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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.

Easy Spring Checklist for Your Chimney

Your spring home maintenance checklist would not be complete without the chimney being part of it.

Your spring home maintenance checklist would not be complete without the chimney being part of it.

Did you know that a chimney sweep’s off-peak season is the best season to schedule non-emergency chimney repair and preventative maintenance? That’s because from October through January, many chimney sweeps—especially in colder climates like ours here in Michigan—are booked up to one month in advance. That is certainly the case for those of us at Clean Sweeps of Michigan, especially since we are known as the authority on chimneys in our region.

In business since 1980, we help our customers identify potential problems with their chimney by asking the following questions—though they’re great questions to ask of yourself as well when determining whether or not to call a professional.

Have you had your chimney professionally cleaned in the past year?

If you use your chimney regularly, an annual sweeping is the recommendation of most every fire safety and chimney safety organization in the country.

Do you have a top-sealing damper installed on your chimney?

Top-sealing dampers have replaced old-fashioned throat dampers as the best way to shut out the elements and keep expensive conditioned air inside your home. The top-sealing variety provides a far tighter seal and can save you hundreds of dollars a year on your energy expenses.

Do you have a chimney cap or chase cover?

Chimney covers (for masonry chimneys) and chase covers (for prefabricated chimneys) serve a variety of important purposes—including keeping out damaging rainwater. They also prevent your flue from accumulating debris, which can become a fire hazard, and keep out animals, which can become an annoyance.

Is your chimney masonry stained or crumbling?

If so, this is a good indication that your chimney is leaking and that water is getting inside your flue. This not only greatly shortens the life of your chimney but can cause significant water damage to your chimney and the walls, ceilings, and floors that surround it. If your masonry is in disrepair, one of our chimney masons can tuckpoint it and then waterproof it to keep water from entering your chimney in the future.

Is your chimney stinky or allowing smoke to leak inside your home?

Your chimney should never draft into your living space, nor should your chimney be stinky. These are usually signs that your chimney needs sweeping or that there’s a drafting problem. Drafting problems arise for a variety of reasons. A certified chimney technician will be able to identify what causing your chimney to smell or smoke.

Live in Michigan and have questions about your chimney or heating appliance?

Clean Sweeps of Michigan has decades of experience fixing “sick” chimneys so that families can once again enjoy their fireplaces with confidence. Contact us today at (517) 529-4453.


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