Questions like ‘is it safe to operate?’ and ‘Is my chimney leaking and causing damage to my home?’ are serious matters to consider. A chimney fire is no light matter and chimney safety should be taken seriously. Creosote and other residues can build up creating a dangerous situation. Also, poor chimney flashing, cracking or deteriorated brick, mortar, and chimney cap or crown coat can let water and moisture into your home.
As you know nothing lasts forever especially with harsh weather. Johnston Masonry can give you a thorough and honest inspection and help you solve any problems found. With our new technology we are able to give up close views of any damage we may find with high definition cameras to show you exactly what is wrong.
Do not wait to repair your chimney as it will potentially save your home and the ones you love.
Can you see cracks in the mortar joints and even the brick or stone of your chimney? If the damage is not too severe, your chimney needs tuckpointing. Tuckpointing is the process of grinding out the cracks and putting in new mortar filling the crack. Also, damaged bricks can be replaced. Most of the time a new concrete chimney cap is needed with an overhang to help shed water away from the chimney. With all chimneys, we have a professional chimney inspection first, to insure that your chimney is safe to operate beyond the visible need of repairs. Give us a call and lets see what solutions we can come up with for your chimney!
Can you see large cracks and gaps in your chimney? Maybe even chunks of your chimney have fallen off! If so, your chimney needs a rebuild. Rebuilding a chimney involves tearing down the existing chimney to the roofline and rebuilding up to original size with new brick/stone/stucco, flashing and caps. With all chimneys, we have a professional chimney inspection first, to insure that your chimney is safe to operate beyond the visible need of repairs. Give us a call and lets see what solutions may best fit your needs!
Are you having chimney draft issues or condensation? Chances are there is an issue with your existing flue or liner. During the cold winter months warm air goes up our chimneys and meets the ice cold air inside the chimney! This can create poor drafting and even condensation. Condensation can seep into cracks, freeze, and cause damage to the interior of your chimney. A common fix for this is running a stainless insulated liner down the chimney which allows the heat to maintain until it exits the chimney. Give us a call and lets check out your situation so we can come up with a solution specific to your needs!
Chimney caps, also called rain covers, are probably the most inexpensive preventive measure that a homeowner can employ to prevent water penetration and damage to the chimney. Chimneys have one or more large openings (flues) at the top that collect rain water and funnel it directly to the chimney interior. A strong, well designed cap not only keeps this water out, but will also prevent birds and animals from entering and nesting in the chimney.
Caps also function as spark arrestors, preventing sparks from landing on the roof or other nearby combustible material. The chimney crown, also referred to as the chimney wash, is the top element of a masonry chimney. It covers and seals the top of the chimney from the flue liners to the chimney edge. Most masonry chimneys are built with an inadequate crown constructed from common mortar mix, the same mixture used to lay the bricks of the chimney. This mortar is not designed for and will not withstand years of weather abuse without cracking, chipping or deteriorating; situations that allow water to penetrate the chimney. In fact, most sand and mortar crowns crack almost immediately after installation because of shrinkage.
A proper chimney crown should be constructed of a Portland cement based mixture and cast or formed so it provides an overhang, or drip edge, projecting beyond all sides of the chimney by a minimum of two inches. This drip edge directs the runoff from the crown away from the sides of the chimney, helping prevent erosion of the brick and mortar in the chimney’s vertical surfaces.
Flashing is the seal between the roofing material and the chimney. Flashing prevents rain water from running down the chimney into living spaces where it can damage ceilings or walls, or cause rot in rafters, joists, or other structural elements. The most effective flashing is made up of two elements, the flashing and the counter- flashing.
The base flashing is an L shaped piece of metal extending up the chimney side and under the roofing shingles. The counter flashing, which overlaps the base flashing, is embedded and sealed in the chimney’s masonry joints. This two element flashing allows both the roof and the chimney to expand or contract at their own rates without breaking the waterproof seal in either area.