Chimney Repairs You Should Schedule Before Winter
We don’t have horrendous winters here in Southern California, but we do have winter temperatures and conditions that aren’t ideal for certain types of chimney repair work. Ye Olde Brit Chimney Sweep of San Bernardino, CA, would like to outline some of the chimney repairs that should be made before winter sets in.
Chimney Crown Rebuilding
The concrete chimney crown at the top of your chimney is there to protect the interior flue and the bricks beneath the crown from various types of damage. When a crown is cracked and deteriorated, it needs to be repaired or rebuilt. Like mortar, concrete and patching materials set better in warmer weather. The three projects described above involve the setting of a substance and
are ideally performed before winter arrives. However, it’s always best to get your entire chimney in good shape before you begin using your fireplace during the cold season.
Chimney Mortar Replacement
Replacing decayed and crumbling chimney mortar is done with a process called “tuckpointing.” This involves carefully scraping out damaged mortar between the bricks and replacing it with a strong new compound. Most mortar products don’t set quickly and thoroughly when the air is too cold. The warmth of the sun is ideal for tuckpointing.
If your chimney has cracked or spalling bricks that are allowing water into the system, those bricks must be replaced. Replacing bricks requires new mortar, so this is another project that’s best done before the weather turns cold.
Other pre-winter chimney projects
Here are some important chimney tasks that are best scheduled for the summer or fall.
If your fireplace burns wood, that means it adds creosote to your flue. Creosote is a byproduct of smoke condensation and can be sticky, flakey, puffy or solid. In every form, it’s highly flammable. Professional chimney sweeps use a variety of brushes, scrubbers, chimney cleaning rods and solvents along with commercial vacuums to safely remove creosote from chimneys. This job should be done annually.
Having your chimney inspected by a trained technician is the first step toward overall chimney safety. Inspectors know how to spot early signs of damage in any part of your chimney system, and they know how to resolve problems correctly.
As with chimney cleaning, chimney inspections should be performed once a year, preferably before winter.
Aside from masonry and chimney crown repairs, there may be many other repairs that need to happen before your chimney and fireplace are safe to use during the upcoming winter.
- Chimney liner repair or adding a new liner
- Chimney cap repair or installation
- Chimney flashing repair or laying new flashing
- Fireplace damper repair or installation
- Smoke chamber parging
- Smoke shelf repair
- Firebox repair and brick work
- Leaky chimney detection and resolution
- Fixing drafting issues and preventing smoke backups
- Removal of small animals and their nests from your chimney
We’ll make sure your chimney is safe
Ye Olde Brit serves the greater San Bernardino region with the chimney services you need to keep your chimney safe and in top form. Call us for chimney sweeping, chimney inspections and all types of chimney repairs performed according to California codes. We work year-round but always enjoy getting on the job before winter and heavy fireplace use begins. Reach a chimney expert today at (909) 880-2120 or get in touch with our handy contact form.