Chimney Repairs and Improvements During The Off Season
Most homeowners here in the Northeast use their chimneys for secondary warmth during the colder months. Once the weather breaks, we in the chimney industry call this the “off-season.” It’s a great time for chimney repairs and general maintenance as these updates are easier to perform when the system is not in use. Here are our top 7 chimney repairs during the off-season.
Tuckpointing is the systematic repair of your chimney’s masonry. As one of the chimney repairs, you can do during the off-season, tuckpointing seals the joints between masonry components by applying new mortar where necessary. If left unattended, these gaps and cracks can lead to a chimney fire.
However, if the damage is extensive, your Northeastern Chimney technician will likely recommend repointing. This is the complete removal and replacement of deteriorated masonry. It’s more involved than tuckpointing, yes, but far more cost-effective than a complete rebuild of your entire chimney.
Once you’ve completed one or both of the previous two repairs, the next is to waterproof your chimney. This can prevent additional deterioration of your brick-and-mortar components, prolonging the life of the chimney structure.
Repairing broken components
Over time, all things begin to show wear and tear. This is true whether you’re referring to an appliance, a vehicle, your roof, or your chimney. Repairing your broken chimney components, such as a crown that has cracked and deteriorated or your damper that won’t fully open or shut, can save you significant money. In addition, as is the case with your damper, this can be a safety hazard.
Replacing your chimney cap
We’re highlighting your chimney cap because it’s often the first line of defense for your internal chimney components such as your damper and flue. A cap keeps animals, leaves, and other debris from entering your chimney. And, if your flue has significant creosote buildup, your cap can help keep stray smoldering embers at bay.
Cleaning your firebox
Removing ash is a regular part of using a fireplace. Once you’re done for the season, use this as an opportunity to remove all ash and deep clean your firebox. Though you might not consider it a repair, it’s just as much preventative maintenance as when our team performs an annual sweep.
Installing a gas insert
However, if you’re tired of cleaning ash, consider using the off-season to have one of our team members install a gas insert for you. This is an alternative to wood-burning fireplaces and will reduce some of the annual maintenance tasks you need to complete.
Each of these will follow a sweep and inspection
As a bonus 8th “repair”, we recommend all homeowners schedule a chimney sweep and inspection during the off-season. Indeed, it’s during this visit that we’ll uncover the need for most of the above items, as your technician can help you identify potential issues before they become significant problems.
Would you like to schedule your inspection in advance? Then let us know by calling Northeastern Chimney at 860-233-5770 or by requesting an appointment.