Santa's Friend Chimney Service

Santa's Friend Chimney Service Blog

Do a Chimney Inspection After a Heavy Storm

Buying a home with a working fireplace is the dream of many homeowners. However, what most of them do not realize is that there is quite a bit that can go wrong with a chimney. This is not to deter anyone from buying a home with a chimney, just to warn them that chimney’s do require regular maintenance and inspections, especially after a heavy storm.

Heavy Storms & Your Chimney - Jackson MS - Santa's Friend

Chimneys look simple, but they have a rather complex makeup. Any one of the working parts being damaged could create a backflow of smoke into the home or possibly lead to structural integrity problems. As most know, a chimney should be inspected every year before the winter season hits, but it should also be checked after a major storm to ensure it is still in good working condition.

When heavy storms hit, high winds usually mean the structure of the chimney can be damaged. These storms also mean debris could fly around and get into the chimney. This could cause some type of blockage, preventing the flue from performing its natural duty as an airway for the smoke to escape.

If a chimney cap was in place, it may have been ripped off during the storm. If this happens, local wildlife may have chosen to use your chimney as a safe haven while the storm passed. Another danger is excessive water getting into the chimney, causing cracks and possibly mold and mildew buildup. This will be obvious with a bad smell emanating from the fireplace area.

Most homeowners simply assume that if the chimney looks okay at first glance, it probably weathered the storm okay. Unfortunately, many of them only realize the damage caused by the storm when they try to start a fire and end up with a room full of smoke. If your home is in an area where recent storms have caused damage, take the safe route and schedule a professional chimney inspection before using the chimney again.

By Jim Robinson on February 19th, 2013 | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Leave a Comment

That Roof Leak Could Possibly Be a Chimney Leak

Many homeowners see water dripping from their attics or upper story ceilings and immediately assume that the roof is leaking. In some cases, the chimney may actually be the source of the problem. The chimney sits atop the home, where it vents hot air and smoke from the fireplace. It is often neglected until it stops doing its job, which can prevent many homeowners from realizing that there is a problem in the area.

Santa's Friend Chimney - That roof leak might be a chimney leak

Chimneys may look simple but they feature intricate construction and perform complex tasks. A masonry chimney can suffer at the hands of weather conditions, resulting in loose masonry, an obstructed flue, or a damaged liner. The brick, concrete, mortar, stone, cast iron, steel, and flue tile present in many chimneys are adversely affected when they come in contact with or are penetrated by water.

After prolonged contact with water, most materials that form a masonry chimney will deteriorate. Freezing and thawing can cause masonry materials to erode rapidly because the expanding and freezing process causes undue stress on the materials. Water can also rust cast iron, steel, and other metals used in the chimney, weakening or destroying these components.

When water penetrates the chimney, it can deteriorate the masonry or metal firebox and rot wood adjacent to the fireplace. The chimney exterior and walls and ceilings within the home may develop water stains. Mortar on the chimney exterior can decay and the chimney flue liner may deteriorate or crack. Even the support for the hearth can be affected, resulting in collapse.

Homeowners who suspect a roof leak should contact a professional to ensure that it is not really a chimney leak. Chimney crown, flashing, or mortar joint repair or replacement may solve the problem. Installing a chimney cap can prevent future water penetration and has the added benefit of deterring animals from nesting in the chimney.

By Jim Robinson on November 9th, 2012 | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Leave a Comment