Out of sight, out of mind. That’s what happens with the poor chimney. It stands up there, straight and tall, each day taking a beating from the sun, wind, rain, snow and freeze/thaw cycles of winter. Yet, we rely on the chimney each day to take away the smoke and gasses from the fireplace, furnace and water heater appliances.
What can we do as homeowners to ensure it continues to do its job without fail?
Sweep & Check the Chimney and Fireplace
A Certified Technician performs sweep and/or inspection of nearly/over a thousand chimneys annually. You may be familiar with the 14-point certified chimney inspection accompanied by photo documentation – I’ve shown you this graphic before, but it sure is a good one. It gives you the “what and where” of the overall condition of your chimney(s). If you have any questions, you can point to the picture and the certified technician can elaborate on the relative chimney inspection-point results.
Part of the inspection, as you will see in the picture, is to inspect the exterior of the chimney. The Certified Chimney Technician will inspect the full chimney including the chimney flashing, bricks and mortar joints, chimney crown and cap. Let’s take a look at each one.
Chimney flashing plays a vital role to the protection of your home. It’s the piece of material that protects where chimney protrude out of the roof. To prevent water leaks and damage, the technician will inspect for any loose, missing, cracked or damaged flashing.
Brick & Mortar Joints
This is key. To prevent any type of major repairs, take care of minor repairs now. The technician will check for loose, cracked or spalling (chipped) bricks. If there are loose bricks and numerous cracks and chips, we’ll inspect further for any type of water leaks or water damage problems.
The concrete slab on top of the chimney is the chimney crown. It serves a very important purpose. The concrete slab acts like your chimney’s own personal roof. The technician will check if there are cracks, loose or missing pieces from the crown.
Chimney caps are also a critical component of the chimney – Every chimney needs a chimney cap for the same reasons every home needs a roof! It covers the opening of the flue. It prevents animals, debris and water from entering the chimney. The material of a chimney cap is usually made of stainless steel, as it will not rust.
If you’ve put-off getting the chimney inspected for some time, it’s best to get it checked. We’ve had some challenging weather this summer, and winter is not too far off. Take the time to give us a call and we’ll come out to give you a complete 14-point inspection with supporting photo documentation. If you don’t have a problem, fantastic, you’re ready for winter! If not, get the repairs done now so you don’t experience further damage to the interior or exterior of your home during the high-use months of winter. Give us a call today at 877-CHIM-FIX (877-244-6349)