Santa's Friend Chimney Service

Santa's Friend Chimney Service Blog

Why Chimney Repair Should NOT Be A DIY Project

Let’s make this easy:

  • It has to happen on a roof.
  • There is a lot to take in at the same time while you’re up there!
  • It calls for a specialist’s knowledge.

Those are probably the top three reasons that chimney repair should NOT be a DIY project, so they are worth a closer look.
Don't DIY the Chimney - Jackson MS - Santa's Friend Chimney
Up On The Roof

Any house that has a chimney is likely to have a slanted roof to let snow fall off it. A roof would not present the world’s safest surface to work on if it were sitting on the ground; it basically invites you to twist an ankle. To make matters worse, that uneven surface is probably at least ten feet off the ground. This is not exactly a safe situation, especially considering that heavy materials and tools will also have to be carried up the ladder.

All in all, it is just a bad idea to attempt an already difficult, unfamiliar job in an environment that presents dangers. Attention has to be paid to a great many things, starting with identifying what caused the chimney to need repair. Fixing it without understanding fully what caused it to decay is asking to reconsider this DIY decision further down the line.

A chimney professional will start there, finding the faulty flashing or cracked mortar that started the problem and addressing that as part of his chimney repair. It does not do much good to repair only the chimney if something other than time is to blame for its deterioration. Furthermore, if the chimney is crumbling, the flue liner needs to be checked as well, as it could be dented or warped.

In the final analysis, chimney repair simply involves too much specialized awareness to be taken on by do-it-yourselfers. That awareness starts with the danger of working on a roof and extends to knowledge of waterproofing agents. With a poorly done job resulting in greater expense down the line, DIY chimney repair just is not worth the risks.

By Jim Robinson on March 7th, 2013 | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Leave a Comment

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