As a homeowner, it is important to check your system for any chimney repair needs regularly and make sure it’s in good working order to prevent fires and other hazards. If you notice any problems with your chimney, it is important to address them as soon as possible to prevent further damage. The first step in repairing your chimney is to identify the issue requiring attention. The list below includes some common issues to watch for; however, we also recommend regularly hiring a professional chimney sweep to inspect your chimney and diagnose any potential problems. In this article, we note 10 common chimney repairs for homeowners.
- 1 Chimney Repair Tips
- 1.1 Repairing or replacing damaged bricks or mortar
- 1.2 Cleaning the chimney
- 1.3 Fixing leaks
- 1.4 Installing a chimney cap
- 1.5 Repairing or replacing the damper
- 1.6 Repairing or replacing the chimney liner
- 1.7 Repairing or replacing the chimney crown
- 1.8 Repointing the chimney
- 1.9 Repairing or replacing the flashing
- 1.10 Installing a chimney chase cover
Chimney Repair Tips
Repairing or replacing damaged bricks or mortar
If the chimney is made of bricks, you may need to repair or replace damaged bricks or mortar.
Cleaning the chimney
Over time, chimneys can become clogged with soot, creosote, and other debris. This can create a fire hazard and may also reduce the efficiency of the chimney.
If the chimney is leaking, you’ll need to find and repair the source of the leak. This may involve repairing or replacing damaged flashing, sealing any gaps or cracks, or replacing the chimney crown.
To fix mortar gaps, which is a commonly required chimney repair, follow these steps:
- Inspect the area around the gaps for any signs of water damage or crumbling mortar. If the mortar is severely damaged, it may need to be completely replaced.
- Carefully remove any loose or crumbling mortar around the gap using a chisel and hammer. Vacuum the area to remove any dust and debris.
- Mix up a batch of mortar specifically designed for fireplace use according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Apply the mortar to the gap using a trowel. Make sure to press it firmly into the gap in order to create a tight seal.
- Allow the mortar to dry completely before using the fireplace again.
There are a number of products on the market to help repair mortar gaps.
Installing a chimney cap
A chimney cap can help prevent animals, birds, and other debris from entering the chimney and can also help keep water out.
Repairing or replacing the damper
The damper is a metal plate located at the base of the chimney that controls the flow of air in and out of the chimney. If the damper is not functioning properly, it can cause a draft and may also reduce the efficiency of the chimney.
Repairing or replacing the chimney liner
The chimney liner is a layer of material that lines the inside of the chimney and helps prevent heat and gases from escaping into the surrounding structure. If the chimney liner is damaged, it may need to be repaired or replaced.
Repairing or replacing the chimney crown
The chimney crown is the concrete or masonry cap at the top of the chimney that helps prevent water from entering the chimney. If the chimney crown is damaged, it may need to be repaired or replaced.
Repointing the chimney
Repointing is the process of repairing or replacing the joints between the bricks in a chimney. If the joints are damaged, repointing can help prevent further deterioration and keep the chimney in good working order.
Repairing or replacing the flashing
Flashing is a layer of material that helps prevent water from entering the chimney at the points where it intersects with the roof. If the flashing is damaged, it may need to be repaired or replaced.
Installing a chimney chase cover
A chimney chase cover is a metal cover that fits over the top of a chimney chase (the frame that surrounds a factory-built chimney). If the chase cover is damaged, it may need to be repaired or replaced.
By following these chimney repair tips, you can help to ensure that your chimney and fireplace systems is in good working order and prevent fires and other hazards. Remember to always use caution when working with your chimney and to seek the help of a professional chimney repair service if you’re not comfortable with any of these repairs or if you’re unsure how to proceed.