Our Company Blog

Chimney Crown Deterioration

If you have a masonry chimney, you most likely have a chimney crown at the very top. This essential chimney component covers the opening of the chimney to keep water from entering your home. Because the chimney crown is directly exposed to the elements, it can suffer from erosion damage and deteriorate. When your chimney crown is cracked and damaged, it cannot properly do its job.

According to the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA), water can do a lot of expensive damage to a masonry chimney and a home. You should be sure your chimney crown is in good condition. Aelite Chimney Specialties provides chimney crown repair and construction services to residents in the Chicago area. We would like to tell you a bit more about what we do to protect your chimney and home from water penetration.

How does a chimney crown work?Chimney Crown Deterioration Image - Chicago IL - Aelite Chimney Specialists

Sealing off the chimney from the flue liner to the chimney’s edge, the crown should be built with a downward slope so that water will be directed away from the flue. That makes the water run off the edge of the chimney. There should also be an overhanging drip edge that will help to prevent erosion damage to the bricks and mortar of the chimney.

Common Mistakes

What is a common mistake made when constructing chimney crowns?

Over our years of working on chimneys, Aelite Chimney Specialties has seen some poorly built chimney crowns. The most common mistake we have seen is a crown with an inadequate drip edge. When we construct chimney crowns, we always make sure each crown has the required two-inch overhang that projects beyond each side of the chimney. We also ensure that the flue liner tile also projects at least two inches above the crown.

We Can Help

What kind of mortar does Aelite Chimney Specialties use when constructing chimney crowns?

You can trust us to always use a Portland cement-based mixture when we build and repair chimney crowns. Another mistake we often see is chimney crowns made from a mortar mix that is not as durable as a Portland cement-based mixture. The Portland cement mixture can withstand years of exposure to water without chipping, cracking, or deteriorating.

If you cannot remember the last time your chimney crown has been checked out, contact us at Aelite Chimney Specialties. We can make you an appointment for a chimney inspection. We can repair any cracks your crown may have, and if your crown is beyond repairing, we can construct and install a new one to protect your chimney from water penetration.

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Is Your Chimney Leaking?

Have you noticed noticed peeling wallpaper or water stains on the walls or ceiling? If so, you most likely have a leaky chimney. Signs of a chimney leak also include: standing water in the firebox, a musty odor, and damaged or missing bricks and mortar joints on the exterior chimney. It is important to take care of this type of problem as soon as possible. If you don’t, you could end up with extensive and expensive chimney damage!

Is Your Chimney Leaking Image - Chicago IL - Aelite Chimney SpecialtiesAs the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) warns, water is the biggest enemy of masonry chimneys. When you see any signs of a chimney leak, give us a call at Aelite Chimney Specialties. Schedule an appointment with one of our CSIA-certified chimney technicians. You can count on us to give you a fair and honest estimate with evidence of any damage that is causing the leak. In addition, an explanation of how we will repair that damage to fix the leak. We would like to tell you more about a couple of the most causes of chimney leaks.

FLASHING

Not having a customized flashing system to protect the most vulnerable spot for leaks, where the chimney meets the roof, is one of the most common causes for chimney leaks. Even if you have flashing installed on your roof and chimney, it may not be doing its job if it has not been properly constructed. Over our years of working on chimneys in the Chicago area, Aelite Chimney Specialties has seen how poorly built flashing can even cause chimney leaks. We take great care when measuring your chimney. Aelite can cut metal sheeting in the right sizes to protect your home from water leaks. We also make sure that all of the corners have been caulked to keep water from entering in those areas.

CHIMNEY CROWN

Since your chimney crown sits on the top of your chimney, it is directly exposed to all of the water from rain and melted ice and snow. Your crown is made from mortar that can withstand this type of exposure. However, it can still develop cracks and other types of erosion damage over time. If your crown is cracked and damaged, water can easily get into your chimney. One of the first places Aelite Chimney Specialties will look for the source of a chimney leak is the crown. If we find cracks in your chimney crown, we can repair them. If your crown is damaged beyond repair, we can construct a new one that will protect your chimney from water penetration for years.

Have you seen any signs of a chimney leak in your home? Contact us at Aelite Chimney Specialties today to schedule an appointment for a water leak inspection of your chimney!

What Is Creosote?

Has it been a while since your chimney has been professionally swept? If so, you could likely have a dangerous fire hazard in your home! One of the main reasons why national fire safety organizations like the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommend scheduling a professional chimney sweeping at least once a year? To have deposits of creosote removed from the inner walls of the flue.

What Is Creosote Image - Chicago IL - Aelite Chimney SpecialtiesSince the hazards are involved with creosote, you want to hire an experienced chimney sweep to do this important maintenance service. You can trust our sweeps at Aelite Chimney Specialties. We have years of experience with making sure that every bit of creosote has been removed from every chimney we sweep. In addition, we have also received certification from the CSIA as professional chimney sweeps. We would like to tell you more about creosote and why it is so dangerous.

What exactly is creosote?

Creosote is a natural compound that develops during the combustion process of burning wood. When smoke, gases, and the other byproducts of combustion exit the chimney, condensation occurs. This is because the upper chimney walls are so much cooler. Therefore, this causes the byproducts to leave behind deposits of creosote, a residue that sticks to the inner walls. Over the months of winter, these deposits can build up to the point of becoming a dangerous fire hazard.

Why is creosote such a fire hazard?

This substance is extremely flammable and can easily ignite into flames, if the internal temperature of your chimney gets hot enough. In fact, the CSIA has named creosote as a leading cause of chimney fires.

What can I do to reduce the development of creosote?

One of the best steps to take that will decrease the amount of creosote accumulating inside your chimney? Only burn seasoned firewood! This is wood that has been allowed to dry for at least six months after it has been cut. Burning freshly-cut wood will produce a large amount of this hazardous compound. This is due to the energy that’s used to burn away all of the moisture within the wood, which causes more condensation.

Restricted air supply is another cause of a larger than normal production of creosote. To avoid this situation, you should keep your glass fireplace doors open. Also, make sure your damper is completely opened every time you light a fire in your fireplace. This should provide enough make-up air to enter through your fireplace to speed up the exhaust process. The longer smoke remains inside the chimney, the likelihood of accelerated creosote production increases.

To avoid this dangerous fire hazard, you should have your chimney professionally swept every year. Contact us at Aelite Chimney Specialties today to schedule an appointment for your annual chimney maintenance services!

When Should I Schedule Chimney Repairs?

Spring has finally arrived to bring us warmer weather. Since you will not be using your fireplace again for several months, now is the best time to take care of your chimney. Take a good look at your chimney’s exterior to see if it has suffered from any cold weather damage. You may notice cracked, loose, or missing bricks and mortar joints. This type of chimney damage should be repaired as soon as possible. This is to avoid problems with water leaks. To protect your chimney from water penetration, contact us today at Aelite Chimney Specialties. Schedule an appointment for our chimney repair services. We would like to tell you more about why the spring season is such a good time for chimney repairs. Also, about the professional services we provide to keep your chimney in good shape.

When Should I Schedule Chimney Repairs Image - Chcago IL - Aelite Chimney SpecialtiesWhy is the spring season a good time to take care of my chimney?

Preventing water leaks is one of the most important responsibilities you have as a homeowner. Winter weather can be very rough on masonry chimneys. The damage it causes can quickly worsen if it is neglected. According to the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA), water can cause extensive and expensive chimney damage. In order to keep water out of your chimney and home, you should have any cold weather chimney damage repaired in the spring.

The cracks and gaps from damaged bricks and mortar joints allow water from rain to easily enter your chimney. This can lead to even more deterioration of your chimney structure. Thats why it is so important to have these repairs taken care of quickly. Another reason why spring is such a good time to schedule chimney repairs? You will have an easier time with getting an appointment on the date that is the most convenient for you. Since it is the off-season for chimney companies like Aelite Chimney Specialties, you will not have to wait for weeks on a service visit.

What types of repair services does Aelite Chimney Specialties provide?

We specialize in leaky chimneys and offer both maintenance and repair services that will prevent water penetration of your chimney. Has your chimney has suffered from winter damage? If so, our experienced chimney masons can repair deteriorated bricks and mortar joints with techniques like tuckpointing. This restores the soundness of your chimney’s structure. After we have repaired the masonry damage, we can make recommendations for other services that can keep water out of your chimney. These services include chimney cap installation, flashing construction and repairs, and waterproofing. We also provide chimney relining services that can protect your home from dangerous hazards such as accidental fires and carbon monoxide leaks. We can take care of every type of chimney liner with our HeatShield, Supaflu, and stainless steel relining services.

Take care of your chimney this spring by contacting us at Aelite Chimney Specialties. You will have no problems scheduling an appointment for our professional chimney maintenance and repair services!

What Is Chimney Relining?

According to the experts in the chimney industry at the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA), one of the most important components of your fireplace and chimney system is the chimney liner. In fact, modern building codes require that every chimney be lined. Most chimney liners are durable enough to have a lifetime guarantee. However, this chimney part can become damaged over years of usage. In order to be up to codes, damaged liners need to be repaired or replaced. If you live in the Chicago area, Aelite Chimney Specialties provides professional chimney relining services to the residents of this community. We can also install a liner if you live in an older home that was built before building codes mandated that chimneys be lined. We would like to answer a few frequently asked questions about chimney liners. This is to help you understand their importance.

What Is Chimney Relining Image - Chicago IL - Aelite Chimney SpecialtiesWhy are chimney liners so important?

This chimney component serves three functions that are essential for a chimney to work safely and efficiently. Your chimney needs to be lined to protect the combustible parts of your home. This is due to the extremely high temperatures that are produced whenever you use your fireplace. If your chimney is unlined or if the liner is cracked, the heat can transfer to the wooden parts that surround the chimney. Consequently, it could possibly ignite! You also need a liner to protect the bricks and mortar of the chimney from the corrosive gases of combustion. Finally, a chimney liner provides a correctly matched flue to the size of your hearth appliance. This allows the appliance to function at its highest efficiency without any drafting or other issues.

What types of chimney liners are there?

If you have a masonry chimney, you most likely have a clay tile liner. These liners work very well and are extremely durable. The downside of clay tile liners? They are expensive and time-consuming to repair. Another type is the stainless steel chimney liner. This type of liner can work with both masonry and prefab chimneys. In addition, with all fuel types of hearth appliances. Strong and long-lasting, most stainless steel liners come with lifetime guarantees. The third type of chimney liner is the cast-in-place. It can help to restore the structure of aging chimneys and are suitable for every fuel type.

What kind of chimney relining services does Aelite Chimney Specialties provide?

We are proud to sell and install Ventinox stainless steel chimney lining systems! These are used with wood-burning, gas, and pellet fireplaces. Also, with inserts and stoves in both masonry and prefab chimneys. These liners have also been tested and approved to use with oil-fired heating appliances. Durable enough to withstand both high temperatures and corrosive gases, a Ventinox chimney liner can last for a lifetime!

Is it time to reline your chimney? Contact us at Aelite Chimney Specialties to schedule an appointment for our professional chimney relining services. We ensure that your chimney will work as safely and as efficiently as possible!