In Northern Illinois no one wants to be caught in the fall without a chimney or fireplace that’s anything other than ready to fire up. That’s why we suggest tackling chimney maintenance and any needed chimney repairs during the spring or summer months. If you take care of it now, you won’t have to wait to get an appointment with a chimney technician in the fall.
Outside of chimney sweepings and inspections, the team members at Aelite Chimney Specialties are tasked most often with chimney repairs. Father Time and Mother Nature are to blame for many of the things that go wrong with chimneys, though poor installations and faulty connections can certainly cause problems, too. We recommend that you use a CSIA certified chimney technician to handle chimney installation and maintenance work. Besides safety concerns, a chimney that is connected and serviced properly will perform more efficiently.
Most of the chimney repairs we undertake are in the interest of keeping water out of the chimney and preventing chimney fires. Here are five of the issues we find most often:
1. Loose or Rusted Flashing
The No. 1 cause of leaky chimneys is loose flashing. Flashing is the band of sheet metal that is woven together around the chimney where the chimney meets the roof. Read about why flashing leaks here.
2. Cracked Tile Chimney Liners
Your chimney liner runs the length of your chimney flue, protecting your chimney from heat transfer and creating a smooth tunnel through which smoke and toxic gases can safely vent. Liners can be made out of stainless steel and ceramic tile. Most older liners are made of tile, which tends to crack over time. Luckily, tile liners can usually be repaired with a product called HeatShield, which we use often with great success. Read about our relining services here.
3. Cracked Chimney Crowns
A chimney crown is designed to slope downward to direct water away from the chimney flue and on to the roof. (The flue liner is allowed to project above the crown, and should be protected by a chimney cap or damper.) Over time, crowns can crack or decay. An Aelite Chimney Specialties technician will be able to repair or replace your crown.
4. Damaged Chimney Caps or Chimney Dampers
These two chimney parts serve similar purposes—keeping water, debris, and small animals out of your chimney, though the damper takes its usefulness one step further and also helps you save energy dollars, as you can completely close it when your chimney is not in use. If your chimney cap or damper is broken, leaking, or inefficient, a professional can determine whether it needs to be replaced or just repaired.
5. Masonry Repairs
If your chimney masonry has never been waterproofed, we are willing to bet that it has seen better days. Read about what goes wrong with masonry and how we can fix it and shore it up against future damage.
Spring time is the right time to address your chimney’s problems. Call Aelite Chimney Specialties today to schedule an assessment with one of our CSIA certified technicians.