Can My Old Chimney Be Repaired?
Many charming older and historic homes are on beautiful tree-lined streets in towns throughout the Central Savanna River Area (CSRA) or South Carolina Midlands region. Existing homeowners and new home buyers often prefer to perform upgrades and repairs without disrupting the home’s historic character.
Many of these old homes still have their original chimney that is more than a century old. If you are fortunate to reside in an older or historic home, you may wonder if an old chimney can be repaired or restored and still maintain its historic charm. The good news is that in many cases, the answer is an astounding YES – if you hire a Certified Chimney Professional® like Advanced Chimney Sweep with a portfolio of experience repairing and restoring old chimneys.
Repairing an Old Chimney
The first step in determining whether your old chimney can be repaired is to have a Certified Chimney Professional perform a level 2 inspection. This thorough examination of the chimney, vents, and attached heating appliances is critical in assessing its structural condition and which components, if any, can be repaired or need replacement. It will also let you know the type of repair it needs, such as tuckpointing or repointing or a partial or complete rebuild.
In some cases, when there is significant structural damage, a partial or even a complete chimney rebuild may be the most cost-effective or safest option for repairing an old chimney.
Chimney Liner Repair
Old chimneys in Augusta, GA, Columbia, SC, and other towns in northern Georgia and South Carolina were typically built with terra cotta or clay tile liners. However, like masonry, clay is a porous material, so many chimneys with these liners have cracks, missing tiles, and flammable creosote. Operating a heating appliance in a chimney with a damaged liner significantly increases the risk of fire and exposure to carbon monoxide poisoning. The trouble is even more significant when there is excessive creosote, defined as an accumulation of 1/8″ or more, according to the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA). The level two inspection will determine whether the liner can be repaired or needs replacement to comply with your jurisdiction’s federal, state, and local building and safety codes.
When considering repairing an old chimney, the existing wood-burning fireplace will likely need repairs. If you live in a historic home, you will want to have a skilled mason rebuild the fireplace to its original splendor. However, there is another, less costly option to consider – a fireplace insert.
A fireplace insert is a closed-combustion system encased in a fire-resistant steel or iron frame that slides into the opening of the existing firebox. Since an insert also includes a flue pipe, installation typically doesn’t require modifications to the existing chimney.
We offer fireplace inserts in several different traditional and contemporary designs. They are also available in your choice of fuel sources such as wood-burning, gas, and pellet. One of the best advantages of a fireplace insert is that, unlike a traditional masonry fireplace, it radiates over 70 percent of the heat it generates into the living space. So, not only are EPA-certified fireplace inserts a less costly way to upgrade an old fireplace, but they are also more environmentally friendly and reduce energy costs.
Charleston, SC Repair/Restoration Services for Old & Historic Chimneys
If you want to repair your old or historic chimney to its original splendor, our certified professionals and skilled masons will recommend the safest and most effective options based on its current structural condition.
Advanced Chimney Sweep provides certified fireplace installations, upgrades, and restoration services for old and historic chimneys in the Central Augusta River Area (CSRA) and South Carolina Midlands region, including Bluffton, SC; Charleston, SC; Augusta, GA; and Augusta, GA. Please call (803) 508-3990 or (706) 833-4630 today to schedule an appointment, or contact us online now.