While not every home or business location in the Texas area is built out of brick, many of them do have brick chimneys or fireplaces. And while these decorative, yet functional design elements might not require a large amount of yearly maintenance, they are not design elements that should be ignored. In fact, if chimney maintenance is overlooked, you will eventually find yourself dealing with sometimes rather extensive chimney repairs such as loose bricks, leaning or water seeping into the structure of your home.
Many times the chimney is overlooked when one is making a To Do list of annual jobs that need to be done. After all, we often relegate the chimney to being a passive aspect of a space, and yet it is expected to work properly without any care being given to ensure it will. However, the masonry chimney is a deceptively complex part of a location, with brick mortar, concrete, flue tile, steel, and even cast iron comprising it. Each of these elements can be adversely affected by direct contact with water or water penetration.
Common Chimney Repairs in Texas Due to Water Penetration
Because of water penetration, chimney repairs can be quite extensive and cause a variety of problems like:
- Damage chimney and fireplace elements – From rust doors on the fireplace unit to damaged glass and linings, this water caused chimney repair can take many forms.
- Rotting adjacent wood and ruined wall coverings – Will require additional work beyond chimney repairs.
- Water stained walls and ceiling –These are often indicative of more problematic concerns that can affect the whole structure of the home.
- Clogged clean out area – This can usually be corrected easily and then steps are taken to minimize risk of it occurring again.
- Decayed exterior mortar – Can be due to a flaw in the structural design. When there are cracks on the inside of the chimney, there is also the risk that smoke or even sparks will enter the living space of the home.
- Cracked or deteriorated flue lining system – Never a good thing, and one that typically requires the old piece to be removed and new ones added.
- Leaning or collapsed chimney structure – this is often the result of several problems and can cause many other concerns, such as the chimney totally pulling away from the home.
- Chimney settlement – This chimney repair is manifested through gaps at the fireplace box, hearth, or other components and if ignored, can become a fire hazard. It is recommended that one be cognizant of how much space is between the chimney and the wall of the home. Consider keeping a log of the amount of space – simply measure the distance at least once a year and write it down so you can tell if it has shifted any. If it has, then talk to a Texas mason such as Omega Masonry.
While this list can seem a bit daunting, don’t let the fear of chimney repairs keep you from deciding to have a chimney included in the building of a new home, or keep you from purchasing a home that has a chimney. Each of the problems can be corrected – though it is highly recommended that you don’t delay in having any chimney repairs made as soon as suspect them!
Chimney repairs are part of life, but they don’t have to be extreme problems. By paying attention to the mortar, bricks, and elements of your fireplace, you can minimize the need for chimney repairs. If you have any questions, give the Omega team a call today.