As you drive around any of the suburbs or within the City of Chicago, you will quickly find many homes that were built prior to 1960. Although older homes are beautiful and exhibit characteristics of the time, it also lacks the safety codes that are standard in newer homes built after 1960. Sadly, these codes have changed/improved due to property and life loss.
As many of the chimneys were masonry based, it wasn’t until homes built after 1950 that metal hearth systems were installed. Let’s take a look at some of the challenges faced with a vintage chimney.
Older chimney’s lack the metal lining needed for safety. Superior Chimney recommends a chimney lining for numerous reasons. Here are the top 3:
- Gases can leak into the home and heat can transfer to adjacent home construction materials
- Bring your chimney up to current/safer building code standards
- If you’re burning wood in the fireplace, tar and creosote is forming
House Continues to Settle
You might have heard the phrase, ‘the house is settling’, meaning that the ground on the sides and under the home shifts a bit. Sometimes we’ll see small hairline cracks in the basement walls and/or floor. Over the years, your chimney may experience mortar cracks, cracked bricks or even a separation of the bricks to the mortar. Getting an annual inspection will help to identify any issues before they become large and/or expensive.
Weather Elements Cause Deterioration
The weather elements of hot, cold, wind and rain do cause the mortar to deteriorate. As you’ve read from us many times, mortar is a perfect place for water leaks to occur. Disappearing mortar can also cause bricks to loosen, especially if the deterioration is deep within the bricks.
Longevity from the Chimney with Waterproofing
The old brick chimney structure may still be intact, but remember, old bricks absorb lots of water from rain and snow. The best way to preserve the brick and mortar is with a waterproofing solution like our Chimney Saver product. The Chimney Saver prevents water into the brick, minimizes deterioration and future repair costs.
Give your old chimney some new life with the care from our Certified Chimney Technicians. Contact us today at 877-244-6349.