Now that spring is here, many people think about starting to fix all those things that need to be repaired. Winter can be very hard on your home and your automobile, and those things that started out as little repair jobs at the beginning of winter may now have turned into big repair jobs. Those things could be put off until the weather turned warm, and now that time is just about here. You probably think that the last thing you need to worry about repairing is your chimney. The truth is, however, that winter can be especially hard on chimneys, especially when you live in an area that gets very cold and receives heavy precipitation like Chicago, Illinois.
Although a gentle rain in the spring can bring welcome signs of rebirth to the land, when it comes to precipitation in the winter, it’s a different story. The brick and mortar of a chimney are porous materials, and when it rains, sleets, or snows that moisture can seep into those pores and rest there. When the cold weather hits, that accumulated moisture will freeze, and when water freezes, it expands. This causes those pores to expand as well, leaving more area for moisture to accumulate. Over time, this can cause cracks and crevices in the structure of your chimney. Besides making your home look shabby, this can have harmful effects on your family as well. One of the important roles of your chimney is to let the smoke out. When wood burns, it releases moisture, but it also releases chemicals such as benzene, acrolein, formaldehyde, and carbon monoxide. If this is allowed to sneak back into your home, you could be looking at some serious health issues. But there are other issues that could happen because of chimney leaks. You could end up with rusty dampers which could also cause problems with adequate ventilation and an efficiently burning fire. Another thing that could happen is that the walls and ceiling in the area near your fireplace could become weak and stained. It’s a big deal if your chimney is leaking, and that’s why who you call to do your chimney work is a big deal as well. If you live in Chicago or any of the surrounding communities, it’s important that you give Jiminy Chimney Masonry and Repair a call if you need an inspection or cleaning or if you think that you have damage to your fireplace or chimney structure.
One of the repairs you might be looking at if you’re experiencing leaks in your chimney is to your firebox. This area takes a lot of wear and tear, and if you add to this a chimney leak, you could be looking at a firebox that’s rusty and wearing through. This is definitely not a safe situation, but it’s also one that we can take care of. Our experienced professionals know exactly how to repair your firebox, and if it’s beyond repair, we can take care of replacing your firebox as well. If you know that your chimney is leaking, you may be looking at repairs to your chimney crown or your chimney cap. Both of these play a valuable role in keeping leaks out of your chimney. The chimney crown is built to overlap your chimney by at least two inches and that overhang slopes downward towards your roof so that the rain is directed away from the chimney opening. The chimney cap is situated on top of the crown and actually acts as a roof to your chimney opening. The top of this is also slanted so that the precipitation is directed away from the chimney opening as well. If there’s a problem with either of these, such as a rusted chimney cap or a cracked chimney crown, you could be getting leaks down your chimney. This can cause the mortar to weaken, which can cause an unstable chimney structure.
If your chimney is leaking, it could also be a problem with your chimney flashing. The chimney flashing is located at the base of the chimney. It is made up of strips of metal that have been layered in a manner that directs precipitation away from the junction where the chimney meets the roof. If this is loose, rusted, or torn, then it’s not doing the job it’s meant to do. That’s why we’ll take special notice of your flashing and make sure that it’s in the best shape.
If chimney leaks are a worry, then it’s time to let us do some waterproofing. It’s important to pick the right product when you’re waterproofing, and that’s why we use ChimneySaver. This product keeps precipitation from penetrating the surface of the brick and mortar but is also uniquely designed to let any moisture that’s trapped in the pores of your chimney to be released. This means that your chimney will be leak-free and there’ll be no trapped moisture to cause damage to your chimney structure.
Spring is the perfect time to think about getting your chimney inspected and cleaned and for getting any repairs finished. Give us a call soon to get an appointment on the calendar and we’ll take care of all your chimney needs.