So, we’re guessing your fireplace and chimney are one of the last things on your mind as we approach summertime. Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean you don’t have damage lurking within your system that could cause you problems in the fall. In fact, some of that damage could get worse over the summer, causing major deterioration and making your chimney unsafe to use!
In order to ensure your fireplace and chimney system are in good health and ready for fires on that first chilly evening, we encourage you to invest in your inspection and any necessary repairs sooner rather than later. In fact, summer is an ideal time to get this done! And Owens Chimney Systems can help with it all.
Why Summer is a Great Time for Chimney Maintenance
Why do we suggest summertime for chimney maintenance and repairs? Well, first of all, it will ensure your fireplace is ready to use when you want to use it in fall. Do you love lighting fires once temps drop and leaves begin to fall? Well, some schedule their inspection right away in the fall only to discover extensive repair work is needed. This means no fires until the work is done, and it could put a damper on this cooler time of year.
You will also likely have a much easier time scheduling your appointment in the summer – and on a date that is more convenient for you. Fall and winter are our busiest time of year since most put chimney care on the back burner until their system is actually needed. If you wait to make your appointment, you may find yourself having a difficult time finding a time and date that works with your schedule. (And for those with kiddos at home, you know how busy fall can get!)
Also, keep in mind that your chimney has just gone through a lot of use throughout the winter months. On the outside, these systems experience the wear and tear that comes with exposure to wind, ice, rain, sleet, and snow, and on the inside, they’ve gone through months of exposure to the extreme temperatures and acidic gases of the fireplace.
Think of it this way. What do professional athletes do at the end of a particularly rough season? They get a medical check-up, develop a plan of recovery for the off-season, and take all necessary steps to ensure they’re in the best shape possible when the competition starts up again. Think of your chimney this same way. It needs a good overview and, if care is needed, a plan for repairs, renovations, and any installation needs so that you can achieve the highest level of efficiency come fall.
Common Types of Masonry Damage
So, what’s most common in terms of masonry damage? One thing we tend to see more of is crumbling brickwork and mortar. This is usually caused by something called the freeze/thaw process.
What is the freeze/thaw cycle? Well, to many people’s surprise, the brick and mortar that make up your chimney are porous materials meaning that when it precipitates, the drops of rain, snow, or sleet can easily soak into them. When temperatures drop, that moisture freezes and expands, causing the pores in your brickwork to expand, too.
This means that next time it rains or snows, even more moisture will penetrate and the whole process repeats itself. As you can imagine, this greatly compromises the structural integrity of your chimney.
When it comes to damaged brickwork, tuckpointing, or repointing, is one of the most common masonry restorations completed, and it targets the damaged mortar between the bricks of a fireplace. While bricks can last generations, the mortar between the bricks wears down much faster.
During tuckpointing, masonry experts remove the crumbling, failing mortar and apply new mortar. Tuckpointing is a cost-effective way to restore your chimney’s function, and it prevents water from leaking into the chimney and interior fireplace.
We can also restore or rebuild any brickwork as necessary.
We’ll also check for signs of water leaks. If your damper is rusted or ill-fitting, your woodwork is moldy or rotting, your flashing is rusted, or your liner is cracked or deteriorating, then moisture is likely the cause. Along with this, if you have water leaks and that moisture mixes with the creosote in your chimney, it can cause a terrible odor that, over time, can permeate your carpet, furnishings, and drapery.
We can repair water-related damages, as well as install any replacement parts as needed.
We also offer waterproofing options for your chimney that will prevent leaking and the freeze/thaw process, saving you money on repairs over time. The water repellent used by Owens comes with a 10-year guarantee, keeping damaging water out while also allowing the smoke and gases created by the fireplace to escape.
Call on Owens Chimney Systems Today
If you’re worried about the state of your chimney, it’s time to give Owens Chimney Systems a call today. Whether you just need a simple inspection and cleaning or there are major repairs that need to be performed, we can handle it all!
Why choose us? We’re certified with Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA), members of the National Chimney Sweep Guild (NCSG), and we are dedicated to ensuring our customers throughout Charlotte, Monroe, Concord, Huntersville, Davidson, and more, stay happy, satisfied, and safe.
Ready to get started? Call 704-554-9595 to book your appointment with our team today!