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Top 5 Reasons You Need Chimney Repairs

We rely on our fireplaces and chimneys to burn safely and efficiently year after year. For many homeowners, it is difficult to know when our chimneys are damaged or need repairs. The following are top 5 signs that your chimney need repairs.

1. There is water in the fireplace

masonry chimneyThe exterior masonry of chimneys is designed to withstand the exposure to wind, rain, sun, and more. The interior fireplace components, however, are much more delicate. Because of this, even small amounts of water in the fireplace can cause serious damage.

When water gets inside your fireplace, this results in a leaky chimney. When a leak occurs, it is important to have a chimney inspection and repairs by a certified chimney sweep. This ensures damage caused by water is properly repaired – and keep water from coming back.

2. There are cracks in the masonry

Small areas of chips, cracks, or missing masonry on the chimney are caused by long-term water damage that needs repairs. Oftentimes, the tuckpointing process can be used to remove old and damaged mortar by water. The chimney sweep carefully removes the old mortar before mixing and replacing new masonry. The result is a seamless repair that is indistinguishable from the original masonry.

Large cracks in the chimney can also be caused by the settling of your house or chimney. If the chimney is not built on proper pads or footing, the chimney can crack as it shifts and settles over time. A chimney inspection is often needed to determine if damage from settling is a structural issue or merely a cosmetic issue.

3. The chimney stinks

There are a number of causes for chimney odor. The type of smell your chimney has can be a clue to what the underlying cause is. Smoky odors, particularly on hot or humid days, are often the result of creosote buildup in the flue. A chimney sweeping can remove creosote, eliminating the smell and reducing the risk of an accidental chimney fire. Dank or damp odors are usually the result of a leaky chimney. The combination of water and cold, dark flues can result in mold or mildew growth when there is water present in the chimney.

4. The outside of the chimney is stained

Exterior masonry stains affects more than just your curb appeal. The color of the stain can reveal the root of the problem. Dark brown or black stains are often the result of drafting issues or an excess of creosote in the flue. Red or orange stains are usually caused by metal chimney components that are rusted, which is common on the sides of manufactured or factory-built chimneys.

5. The fireplace smokes when used

A fireplace that blows smoke back into the room when in use is the result of drafting issues. Drafting problems are caused by chimney height, the addition of new landscaping or nearby buildings, the installation of a new insert, or switching fuel sources. Having the flue relined or adding or subtracting height to the chimney are two ways to help improve fireplace drafting issues.

Our chimneys need regular maintenance to burn their best. For more information on chimney repairs or schedule your next appointment, contact Clean Sweeps of Michigan today!

Looking to Add a Brick Chimney to Your Home or Business? Let Us Help!

Is your home or business missing the fireplace of your dreams? At Clean Sweeps of Michigan, our staff of dedicated, skilled masons specializes in new chimney construction. We can help you build the beautiful stone or brick chimney system you’ve been dreaming of!

Benefits of building a new chimney

dream fireplaceFireplaces are one of the most sought-after home features. 70 percent of real estate agents say that a fireplace adds value to your home, while 40 percent of buyers say that they will pay more for a home with a fireplace. Building a new fireplace can increase your home’s value. There are other benefits too including:

  • Creating a cozy feeling in a living space or bedroom
  • Provides additional warmth in the event of winter power outages
  • Helps lower heating costs

Considerations when building a new chimney

Building an entirely new brick or stone chimney system allows you to design your dream fireplace. The following are a few things to consider when preparing to build a new chimney system.

  • Fuel source. Burning different fuels requires different venting systems. Choosing your fuel source – as well as the type of fireplace or heating appliance – will influence the design of the chimney.
  • Clearance from other combustible materials. Proper fireplace construction requires certain clearances between the chimney and other combustibles. Working with an experienced mason who is familiar with building codes and clearances ensures your new chimney will be safely constructed. If a beautiful fireplace cannot withstand the heat of a fire, it becomes an useless decoration.
  • Chimney height. In order to vent safely and efficiently, chimneys need to be built to certain height requirements. Chimneys should be at least 3 feet above the roof and 2 feet higher than any other surrounding structures within 10 feet. This 10 foot-2 foot-3 foot rule ensures your chimney are able to draw in air for the fire while smoke and gas safely vent out.
  • Building materials. While there are a number of materials available for fireplace and chimney construction, all building materials react differently to the exposure of heat, moisture, and the elements. Our masons can help you choose durable building materials that match your style and budget.
  • Style and design. Do you want your new fireplace to be rustic, sleek or contemporary? Building a chimney system allows you to customize the design of your new heating appliance. This gives you the freedom to mix your style and functionality for a dream fireplace to warm your home or business for many years.

Contact us today!

If you are dreaming about adding a new chimney to your home or office, let the expert masons at Clean Sweeps of Michigan turn your dreams into a reality! Contact us today to schedule your free consultation and learn more about the benefits of building a new chimney.

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