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Different Types of Chimney Repairs

Your chimney and venting system is made up of several components that work together to allow the system to function efficiently and safely. A regular chimney maintenance schedule can help it to last for years. However, even the best-maintained chimneys can have problems from time to time. Since the exterior of your chimney is constantly exposed to the elements, the bricks and mortar joints can absorb a lot of water. This can lead to masonry damage as well as to the deterioration of other components, including the chimney cap and the chimney liner. Repairing these issues in a timely manner is key to avoiding further extensive and expensive damage.

Different Types of Chimney Repairs img - Chicago IL - Aelite ChimneyNo matter which type of chimney repair you may need, Aelite Chimney Specialties is here to help. We have been providing professional chimney repair services for over 15 years to the residents of the Chicago area. We would like to tell you more about the different types of chimney repairs we can handle.

Chimney Relining

According to the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA), a chimney liner is very important because it protects the combustible parts of your home from heat transfer, keeps the masonry materials safe from the corrosive combustion gases, and provides a properly sized flue for good chimney drafting. Over time, chimney liners can become cracked and chipped, and this damage leaves behind gaps and voids that may lead to hazards like carbon monoxide leaks and chimney fires. Aelite Chimney Specialties is proud to provide chimney relining services with Ventinox lining systems. These durable stainless steel liners can work with all fuel types and come with a lifetime guarantee.

Repairing Chimney Leaks

The CSIA has named water as the biggest enemy of masonry chimneys. This is because of the amount of damage it can do. A small chimney leak can turn into a much bigger problem if it is neglected. The chimney technicians at Aelite Chimney Specialties are experts on leaky chimneys. We have years of experience that allow us to find the source of the leak. In addition, we will make the necessary repairs to stop it.

We can then replace any bricks and mortar joints that have been damaged by the water leak with our chimney masonry repair services. One of our services being tuckpointing. We will then make sure your chimney is protected from future leaks by checking the condition of your chimney cap and flashing. For the ultimate protection against water penetration, we provide professional chimney waterproofing services. You can trust us to solve and repair your leaky chimney.

Aelite Chimney Specialties can handle any chimney problem you may be experiencing.

Contact us today to schedule an appointment for our professional chimney repair services.

By Nick Wagner | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Comments Off on Different Types of Chimney Repairs

All About Tuckpointing

You may have heard that masonry chimneys are built to last a lifetime; however, over the years, the constant exposure to the elements of weather can cause damage and deterioration. Having damaged chimney masonry repaired promptly is crucial to keep your chimney’s structure safe and sound. Once a brick or mortar joint is cracked, the deterioration can worsen quickly. This is especially true over a long and cold winter season.

All About Tuckpointing img - Chicago IL - Aelite ChimneyIf you have noticed cracked, loose, or missing bricks and mortar joints on the exterior of your chimney, Aelite Chimney Specialties can help to restore the soundness of your chimney with our professional masonry chimney repair services, including techniques like tuckpointing.

What exactly is tuckpointing?

This masonry technique is used to remove damaged mortar joints and to tuck in new mortar with specialized pointed tools. It is also known as pointing and repointing. According to The Balance, this labor-intensive project should always be done by certified and experienced professional masonry technicians.

Why is tuckpointing so labor-intensive?

Before Aelite Chimney Specialties can begin the actual tuckpointing work, we must first properly assess the situation of your chimney. We need to see exactly how many of the mortar joints need to be replaced. The next step is this process is analyzing the existing mortar joints to be able to custom mix new mortar that is as close as possible to the color and consistency of the existing mortar. We take pride in our ability to make chimney masonry repairs that are indistinguishable from the existing structure. We always use a durable Portland cement-based mortar mix that will keep your chimney safe and sound for years to come.

How can I best prevent future chimney masonry damage?

After our Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA)-certified chimney technicians make all of the necessary tuckpointing repairs. We can help you protect your chimney with several preventive services. The most important thing to remember is how damaging water is to the bricks and mortar joints of your chimney. We offer chimney cap sales and professional installation services, and we also provide customized flashing construction and repair services. Both of these chimney components work to keep water from rain, ice, and snow from getting into your chimney’s opening on the roof of your home. We also recommend having your chimney professionally waterproofed to create a barrier against water penetration of your entire chimney. We only use waterproofing formulas that are 100 percent vapor permeable. This helps prevent erosion damage for up to a decade.

Keep the structure of your chimney safe and sound. Contact  us at Aelite Chimney Specialties to schedule an appointment for our tuckpointing services, along with our other professional chimney repair and maintenance work.

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Winter’s Impact on Your Chimney

As residents of the Chicago area, we are accustomed to dealing with lots of snow and ice every winter. Knowing how to prepare your chimney from the damaging effects of this cold weather is essential, but if you neglected to take care of some preventive chimney maintenance tasks before winter arrived, Aelite Chimney Specialties is here to help you make the necessary repairs to be sure your fireplace and chimney will work efficiently and safely. You can trust our Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA)-certified technicians to inspect any winter-related damage done to your chimney and to recommend the best and most affordable ways to take care of any problems. We would like to tell you more about the impact that winter can have on your chimney and how we can fix any damage done to your chimney.

How does cold winter weather affect my chimney?Winter's Impact on Your Chimney - Chicago IL - Aelite Chimney Specialties LLC

The most common winter-related chimney damage has to do with the deterioration of the bricks and mortar of your chimney’s structure. These masonry materials are very porous, and if you do not sufficiently protect your chimney with waterproofing and other water penetration preventive services, the bricks and mortar can absorb quite a bit of water. According to the CSIA, water penetration is the biggest enemy of masonry chimneys. The majority of water penetration damage occurs during the winter due to freezing temperatures. When the weather is very cold, the absorbed water in the bricks and mortar freezes and expands. As the temperature rises above freezing, this water thaws, which leads to the cracking and breaking of these masonry materials. After repeated cycles of freezing and thawing, this damage and deterioration gets worse, and if left unrepaired, your chimney will be unsafe to use and could even possibly collapse.

How can Aelite Chimney Specialties repair this winter damage?

To restore the condition of your chimney, our expert masons are trained and experienced in tuckpointing skills. We can replace cracked, broken, and missing bricks and mortar joints by tucking new mortar into the gaps and cracks. Our masons take great care to be sure these repairs do not look obvious by matching the look of the original brick. Our tuckpointing work will increase the durability of the structure of your chimney. After we have completed the repairs, we can then apply a waterproofing formula that will protect your bricks and mortar from further water penetration damage.

Have you noticed cracked, loose, or missing bricks from your chimney this winter? Contact us at Aelite Chimney Specialties to schedule an appointment for a chimney inspection today. You can also call us at 815-363-1242!

By Nick Wagner | Tagged with: Tags: , , , , , | Comments Off on Winter’s Impact on Your Chimney

Three Ways Water Ruins Your Chimney

Water can cause serious problems to your chimney's masonry

Water can cause serious problems to your chimney’s masonry

As your chimney care company, Aelite Chimney Specialties spends a lot of time thinking about prevention. We sweep your chimney to prevent excess creosote buildup, to help prevent fire hazards. We inspect your chimney to stay ahead of damage, so we can help prevent fire hazards, chimney leaks and carbon monoxide intrusion. Ultimately, we just want you to enjoy your hearth appliance in the safest, most efficient and effective way possible.

We’re always here to talk with you about the many potential problems that can arise in your chimney. And since water is your chimney’s most consistent enemy, a lot of what we do and talk about is centered around arming your chimney to fight water off. Here, three ways that water can cause serious damage to your chimney, and what Aelite Chimney Specialties can do to repair, remediate or protect against it:

Water Erodes Your Masonry

If you have an older chimney, this is more of a concern for you. Think about river stones: They start ragged and craggy, but over years of water rolling over their surfaces, they’ll get worn smooth as glass. So year upon year, rainstorm after melting snow, your chimney masonry can fall prey to the same effect: moisture wearing the surface down. That can mean receded or damaged mortar joints, or worn bricks that begin to absorb moisture like a sponge, carrying it through to the inside of your flue (possibly the inside of your home, too).

What Aelite Chimney Specialties Does To Stop It:

If your damage is centered around your mortar joints, we’ll repair those joints with a process called tuck pointing, carefully removing those damaged joints and replacing them with fresh, strong new joints. If your bricks are worn and absorbing excess moisture, we can apply a waterproofing sealant that stops that absorption and protects the masonry going forward. (We highly recommend waterproofing if your masonry isn’t damaged too, because it can prevent that kind of wear from happening).

Water Rusts Your Metal Parts

Your masonry chimney has a mix of non-masonry components, from your metal chimney cap and chimney flashing to your throat damper. And those components don’t like water any more than your masonry does. Chimney leaks can cause your throat damper’s plate to corrode, get stuck or crack. Corroded chimney flashing can create a leaky chimney. If you have a pre-fabricated system with a rusty chimney chase cover, leaks are likely there too.

What Aelite Chimney Specialties Does To Stop It:

When metal components are damaged, we can install proper replacements. Beyond that, we can also point you to more durable options — stainless steel and copper, for instance, stand strong against water far longer than galvanized metal.

Water Gives Mold What It Needs To Grow

A chimney leak is a problem in and of itself, but leaks can also bring along a secondary problem: mold growth. Mold feeds on moisture, so when moisture is consistently present inside your chimney, it becomes a welcome home for spores to grow and thrive. Chimney mold is a serious concern — exposure has been linked to triggering asthma attacks, causing skin rashes and allergic factions and a variety of other problems.

What Aelite Chimney Specialties Does To Stop It:

Our technicians are trained to safely and thoroughly remediate mold growth. But more importantly, we can troubleshoot to find what’s causing your chimney leak, and make the repairs necessary to stop feeding that mold — which is really the key to stopping your problem.

If you have any questions about moisture problems, chimney leaks or anything else related to your chimney system, Aelite Chimney Specialties team members are always glad to help our valued clients. Just give us a call!

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When to Reline Your Chimney

Watch out for the signs that tell you your chimney needs to be relined. Have it inspected by a certified chimney technician.

Watch out for the signs that tell you your chimney needs to be relined. Have it inspected by a certified chimney technician.

Because much of the chimney flue is hidden from sight, it’s not always easy for a homeowner to determine on his/her own whether or not it’s necessary to replace its liner, which is essentially the inner face of the chimney. A chimney liner is designed to protect your chimney from fire and to keep the wrong things out (moisture, which can seep through brick and mortar) and the right things in (toxic gases, which need to be funneled immediately out of your home instead of leaking through your masonry or back into your living space).

While only a certified chimney professional will be able to inspect your chimney liner for wear and tear severe enough to necessitate a complete replacement, there are some ways (listed below) that you can tell that your liner needs attention. Keep in mind that there may be ways to repair your existing liner rather than relining it entirely. An Aelite Chimney professional will conduct a thorough video inspection of your chimney before determining what is the most effective and cost efficient option for you.

Signs Your Chimney May Need to Be Relined

  • If you’ve noticed drafting problems—for instance, smoke “backpuffing” into your home. If you suspect that your chimney flue is not properly sized, a new liner may be able to completely resize your flue so that drafting problems are a thing of the past.
  • If you’ve had a chimney fire, catastrophic event, or just acquired a property. Major events around the home (fires, tornados, wind damage, earthquakes, falling trees or branches, etc.) should be followed by a chimney inspection. Likewise, if you’ve just purchased a new home it’s recommended to have the chimney inspected immediately to check the condition of the liner.
  • If you’ve noticed signs of water damage in or around your chimney. In time water damage just gets worse, and it’s capable of doing significant damage to your chimney and the areas of your home surrounding it. If you see rusty chimney components, smell mildew, hear dripping, or see evidence of leaks in or around your chimney, it’s important to have your chimney looked at.

And of course if your chimney is old and has never been lined you will need to have it lined in order to create an optimally sized flu and to bring your chimney up to code so that it’s able to safely contain the byproducts of the fires you burn. In Illinois, where we burn fires much of the year because of our colder climate, it is especially important to keep your fireplace and/or stove and chimney in top working order.

Aelite Chimney carries Ventinox lining systems, which are made of stainless steel, compatible with a variety of wood, gas, or oil-fired equipment, and able to withstand corrosive materials and high heat.

Read more about Aelite Chimney’s relining services here.

By Nick Wagner | Tagged with: Tags: , , , , , , | Comments Off on When to Reline Your Chimney