Review Our Business
Schedule an appointment TODAY!

Clean Sweeps of Michigan's Blog

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!

Is Your Masonry In Need Of An Update?

As your fireplace and chimney age, there are a number of things that can cause damage to its masonry. Thankfully, you don’t have to live with unsightly damaged or deteriorating masonry; masonry repairs, repointing, restorations, or rebuilds can update your masonry and get it back to looking new!

Is your masonry in need of an update - Ann Arbor MI - Clean Sweeps of Michigan

Causes of masonry damage

Whether your chimney is old or new, there are a number of things that can cause masonry damage. Below are a few of the most common causes of masonry damage.

  • Weather: Strong winds, hail, rain, snow, and ice can all cause damage to masonry or structural damage to a chimney.
  • Settling: All homes settle over time; however, settling can cause your chimney to shift or crack. Damage caused by settling is often seen as large cracks in the chimney or firebox or a shifting or leaning chimney.
  • Water: Water can be an extremely damaging force to your masonry. Moisture from weather – as well as sprinklers and hoses – can cause masonry to prematurely crack and spall.
  • Improper construction: Fireplaces and chimneys that are improperly constructed, such as those built by a contractor instead of a mason, are more prone to deterioration and structural damage.
  • Chimney fire: Even small chimney fires can cause extensive damage throughout your chimney system – if not the rest of your home. Because of this, chimney fires often result in chimneys needing to be torn down and rebuilt.

Common masonry repairs

Depending on the level of damage to your chimney or the look you want to achieve, Clean Sweeps of Michigan can help update and repair your chimney. The following are some of our most common masonry repairs.

  • Repointing: The masonry joints of your chimney are likely to deteriorate faster than the surrounding brick. However, with repointing it is possible to repair the mortar without damaging the masonry. Our masons custom mix mortar for every home to ensure its color and texture match your existing masonry, creating a flawless finish.
  • Restoration: If age or the elements have left your chimney looking worse for wear, our masons can restore it to prime condition. By patching damaged areas with bricks and mortar that match the existing masonry, we can create a seamless repair that restores your chimney to its former glory.

What if my chimney can’t be repaired?

If your chimney has been extensively damaged from a natural disaster, chimney fire, or other structural damage, it may not be able to be repaired. In cases like this, a chimney rebuild is often recommended. While chimney rebuilds are major construction projects, they can eliminate the safety concerns that come with a structurally-unsafe chimney. Likewise, a new chimney can add value to your home and provide a high return on investment.

You don’t have to live with unsightly masonry; if your masonry is in need of an update, Clean Sweeps of Michigan can help! Contact our staff today  to learn more about how we can update and repair your masonry or to schedule an appointment.

Recent Posts

Find Posts About