If you are renovating your home, selling or, generally, concerned about its exterior – you need to ensure your chimney is in the best working order. The chimney is the one part of the house continuously exposed to adverse weather and, as such, can experience severe degradation without the correct care and chimney maintenance.
With the cold weather drawing in, it’s important to check for any signs of damage that could worsen over winter. Any leaks or signs of material damage could prove more costly in the long-term if you choose to ignore. With that in mind, our North East roofers are sharing their tips to ensure you get the most out of your chimney during the cold months.
How do chimneys work?
For a chimney to function properly, it requires a good flow of air. Similarly, the flue must also maintain as high a temperature as possible. Therefore, you need to seek reputable chimney repair companies for the installation or removal of your chimney – particularly as it is essential they are insulated to keep the smoke warm and reduce the risk of tar deposits. The latter, in particular, is extremely important for wood burning appliances, as they burn cooler than coal.
If you have noticed any signs of air leaks or damage to the chimney, it’s likely you are in urgent need of chimney repair companies. A rough-lined chimney – subject to poor insulation – will be much less efficient and costly to a well-designed, shorter chimney stack.
Chimneys are available in a range of materials, with our North East roofing contractors trained in the installation and the repair of the materials. For instance, chimneys can be installed in stainless steel, concrete, pumice, clay or ceramic and plastic.
It’s important to note that the more impressive the design of the chimney structure, the more roofing materials and labour required. However, good chimney repair companies will always survey the property beforehand and provide a realistic quote and timeline for the project. If you have noticed any signs of wear and tear, contact our North East roofers immediately for a roofing quote as soon as possible.
As you would take care of your roof, you need to ensure your chimney is maintained and in tip-top condition. While we don’t mean sweep the chimney yourself, a ground inspection twice a year could substantially help save money – especially if you notice the initial signs of damage. One of the main causes of smoke coming into your home from an existing chimney is the blocked flue. If you have noticed excess smoke, it may be time to get your chimney swept.
Similarly, if you don’t provide your fire with enough oxygen, it will find its own and pull air down through the chimney. This can also lead to excess smoke in the room. If necessary, we suggest adding a vent to an outside wall adjacent to your fireplace.
Before you do use your chimney for the first time in a long period, it’s a good idea to sweep the chimney. Likewise, carbon monoxide and smoke alarms should be used to test monthly to ensure the chimney is conducting poisonous smoke and gases away from your home.
Chimney stack repair
Chimney stack repair is required if you have noticed any damp patches or brown stains on any of the upstairs ceilings or internal walls. Any instances such as these are, generally, the result of leaks around the chimney stacks where they meet the roof.
These signs are the first steps to telling you all is not right, and you need the professionals. Generally, if you catch the damage early, you can save a substantial sum of money – especially when it comes to repair and even heating bills.
Chimney flashing repair
Chimneys are notorious for leaking and, in most cases, the root cause is the metal flashing; just ask our North East roofers. Simply look for the signs mentioned above, such as water-stained ceilings.
You will need chimney flashing repair if you have noticed flashing that is missing, rusted or falling out. If this is the case, there are many methods available to repair. For instance, using durable, long-lasting lead with help to weatherproof the joints, tucking the lead flashing into the mortar points.
While your chimney stack and flashing are, most definitely, at risk – exposed masonry can also erode over time. Rendered chimney stacks are, especially, in danger as small cracks can develop when the brickwork heats and cools. The ‘odd’ spiralled brick isn’t necessarily an urgent issue, but they will continue to degrade.
Any badly eroded mortar joints will need to be repointed – particularly as the cold weather settles in. Likewise, in extreme cases, the chimney stack may need to be removed and rebuilt when the structure becomes a cause for concern. However, the chimney repair companies will state all of this during their initial survey. Our North East roofing contractors, in particular, will ensure you are aware of all problems and the subsequent materials and labour required to repair.
If you do have any questions regarding chimney stack or flashing repair, you can get in touch with our North East roofers via the contact form. Alternatively, read more on what you should do if you notice any signs of a chimney leak.