Chimneys are extremely common for homes that are located in cold environments, as fireplaces can be indispensable for keeping the house warm or serving as a backup source of heat. Yet, a chimney can be subjected to intense stresses, and you will need to take proactive steps, such as having the chimney inspected, to minimize the risk that serious harm occurs to it.
Why Are Chimney Inspections Necessary?
Your chimney will be exposed to the intense heat of fire, extreme cold, and large amounts of moisture. Together, these forces can weaken the brick and chimney lining. Once this type of damage has occurred, moisture may start to seep in through the cracks, or fumes from the fire may be able to seep into the house's interior. By having your chimney inspected every few years, you will be far more likely to catch these types of damage when they first start to develop. In addition to being a sound preventative maintenance step, inspections can also be necessary for selling your house or making structural changes near the chimney. These changes may cause serious problems if the chimney has been weakened, and having it inspected will allow you to have confidence that the desired structural changes can be made to the house.
How Can Chimney Damages Be Repaired?
In situations where the chimney has suffered damage, repairing it as quickly as possible is important to prevent the damage from worsening. When the damage is to the exterior masonry of the chimney, a contractor will need to carefully remove the compromised bricks so that they can be replaced. This should be a repair that is always left to a professional, as the chimney will need to be braced when this work is being done. If it is not properly braced, the chimney will be at a far higher risk of collapsing.
Issues with the lining can also be challenging to repair, as it can be difficult to see or reach the lining. However, a chimney contractor will have a camera that will allow them to see the interior of the chimney so that they can determine which areas of the lining are damaged. However, the chimney will need to be thoroughly cleaned before this is done. Otherwise, ash and soot will make it difficult to examine the lining. Once the damaged section of the lining is identified, it can be removed so that a patch can be installed. You will need to avoid using the fireplace for several days after this repair is done so that the adhesive that holds the lining patch in place will be able to fully cure before being exposed to intense heat.