Chimney Repair: Why Time Is Of The Essence
A Chimney is probably one of the most overlooked structures of a Home and that is because of the following, predominant, assumption: Anything built in the medium of Masonry is beyond durable and can withstand the elements, year after year. Now, there is a lot of truth to this statement, and while Masonry is clearly a formidable opponent when it comes to surviving the onslaught of Time and Mother Nature’s cycles, it is still susceptible to failure when not properly maintained, just as anything else. Routine inspections and frequent Chimney cleaning are an absolute must when it comes to maintaining these structures. If you're in need of an inspection or are certain that one of the following warning signs are present and require addressing, we can help.
What To Look For:
Missing or deteriorating mortar joints, crumbling/spalling brick , smoke entering into living spaces: these are all warning signs that your chimney is in need of urgent repair. Acting quickly and taking the necessary steps to insure that the issues are dealt with, is crucial to preventing further damage to your Chimney and Home, and not to mention, saving you thousands in the long-run.
Why Chimneys Eventually Fail:
1) Freeze/Thaw Cycles: One of the Chimneys greatest foes is the yearly freeze/thaw cycle, in that the water and moisture contained within the brick freezes and thaws, expands and contracts, forcing apart the bricks from the mortar joints which secure the structure, itself. As the years progress, so does the damage and the costs associated with fixing them.
2) Faulty Flashing: Whether it be the Cap, Step, or Base Flashing involved with your Chimney, once the seal is compromised, erosion begins to take its toll, rapidly. Especially in Coastal climates, such as Victoria, B.C. Flashing is the doorway between the roofing material and a Chimney. Once the doorway is open, all kinds of trouble are free to waltz right in and wreak havoc as they please. And they will, undoubtedly, do just that.
3) A Damaged or Non-Existent Chimney Cap/Flue Cover: I cannot recall just how many Chimneys I've been asked to inspect, only to find that the Chimney cap and Flue Cover, itself, has gone missing without a trace, as though they were highly sought after and made for a rewarding bounty to some creature in the night. Suffice it to say, these are one of the most important factors when it comes to protecting your Chimney's life-span. Not only do they prevent animals and birds from turning your Chimney into a humble abode, but they are also the first defence against rain and snow.
All Is Not Lost
If one or all of the aforementioned warning signs are noticeable, it does not suggest that your entire Chimney is now subject to an overhaul from the ground-up. Just like rot in a Home, it is only a matter of cutting out the affected areas, replacing them with new materials, and preventing further damage from occurring. Whether this includes re-pointing mortar joints, replacing spalling bricks, weather sealing, installing new flashing or a Chimney cap, you will not have to re-mortgage your home to see the process through. The majority of these repairs are not costly, especially when they are addressed in a timely fashion and done-right!
With years of experience in this field, Lennox Masonry is well equipped to assess and address your Chimney's needs.
Give Us A Call At: 778-968-6574
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Lennox Masonry, Masonry Contractor, Victoria, BC