The weather has finally turned warmer and we are busy grooming the outside of our homes. Most people do not think about their chimney during the summer months, but summer is a critical time to get needed maintenance issues out of the way before cool fall weather arrives.
The truth is that masonry repairs should ideally be completed in warm weather so that the mortar sets properly. Small repairs can be made using an accelerant mixed in the mortar during winter months, but larger repairs such as major pointing, brick replacement, crown rebuilding, or a partial to complete teardown and rebuilding must be done in warmer weather. Now is the time to check the chimney for signs of wear and tear or damage by storms and high winds.
We encourage you to look for missing bricks or chimney cap, and deteriorating mortar. Many chimneys are built with soft bricks due to their lower price point, however, soft style bricks absorb moisture, and in the long run, fail as part of all the chimney will need to be rebuilt. The height of the chimney also plays a role in the rate of deterioration. Being at the highest peak, the chimney is exposed to more wind-driven rain which penetrates this area more easily – we’ve certainly have had our share of that the past few weeks!
It is important to hire a qualified mason to do this work, not only for aesthetic reasons but for structural reasons too. Using the wrong type of product or mortar for even the smallest masonry repair can lead to major issues down the road. Don’t wait until most of the mortar is missing from in between the brick either! You may qualify for a less expensive repair that will prolong the life of the masonry for years to come.
Flues (the tunnels within the chimney structure) that lack the needed lining systems for venting should also be addressed. Chimneys have required flue liners since the 1920s, however, many homes had flue liners as far back as the 1870s because the masons knew that liners keep the external temperature of the chimney down and prevent leakage of toxic gasses through the chimney chase. If having masonry repair completed and the flue needs a liner, having this done at the same time makes the most sense.
Delaying chimney maintenance could impact your fireplace’s readiness for those early chilly nights and in New England, who knows when that can be?
A spring/summer cleaning and inspection ensures your chimney will be ready for when you need it most.
When you schedule an appointment with Boston Best Chimney, our Certified professionals will take special care to clean, inspect, and repair your chimney; keeping your family safe and your system in peak condition.