We are your one stop Harmony chimney shop!
- We eliminate the guesswork. And provide our customers cutting edge Harmony chimney repair technology.
- We are clean. And ensure our footwear never touches your floors. Our industrial vacuums collect the dust before it gets into your home while our trained technician sweeps and inspects the chimney flue.
- You are safe! We document every job with before and after photos, and the lead technician on the job is always certified. We also test for excess levels of carbon monoxide at no additional cost to you. Our Harmony company is about making your home safe.
We begin with a Harmony chimney inspection—which is one of the most important chimney services we offer, and one of the most misunderstood. The inspection determines the status of your chimney. We have created a page where specifics are listed. We are CSIA certified.
Why Should I Sweep My Chimney?
Fireplace chimney repair. Gas and wood fireplaces add beauty and value to your home, but they also add to your maintenance responsibilities. Fireplace chimney maintenance should take into account the unique nature of these chimneys such as fireplace liner systems, special fireplace caps and water condensation and accumulation of creosote and other residue. We're experts in the repair of Chicago fireplace chimneys. Waterproofing Chicago chimneys. Dampness in your attic is often the first sign of chimney trouble. Hairline cracks can occur even in new construction because of mortar shrinking during the curing process. Masonry materials are porous and absorb water. Defective mortar joints and deteriorating brick result and lead to even greater water damage. Several new products are effective at waterproofing chimneys. These new sealants allow the masonry to breathe out condensation but not take it in. We can discuss options with you to stop water damage and save you from the major expense of a rebuilding your entire chimney in the future.
A chimney is probably one of the most ignored and poorly maintained structures on a home mainly because of lack of access and most people have a fear of heights.
Things to watch for if your chimney is having problems is crumbling mortar joints, cracked or broken brick, a cracked or missing crown on top of the chimney, a leaning chimney(which is really bad) and water damage inside your home around the chimney. You should contact a chimney repair or mason contractor to fix your chimney problems.
But if you are up to the challenge here is what you will need to do, first depending on how bad it is most chimney problems can be fixed with a little chimney tuckpointing. You will first need a good grinder, not a cheap $20 on either, buy a dewalt or hitatchi for about $120.00 then you will also need a good diamond 4 inch wheel to go on it, they will run you about $65.00.
Start by grinding out every mortar joint as deep as you can get the blade in, be sure to wear safety glasses and a mask if not you will regret it later. After all the joints have been ground out take your brush and clean out all the joints thoroughly. Now you will need to mix your mortar, after it is mixed it is easiest to use a grout bag to fill the joints, which resembles a large cake decorating bag if you dont know what one is. Be sure you mix is fluid enough to flow through bag but not too wet where it has no body or else you will have a huge mess on your hands. Depending on temperature you have to check your joints frequently to see if they are ready to be struck with a striking iron or a rake.
After you have struck or raked your joints brush them down to remove loose mortar and clean up the chimney. Next check the concrete cap, if it is cracked then it should be replaced and a new one should be poured in its place that is alteast 4 inches thick. After that task is completed check the chimney flashing and be sure it is installed correctly and is hole and crack free or it may need to be caulked up or replaced. Then clean up your roof with a broom or hose but if using water try not to spray your chimney till its dry.
That's pretty much how a brick tuckpointing job is done for an existing chimney, if you are unsure of any of the above task you really should have a mason contractor do the work for you.
The first step to determining if the flashing is the cause of the leak is to examine the chimney. The weakest points of the chimney are the top and sides. These are the areas that face the greatest UV and weather exposure, and therefore damage. Since is better protected, you will notice the side facing the ground does not have flashing. Inspect the base area for cracks or areas of water penetration.
The brick and mortar will expand and contract with seasonal change. Since the mortar is not elastomeric, this expansion and contraction can cause cracks. In addition, mortar is very porous and absorbs water that will freeze in cold climates. This freezing and thawing will destroy the mortar joint causing a potential leak and degrading the structural integrity of the chimney over time. Inspect the mortar joints for cracks.
If there are cracks in the chimney use a clear exterior elastomeric caulk to seal the cracks. You can also use an exterior masonary waterproofing sealant to coat the entire chimney. Be sure to use a clear elastomeric waterproofing sealant to maintain the color of the brick and mortar.
Take Care of Small Chimney Repairs
Chimney fire is usually caused due to the improper cleaning and maintenance of the chimney. For better and safe chimney functions it is better to clean the chimney thoroughly once in a year, especially before winter season comes. Chimney cleaning is not a tough task; you can do it with little effort. However, you can take help of some professional chimney sweep.
- Breathing mask
- Chimney brush and chimney rods
- Drop cloths or old sheets
- Duct tape or masking tape
- Measuring tape
- Old clothes
- Small mirror
- Sweeping brush and pan or vacuum
- Weather-resistant mortar
Your chimney isn't properly protected. Making sure that your top plate and rain cap remain in good condition, to prevent moisture from running into the chimney. Rodents, tree limbs and severe weather can all damage these.
Another option to prevent moisture and acid buildup from putting such heavy wear-and-tear on your chimney are chimney flue liners. These products range from smooth wall liners that prevent moisture and acid from attaching to interior chimney walls at all to simple protective devices that catch that residue.
The bottom line: No matter what kind of chimney you have, regular inspections can help give you peace of mind. Visually inspect exterior walls, bricks and mortar for signs of cracking. Use your fingers to see if mortar remains firmly in place, or chunks away. For interior chimney inspections, consider a using an inspection mirror with a telescopic handle. Coupled with a flashlight, the mirror will help you conduct a visual inspection and spot any signs of cracking.