We are your one stop Winthrop Harbor chimney shop!
- We eliminate the guesswork. And provide our customers cutting edge Winthrop Harbor 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 Winthrop Harbor company is about making your home safe.
We begin with a Winthrop Harbor 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 Chimney Repairs Are Important
Cracks, leaks, and other problems can lead to house fires, carbon monoxide poisoning, and potentially dangerous situations, so it's important to follow up your chimney inspection with all necessary repairs. Chimney repair is always a job for professionals, so be sure that you use a qualified technician for complete, correct repair to keep your house and family safe. Common repairs include brick repointing, relining, and cap installation.
Repointing and Brickwork Repair: If the mortar in your chimney is eroding, it needs to be repointed. The mortar is essentially the glue holding the bricks in place, so if it begins to deteriorate, the bricks are no longer solidly held together--your chimney may crumble or collapse! Repointing ensures that the bricks remain in place and your chimney's structure stays sturdy. Missing or broken bricks should also be replaced to keep it looking and working great. Mortar repointing and brick repair not only address aesthetic issues, but they can also resolve chimney leaks and prevent deterioration.
Relining: Many older chimneys are lined with fireproof tiles or clay, but these materials can crack because of chimney fires and other problems. Once cracked, your liner can no longer do its job of protecting your chimney from extreme heat and preventing carbon monoxide leakage. This tile or clay liner should be replaced with a modern stainless steel lining for optimum protection.
You live in an area with a rapid freeze-thaw cycle and you use the fireplace intermittently. This especially true for wood-burning fireplaces. The biggest culprit is moisture. What starts out as water vapor becomes tiny droplets of water. These droplets settle into fissures in your chimney - and freeze if when the temperature drops and you're not using your fireplace.
Then, since it's gotten cold again, you fire up the fireplace, and melt that water. The next day you decide not to have a fire - and the water freezes into those fissures, spreading them open like a pair of pliers. A couple of winters of this, and you have a real problem.
You live in an area that's just plain cold. Long, cold winters also put heavy wear-and-tear on the chimney. Again, moisture is the problem. Water is called the "universal solvent" for a reason - it'll dissolve anything given enough time. Look at the Grand Canyon.
Complete an Annual Cleaning
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.