What Repairs Does Your Chimney Need?
From the South Carolina Midlands to the Central Savannah River Area (CSRA), it has been a wild and wet year, especially for those near the Atlantic coastline. Although our region typically enjoys a mild winter, Hurricane Nicole is a vital reminder that everyone must protect their home from severe weather events. That includes a chimney inspection to determine what repairs your chimney may need. Here are five of the most common repairs we perform for customers in our Georgia and South Carolina service areas.
Chimney Crown Cracks
The chimney crown is the cement slab that tops the chimney, sealing the exposed flue pipe from moisture intrusion. The chimney crown is vulnerable to water damage from severe weather, including thunderstorms, lightning strikes, and sub-freezing temperatures. Normal wear and tear and house settling can also cause hairline cracks in the crown that allow water to leak into the chimney. We can typically reseal the crown when there are minor cracks, but for severe damage, we may require rebuilding a portion or all of the chimney crown to save the chimney.
A leaky chimney is one of the most common repairs we perform for customers. While water leaking into your fireplace is an obvious problem, there are internal leaks that are not so obvious. For example, water dripping through warped or damaged flashing and cracks in the chimney crown and masonry. Water leaks inside the chimney can cause extensive damage to the interior walls, liner, damper, and other components. It can also promote mold and mildew when warm weather returns in the spring and summer. Severe chimney leaks can even cause structural issues that result in a chimney collapse.
Have you noticed a white stain or streak across portions of your masonry chimney? This is known as efflorescence and is the first sign that moisture is getting inside the bricks. When water is trapped in the brick material, it draws the salts to the surface, resulting in a white streak. The efflorescence appears to wash away when it rains but resurfaces when the masonry dries again. If your bricks have stains, call us to schedule an appointment with a Certified Chimney Professional®.
Cracking Flue Tiles
Do you see bits of clay or terra cotta in your firebox? If you do, this signifies that your flue liner needs repair or relining. Water leaks inside the chimney can soften the clay tiles that protect the masonry from the intense heat and flames when using your gas, woodburning fireplace, or stove. When the flue liner has been damaged, your home is at an increased risk of fire and exposure to toxic carbon monoxide fumes until repairs are made.
Gaps in the Mortar Joints
After years or even decades of battling heavy rain, gusty winds, snow, and humid weather, the mortar decay appears to have been washed away, leaving gaps in the joints.
The mortar is a cement compound that holds the bricks in place. It is softer than kiln-fired clay bricks, so it is often the first area of the masonry to need repair.
We often use tuckpointing or repointing to repair decaying mortar joints and save your chimney from partial or complete rebuilding. However, rainwater will leak through the gaps without immediate masonry repair, and the bricks will ultimately begin to flake, crumble, and spall. The loose bricks can even fall off the chimney, leaving the structure vulnerable to a partial or complete collapse.
Does Your Savannah, GA Chimney Need Repair?
Advanced Chimney Sweep provides complete chimney repair services for masonry and manufactured chimneys in Georgetown, GA, Bluffton, SC, and communities throughout the CSRA and South Carolina Midlands region. Call (706) 833-4630 or (803) 508-3990 to schedule an appointment or contact us online today!