Cold weather is already beginning to make an appearance, and before we know it, we’ll be dealing with snow, harsh winds, and freezing temperatures. There’s no doubt that fireplaces throughout the area will see a lot more use throughout the following weeks and months, so ensuring all components are in working order is a must! If you’re concerned at all about the state of your system, keep an open eye for the following issues.
And remember: regardless of what condition you think your chimney may be in, investing in annual inspections and regular maintenance is always something we (along with the CSIA, the NCSG, and many other reputable organizations) strongly encourage. This is a surefire way to prevent potentially dangerous issues from occurring in the first place, saving you significant amounts of time, money, and stress down the line.
Do You Have Spalling Bricks?
A big thing to look out for is spalling bricks. This means some serious decay and deterioration is likely occurring, and it could indicate that water-related damages are present, too. Now, it doesn’t take too long for new fireplace owners to figure out that water is one of the more harmful things your masonry can come into contact with. Not only will it cause your bricks to break down, but it can cause rotting, rusting, mold accumulation, discoloration, staining, and a whole lot more!
Needless to say, stopping water damage dead in its tracks is a must when it comes to keeping your system in good shape for the long haul. And if pieces of brickwork are making their way to your roof, porch, and driveway, then you’ll want to get a sweep in to look things over as soon as you can. Spalling bricks are a clear-cut indicator that bigger problems are amiss, and if it’s due to water damage, the sooner you get a qualified tech on the job, the better.
Noticing Any Discoloration In The Firebox Or Chimney Exterior?
Spotting strange areas of discoloration throughout your system? It could be that flue gases from gas appliances, furnaces, and oil appliances could be leaking out and causing your bricks to suffer. You’ll likely see the masonry on one side of your chimney becoming white and stained in this case. Again, this is just another strong indicator that repair work will be needed soon.
Another thing to watch for is efflorescence, which is a white substance that forms when excess moisture occurs and the soluble salts from your brickwork bleed through because of that. Eventually, the water evaporates, which leaves behind salty residue, thus causing your chimney to look white, stained, and unsightly.
All in all, any type of staining or discoloration is something you’ll want to avoid, and if you notice it, there’s a good chance it’s due to water damage. Call in our team of experts to look things over right away, so that major problems are avoided.
Is Your Chimney Cap In Place & Functioning Well?
Strong winds, animal tampering, big storms, and more can cause your chimney cap to bend, become situated wrong, or even come off altogether. If this is the position you find yourself in, getting a replacement cap installed right away needs to go on the top of your to-do list. Be sure to regularly glance to the top of your system to make sure yours is still in place, and if you suspect any issues, call on a team of experts (like the CSIA certified crew here at Northeastern Masonry & Chimney) right away.
Why are chimney caps such an essential asset to your system? Well, for one thing, they keep out woodland critters, birds, and excess debris, all of which can clog things up, trigger foul odors, and affect air flow. They’re also known for stopping stray sparks from landing on your roof and preventing downdrafts. Yet, possibly their most important function is preventing water from falling into your flue.
All in all, this is an affordable investment that is well worth the peace of mind you gain at the end of it all. Not sure what to look for? Well, most chimneys around here consist of either a metal cap with a bird cage surrounding or slate piece of stone with brick pillars. Be sure to locate yours, so you know exactly what to watch for!
Why Trust Our Team?
So, why is Northeastern Masonry & Chimney so heavily relied on throughout Albany, Catskill, Hudson, Latham, and countless towns and cities surrounding? Well, on top of being CSIA-certified and members of the NCSG, we have close to three decades of experience, so you can bet there isn’t much we have not seen.
Unlike other companies that cut corners and lure customers in with claims of qualifications they have yet to earn, we hold ourselves accountable for all of our services, and we never skimp or cut corners in order to save ourselves a few steps. All in all, working with us guarantees the highest level of care possible, which is why so many continue to turn to us year after year [https://northeasternchimney.com/about-us/].
Ready to get your system in tip-top shape before the burning season kicks off? Give us a call now. We are always happy to help!