Why You Should Leave Chimney Repairs to the Pros
Do-it-yourself repairs can save money and help you learn new skills. However, some home repairs and maintenance should be left to professionals, and chimney repair is one. Here’s why.
Why You Should Let The Professionals Handle Chimney Repairs
Chimney maintenance and repairs are dangerous for professionals but even more so for amateurs who lack the training, certification, and experience. Failing to repair your chimney correctly and according to current standards could lead to a deadly fire or put your family at risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. Professionals are licensed, certified, and insured, so you can trust their work is safe.
Quality & Efficiency
The average homeowner lacks the proper tools to clean and repair their chimney thoroughly. The professionals use advanced tools and have the training to use them to be effective. Moreover, most professional chimney service contractors are expert masons, meaning you get high-quality, longer-lasting results.
Cleanup & Property Protection
Chimney cleaning and repairs produce a lot of soot, debris, and waste. Your local chimney professional uses commercial-grade vacuums and protective equipment to keep your property as clean as possible and protect it from damage. Additionally, if you damage your roof or other home areas from a DIY repair, you’re on the hook to fix it, whereas a pro carries insurance to protect you.
Training & Certifications
We alluded to this earlier, but there’s no amount of YouTube videos you can watch that give you the knowledge and skill a professional has. Our technicians undergo rigorous training to become certified chimney sweeps and masons. Moreover, our training ensures we’re up-to-date on building codes and regulations to ensure your chimney is safe.
Identifying Hidden Issues
Because the average homeowner lacks the training and experience, they may overlook potentially dangerous issues within the chimney that could be disastrous. Professional chimney technicians can identify subtle signs of damage that could put you at risk of water damage or a fire.
Common Signs of Chimney Damage
Professional chimney sweeps are experts at spotting damage, but there are signs you can watch for, so you can call for expert repairs before they worsen.
Cracks & Gaps
Failing to maintain your chimney allows weather and water to take their toll. Over time, water seeps into the bricks and mortar joints and expands during the freeze/thaw cycle. Water expansion causes cracks, eventually leading to loose mortar joints and gaps. If you notice gaps in the mortar, call a professional for an inspection.
The crown is the top surface that protects the chimney from water intrusion. Because most crowns are made from concrete, they’re susceptible to water damage if not waterproofed. Like your bricks, if your crown is cracked, you must repair it as soon as possible.
If you see a white powdery substance coating your chimney, it’s probably efflorescence. This phenomenon happens when water penetrates the bricks and evaporates, leaving behind crystal salt deposits. Efflorescence means you have a water problem, which could lead to significant chimney damage if left unchecked.
Does your home smell like an ashtray when you use your fireplace, or after it rains? Do you notice your house appears smoky? These are symptoms of a blocked chimney or damaged flue liner and can be deadly if you don’t fix them as soon as possible.
How Often Should You Schedule Chimney Inspections
The best way to keep expensive repairs at bay is by scheduling regular chimney inspections by certified professionals. But how often is enough?
According to the Chimney Safety Institute of America, “Chimneys, fireplaces, and vents shall be inspected at least once a year for soundness, freedom from deposits, and correct clearances. Cleaning, maintenance, and repairs shall be done if necessary.”
Even if you don’t use your chimney much, it’s recommended you still adhere to a routine maintenance schedule to remove animal nests and other debris that could prevent proper venting and assess minor deterioration.
Contact Felgemacher Fireplace
We’re a third-generation fireplace company dedicated to providing the best quality service to Rochester, NY, residents, and the surrounding areas. We have over 60 years of experience in chimney repairs, cleaning, rebuilding, maintenance, and fireplace installation. When you want repairs done right by licensed professionals, call us at 716–482–1820.