Best Way to Cut Chimney Repair Costs: Preventative Maintenance
A fireplace can quickly turn from a pleasure to a headache if costly chimney repairs suddenly become unavoidable. One way to keep this from happening is by keeping up with regular chimney maintenance. But the real secret to cutting chimney repair costs is scheduling preventative maintenance. Our chimney professionals have, unfortunately, seen many people in Connecticut getting stuck with repair costs that actually could have been avoided. The best advice we can give for keeping down the costs associated with a chimney is to schedule preventative maintenance.
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommends getting an annual chimney inspection as a way of preventing house fires. Since chimney damage can make your home vulnerable to fire and toxic fumes, we agree with the NFPAs advice. Another point we also like to make is that chimney repairs are more costly the longer a problem goes unresolved. By getting an annual inspection, you can find out if any issues have developed since the previous year and fix them before too much damage has occurred. The more extensive the damage, the higher the repair costs.
Waterproofing the Chimney Flashing
One of the most common causes of moisture damage related to the chimney is deterioration of the flashing. The metal at the base of the chimney is supposed to seal the connection between the roof and the chimney so that moisture doesn’t leak into the roof. But over time, the waterproofing deteriorates and needs to be re-done.
Taking a close look at the condition of the flashing is part of a basic chimney inspection. We’ve found that sometimes homeowners try a do-it-yourself approach to sealing the flashing. However, they use caulking, which isn’t an effective water repellent. We have products we can recommend, but we believe it’s best for our customers to lend our expert eye to the inspection of flashing.
Installing a Chimney Cap
One of the least expensive things you can do to prevent chimney damage is to install a chimney cap. These accessories are typically constructed of aluminum, steel, or copper. They do the very important job of keeping rain out of your chimney. Moisture wreaks all kinds of havoc on a chimney system, all of which can lead to the need for costly repairs.
Another important potentially money-saving function of a chimney cap is that it keeps animals out of your chimney. Since animals that go in a chimney sometimes can’t get out, the frustration and cost you avoid by keeping the critters out in the first place are significant.
Sealing the Chimney Crown
The way to prevent moisture from getting between the exterior chimney and the flue lining is with a chimney crown. Chimney crowns are installed at the top of masonry chimneys, but they crack over time because of expansion and contraction. Sealing the chimney crown is a form of preventative maintenance that can prevent cracks from occurring and can also stop existing cracks from spreading.
Sealing the Masonry
Moisture wears away the mortar on a masonry chimney and can cause the bricks, stones, or cement to break. One way to slow down the damaging effects of moisture is by applying water repellent to the chimney.
If you haven’t had a chimney inspection this year, give us a call today. We’ll make recommendations for preventative maintenance, if you’re interested in knowing more; and we would be happy to answer any other questions you may have about your chimney system.
Northeastern Chimney, Inc
37 Cody Street, West Hartford, CT 06110