require and installing a flue lining to match.
A chimney that is too short can also cause a draft problem. The taller your chimney is, the more powerful the draft will be. Therefore, if your chimney is too short, a common issue in older bungalows or ranch homes, it cannot create an adequate draft to keep a strong, hot fire going. While this issue is more expensive to address, your mason can walk you through the process of adding height to your chimney. This will save you money in the long run by preventing cold air from creating a draft going into your home instead of out.
If you worry about draft problems costing your money in your home, contact your local mason today. The area of Boston and North Shore, Massachusetts and Portland, Maine are all served by Billy Sweet Chimney Sweep, so if you live in one of these areas, contact Billy Sweet for a professional consultation.