Louisville Chimney Repairs
Chimney repairs are needed for basic wear and tear issues, damage caused by moisture or extreme weather events, deterioration, and more. The longer a chimney problem goes without attention, the higher the potential costs of repair. Another concern is that safety issues often arise from using a chimney that lacks proper maintenance. There are two ways that needed chimney repairs are usually identified: First, during chimney inspections, qualified experts identify deterioration and/or moisture intrusion that may not be obvious to homeowners; and, secondly, homeowners notice some of the more apparent signs that chimney repair is required. The chimney technicians at Louisville Chimney Sweep & Repair, LLC, are all fully trained and IMI-certified to perform every type of chimney problem that may arise, including chimney masonry repair, chimney rebuilding, chimney leaks, flashing repair, firebox repair and rebuilding, chimney crown rebuilding and repair, and tuckpointing.
Top 5 Chimney Troublemakers
Chimneys can appear to be highly durable, sturdy structures that don’t need much in the way of attention or maintenance. But looks can be deceiving. Degradation of chimneys is a common occurrence, and the five biggest troublemakers are:
- Lack of maintenance
- Creosote buildup and other debris
- High winds
How to Know if Chimney Repair is Needed
Many of the problems with chimneys start on the roof, which, unfortunately, contributes to the out-of-sight-out-of-mind approach many homeowners have toward chimney care. In spite of limited access to the main problem area, the following situations provide clues that chimney repair is needed:
- If there is white staining on your chimney masonry, it means that your chimney has water damage. The staining is a result of efflorescence, which means that soluble salts contained in the masonry have combined with moisture and then moved through the masonry, where the salts evaporate on the exterior wall, showing up as staining that is usually white in color.
- If you notice bits of broken brick around the chimney or falling from the roof, it is evidence of spalling. This means the bricks on the chimney have moisture inside that has resulted in expanding and contracting during freezing and thawing weather cycles. As a result, the face of the brickwork crumbles, cracks, and flakes off. Damaged bricks can be replaced, though it’s important that the repair work is done by certified chimney technicians who know the correct types of brick and mortar to use.
- If there is smoke in your home when you light a fire with the damper open, it could mean that the flue is blocked by creosote, debris, or possibly a birds’ nest. This is an indication that an inspection and chimney cleaning are both likely needed. It is dangerous to use a chimney that has an obstruction because it can result in hazardous amounts of toxic fumes entering your home, including the “Silent Killer,” carbon monoxide, which is tasteless, odorless, invisible, and deadly.
- If you notice an odor coming from your chimney, it’s best to contact a chimney expert without delay. Horrible odors can mean an animal has become trapped in your chimney and died. Bad smells can be an indication that moisture is combining with creosote in the flue. This indicates a need for chimney cleaning and possible repair of damage caused by moisture.
- If you hear a dripping sound, it indicates that you have a chimney leak and extreme damage can occur, if the problem is ignored.
- If you see broken bits of clay in your fireplace, it is an indication that the flue lining is deteriorating. A fireplace should not be used unless the flue is fully intact. Even the smallest crack in the flue can expose combustible parts of the home to extreme heat, potentially leading to an intense and highly dangerous home fire.
Protect Your Chimney
Chimney repair is an investment in home maintenance that should never be delayed. The qualified chimney sweeps at Louisville Chimney Sweep & Repair can correct every safety and repair issue that arises. In addition to helping you to fortify and maintain your fireplace and chimney, we offer the preventative measure of waterproofing, which provides additional protection against moisture, the chimney’s number one enemy. Contact our knowledgeable chimney experts today at (502) 410-4019 for Louisville’s best choice for chimney repair and maintenance.