We are your one stop Riverwoods chimney shop!
- We eliminate the guesswork. And provide our customers cutting edge Riverwoods 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 Riverwoods company is about making your home safe.
We begin with a Riverwoods 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.
Does Your Chimney Need to Be Repaired?
When you get lots of moisture in a chimney, the water's solvent properties go to work on the water, concrete and bricks, slowing removing one particle at a time until you have fissures, and eventually, cracks, especially if you don't have a flue liner or other flue protection. If you're getting heavy use out of a chimney, you'll speed up the deterioration process.
You have a high-energy efficiency furnace. Today's high-efficiency furnaces save you money, but they also put a lot more moisture in the flue air than yesterday's lower-efficiency ones. All that moisture, again, increases the wear-and-tear on your chimney and flue.
You have an oil or gas furnace. In these cases, the problem is acid. Acidic vapors from burning gas and oil build up a residue and that eats away at your chimney from the inside out. This can cause cracks in the clay lining, especially, and leave you with potentially expensive repairs.
What causes cracks in your chimney and chimney flue? The answer matters -- if you don't think your chimney will develop cracks, you won't keep an eye out for them. And then you won't have the opportunity to make a quick repair before a small problem grows into a big one. That "big problem" can range from expensive repointing/brick replacement to dangerous gases leaking into your home, threatening the health of you and your family.
Here are five signs you have increased risk for chimney cracks:
Your fireplace offers cozy warmth to heat your home in winter, but did you realize that it can also be very dangerous to your home and family? Cracked linings, deteriorating mortar, and creosote buildup are all common problems that can lead to health and fire hazards. These problems may be hidden from your casual glance, but a thorough inspection by a professional chimney sweeper will reveal these issues. That's why annual chimney inspections are so important. With prompt repair, you can get your fireplace back in great working order and enjoy it safely for years to come!
An inspection is a simple, noninvasive visual assessment of the key elements of your fireplace and flue system. We recommend having a chimney inspection as part of your annual cleaning. Your chimney sweep will check for cracks, deterioration, or other problems with the flue, crown, brick, mortar, and flashing as well as the firebox and damper. Sometimes a video inspection is conducted to ensure there are no problems in hard-to-see areas. If problems are detected, it is important to have them addressed promptly. Issues involving cracks, mortar, and weather-based damage will get worse the longer they are left uncorrected.
Chimney Restoration and Repair
Repairing Chimney Flashing Easily
Once you have completed the inspection of the chimney, take a look at the flashing and shingles around the chimney. If the shingles around the chimney are cracked or have holes then repairing the chimney flashing area is easily accomplished by sealing the shingles and the chimney flashing with an elastomeric roof coating. If you do not want unsightly black patches on your roof use a clear elastomeric roof coating designed for asphalt shingles.
Before applying the elastomeric roof coating, fill the cracks and holes with clear exterior elastomeric caulk. Next, following the manufactures instructions apply the elastomeric roof coating.
Although the best time for repairing chimney flashing is in warmer weather, some elastomeric roof coatings and caulk can be applied in below freezing and even on a damp roof surface.
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.