After a long, cold winter, you are ready for spring. This past February, Middle Tennessee was hit hard by ice and snow, and Ashbusters has been very busy repairing a lot of damage caused by these storms. From water leaks to damaged dampers, liners, and chimney caps to masonry problems, winter can be very destructive to a chimney. Spring is a great time to take care of these repairs as well as to schedule your annual chimney sweeping and inspection because you will not have to wait as long to get a convenient appointment time. We would like to tell you about some common post-winter chimney repairs and how our certified and experienced chimney technicians can take care of this work.
Causing possibly hundreds to thousands of dollars in chimney damage repair, water leaks are a chimney’s worst enemy. These leaks can be hard to locate, so call Ashbusters to schedule a professional chimney inspection to determine exactly what is causing them. Certain signs of leaks do exist, and they include:
- plants growing in cracks in the mortar
- cracking and crumbling in the bricks and/or mortar
- rusty stains
- brick discoloration
- water in the fireplace
- damp odors
Damper and Chimney Cap Damage
According to the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA), the efficiency of these two parts of your chimney is crucial to saving energy and money, along with keeping water leaks out during the spring and summer months. If your damper is stuck open, it is the same thing as leaving a window in your house open. Cold air escapes, bugs get in, the rain pours into your house, etc. If the damper is stuck closed, you cannot start a fire because your flue is closed-off and unable to filter smoke and gases. Similarly, your chimney cap fitting correctly on the top of your chimney is very important because not only does it also keep rain out of your chimney, but it prevents stray animals from setting up home there.
Masonry Fireplace Damage
These classic chimneys are a bit more elaborate and require different types of maintenance, but Ashbusters specializes in masonry chimneys and is ready to help you check these jobs off your repair list:
- crown repair – Your crown is the chimney cap of your masonry chimney and can become cracked during the winter during extremely cold spells.
- repointing/tuckpointing – When the bricks and mortar of your chimney are crumbling and falling apart due to deteriorating joints from spalling and water damage, we can repair (or rebuild, if necessary) your chimney using these techniques.
- firebox repair – Playing an essential role in the safety of your fireplace and chimney, your firebox should never be cracked or rusted. It needs to be in good working condition so that it can contain all of the heat safely.
- smoke chamber restoration – Connecting the throat of your chimney to the flue, a properly working smoke chamber ushers out smoke from your home. If there are any problems with the construction of your smoke chamber, you can have issues with toxic smoke fumes entering your home.
Annual Chimney Sweep and Inspection
The spring is an excellent time to make your appointment for your annual professional chimney cleaning and inspection, and hopefully, this could be the only maintenance work needed for your chimney. At Ashbusters, our chimney sweeps include a Level 1 inspection with a video scan that allows us to spot things that are not visible to the naked eye, which gives us the best view possible of the inside of your chimney. During our chimney sweep, we will be able to clean out all of the creosote deposits that may have built up on the walls of your chimney, which will reduce your risk of a chimney fire.
If you have noticed any problems from the past winter, contact Ashbusters as soon as possible. We are happy to resolve any chimney issues you may have.