Posts Tagged ‘chimney repair’

Don’t Neglect Your Chimney!

October 7th, 2012

As you snuggle in front of a cozy fireplace or bask in the warmth of your wood stove

 you are taking part in a ritual of comfort and enjoyment handed down through the centuries. The last thing you are likely to be thinking about is the condition of your chimney. However, if you don’t give some thought to it before you light those winter fires, your enjoyment may be very short-lived. Why? Dirty chimneys can cause chimney fires, which damage structures, destroy homes and injure or kill people.

Chimney fires can burn explosively

noisy and dramatic enough to be detected by neighbors or passersby. Flames or dense smoke may shoot from the top of the chimney. Homeowners report being startled by a low rumbling sound that reminds them of a freight train or a low flying air plane. However, those are only the chimney fires you know about. Slow-burning chimney fires don’t get enough air or have enough fuel to be as dramatic or visible. But, the temperatures they reach are very high and can cause as much damage to the chimney structure – and nearby combustible parts of the house – as their more spectacular cousins. With proper chimney system care, chimney fires are entirely preventable

Call your local Chimney Sweep Today!

Suit up! Let’s Go Sweeping…

June 14th, 2012

 Our first stop is a masonry repair job.

Loose or crumbling mortar and cracked or splitting mortar joints are caused by weathering or settling in the foundation. Like many home repair tasks, damaged brickwork should be fixed sooner rather than later to prevent further damage. I took out a dozen bricks with an air chisel. That’s the  right tool for this type of job, it’s light and works fast.

Until about 1930, the mortar used in masonry construction was composed almost entirely of lime putty and sand. It was relatively soft and worked very well with the softer, more porous bricks of the time. Unfortunately, over time the exposed area of lime putty mortar can be eroded and pointing, refilling the mortar joint with new mortar, may be required.

After removing the damaged bricks its time to lay in some new ones.

 Once all of the pieces of the damaged brick are removed we carefully remove the cement which had bound the old brick to the adjacent ones. In most cases the old cement can be easily removed with slight pressure from the air chisel. We place bricks equal in number to those being replaced into the water filled bucket.(This will allow the brick to better absorb the cement). I insert a brick into the opening allowing and excess cement to be squeezed out and fall away (excess cement ensures adequate surface coverage in the joints). If there are gaps or cement voids in the joints use trowel to insert and push additional cement into the gap.

Last task is to pour a new crown

The top surface of the chimney crown should slope away from the flue wall towards the crown exterior edge at a 3:12 pitch (3” rise for every 12” of the crown surface width). It would be ideal to have a crown shaped this way when it is created, because mortar added on top of the flat crown will always separate, crack and fall apart.

I use a special mix to do this job so that it will last and last. That’s It!

Ok let’s go on to the next stop.

 

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