Something Is Wrong, What Now?
Many people do not give any thought to chimney repairs until it becomes clear that there is a problem. If the chimney is starting to smell strange or is producing a great deal of smoke, it may be time to hire a certified chimney sweep to investigate. A chimney specialist is a critical piece, because their training and experience give them the ability to see problems, or potential problems that you don’t notice or cannot interpret.
So you know you need to call a chimney professional, how often does your chimney need an inspection? This should be done on an annual basis, not just when there seems to be a problem. In fact, having the chimney inspected each year is the best way to avoid most common chimney problems before they become major issues. This can save you money and prevent any damage to the structure of your home.
Replacing or relining the flue liner is a common repair. The liner protects the inside of the chimney from corrosive gas, chemicals and general wear and tear on the flue. In many cases, chimney professionals find that the liner has started to detach from the flue, making it ineffective. Older homes may not have a flue liner at all and, if this is the case, the chimney should not be used until one is properly installed.
A great deal of chimney damage is caused by excessive amounts of moisture that collect within the flue. This may be the result of rain or snow that makes its way into the chimney and collects there. A simple way to fix this problem is by having a properly-sized chimney cap installed. This little piece fits right over the top of the chimney and prevents unwanted material from getting inside. This can prevent damage such as deteriorating bricks, dangerous molds or damage from critters setting up a home in your chimney.
Sometimes, a chimney inspection will show that there are cracks inside of the chimney as a result of foundation settlement. This is a serious issue that a homeowner would not likely know about if they did not have a proper inspection. In this case, it may be necessary to have the entire chimney refurbished or replaced. This may seem like a major undertaking but, if it is not addressed in a timely manner, the damage could spread throughout the foundation of the home.
It is important to remember that even the simplest of chimney repairs should only be handled by a professional chimney repair person. The average person who tries to repair their chimney may end up causing more problems instead of solving them. In addition, they put themselves at serious risk for bodily injury if they are not used to climbing up on the roof. The Chimney Safety Institute of America is a great place to find professionals who are trained to deal with many of these issues. Annual cleaning and inspection is a must-do for homeowners wanting to save money in the long term. Catching little issues before they become catastrophic is why expert eyes are needed.