If your home has a chimney, a time likely will come that that chimney needs to be repaired. It can be intimidating to hear that your chimney needs work. In addition, seeing the chimney deteriorating before your eyes. However, it can help to know and be on the lookout for some common chimney repairs. To that end, we have a list of the most common exterior chimney repairs. This way you won’t be caught unaware during your annual chimney inspection.
Chimney crown repair.
Chimney crowns are among the most common chimney repairs. This is because the chimney crown was not properly constructed to begin with. The chimney crown is the masonry topper to your chimney. It directs water downward and away from your chimney flue. Also, it provides an overhang so that water doesn’t flow freely down the outer masonry of your chimney. Masons will often construct the crowns improperly, without an adequate slope to deflect water or without an overhang to protect the chimney. Another commonly cut corner is the material of the chimney crown: Masons will often use simple mortar. These break down quickly, rather than the masonry materials recommended for chimney crowns. When your chimney crown breaks down, it can allow water into your chimney flue or into the masonry walls. This causes a gradual breakdown of the chimney structure.
The base of your chimney is surrounded by metal flashing. It's meant to seal off the chimney’s base at the roof. This prevents water from pouring through the opening and into the ceiling of your home. Over time, the flashing can pull away from your chimney or corrode, causing leaks. It’s important to have damaged or degrading flashing addressed quickly. Why? Because as the water it lets into your home can do major damage!
Masonry is porous. It absorbs rainwater, snow, and other atmospheric moisture. Once inside the masonry, the water expands, causing cracking and crumbling. Mortar joints tend to break down in this way faster than the bricks of the chimney. The crumbing away of the mortar joints can compromise the integrity of your chimney’s structure. Plus, it gives your chimney an unsightly appearance. To fix crumbling mortar joints, masons will perform tuckpointing. The deteriorating mortar is scraped away, and new mortar is used to smooth in the gaps.
Chimney cap replacement.
Atop your chimney, there should be a chimney cap covering the chimney opening. This prevents water from flowing down the chimney flue. Those caps can corrode or become dislodged, and they do need to be replaced from time to time. A new chimney cap upgrades the look of your home’s roof-line. In addition, keeping your chimney and fireplace safe from water, sudden down-burst of winds, and even animal intrusions.
When the chimney structure has been allowed to degrade over time, chimney reconstruction becomes necessary. Chimney reconstruction involves tearing down the existing failing or unattractive chimney and rebuilding the structure