For those fortunate to own a home with a fireplace, you are aware of the necessary chimney maintenance necessary to keep your household safe from various chimney related problems. These problems can range from something as small as appearance (such as the mortar along the outer edge of the chimney cracking) to the sweep not working right, causing ash and carbon build up in the flume, even including the rare, yet very dangerous, carbon monoxide leakage.
It is important to know when it is time to replace the chimney or just repair it. This question can be easily answered by knowing the age of the home or looking at the chimney. The age is a good sign if it has never been repaired or replaced, but the materials used in the original construction of the chimney also determine the amount of time the chimney will go before needing a repair or replacement. For more details about chimneys and the tools that you can buy for their maintenance you can check out this website.
Knowing when to repair your chimney is fairly easy to determine. On the outside, around the roof, taking a look at the condition of the mortar will help you to know when it is time to look at the rest of it too. Cracked mortar and lead to water leaking into to ceiling and causing expensive water damage, so the moment you see a crack in the mortar, replace it. Using a hammer, chisel, gloves and safety glasses you can chip it away and lay down quick set mortar. When applying the new mortar be sure to angle it so the rain will run off the chimney correctly.
Glance inside the flume twice a year, especially before and after winter, this will allow you time to view possible damage or build up and fix it before it is used again. If there is any build up in the chimney a simple broom can do the job, but since chimneys are usually quite tall, a broom will not get all of it.
Replacing your chimney is a different process; it is strongly advised to contact a chimney replacement company to do this service for two reasons: firstly, they have been doing it for some time, so it will get done right the first time and quickly. Secondly, Homeowners insurance may be voided or changed if repairs or replacements are done by a non-approved company. Check with your provider for info on that.
Quotes, bids and scamsThese scams are abound in every industry that exists so it is critical to take the proper steps to avoid becoming a victim of a scam. Even in the chimney industry, scams can exist, taking not of these factors will reduce or eliminate the chance of being scammed: Go with a listed company and ask for references, a legitimate company will have no problem handing this information to you. Get several bids, this will help you get the best deal without getting scammed. Low prices are most likely a bad sign, $39.99 for a chimney repair is probably a scam; consider it typically costs $75 for an inspection and upwards of $150 to clean it. Check with the Better Business Bureau to be sure there are no disputes regarding the company you choose. If carbon monoxide is claimed to be leaking, ask for proof, there is equipment that can be used to determine this but this particular chimney problem is rare and very expensive to fix.