When is the last time you took a close look at your chimney? West Windsor chimney inspections are always a good idea. Some of the issues related to damage are obvious to see. Do you know how to maintain your chimney? If not there are several important points to consider. Of course you should always expect the professionals to accomplish these tasks and more. The biggest issue with chimneys is getting all the way to the top. Most of us aren’t comfortable working high up in the air so while we share these thoughts with you, keep in mind no one expects the average homeowner to tackle these jobs on their own. Trust the professionals, but educate yourself.
How to Maintain Your Chimney | Caps
Starting from the very top, which might be hard to see without a close look, caps can be in need of careful cleaning or replacing. Depending upon how old they are it might be easier to go with a newer cap. These serve several important purposes. The first is that they allow the exhaust to escape unhindered by back draft and the elements. Secondly they keep flying critters from venturing down the chimney for whatever reason flying critters chose to do such a thing. One last aspect is how they protect the flu from soot and rain.
There are options when it comes to chimney caps and in some areas the zoning laws affect those choices. Professionals know what the codes allow in your area but it helps to be informed of a couple of popular types of caps. Galvanized might be ok for some climates and provide long life but purchasing a stainless steel cap will give you the longest possible life. Protecting the flu is one of the most important goals in maintaining your chimney because replacing the flu is an expensive operation.
Cracks and Where to Find Them
Ideally you don’t find any cracks but unless your house is very new it is worth looking the entire chimney over. Cracks can lead to moisture penetration which can lead to unseen damage. They also pose a risk of weakening the structure significantly. Above the roof line we expect to see cracks, especially in areas where snow collects and sits for extended periods of time. Just below the cap and where the roof is sealed to the chimney, look for cracks and missing chunks of concrete.
Sealing these seams and replacing mortar is the first step. It is also a good idea to weather seal the entire area to protect it from the inevitable. Wind, rain, snow and changing temperatures are going to provide constant stress that needs attention periodically. It is far better to have a good maintenance program and never have the need for major repairs. Depending upon the position of your chimney, the professionals might make other suggestions to protect the structure periodically.
How to Maintain Your Chimney | Regular Cleaning
It can’t be stressed enough how important regular cleaning is for a chimney. One of the typical service requirements for furnace maintenance is to check the draw and flow of exhaust. The gasses released from wood, coal, oil and even natural gas are dangerous.
Even if you don’t know how to maintain your chimney, the professionals you contact to give it a good cleaning should know. They can offer support with a detailed analysis of its current condition. In fact you can call St. John Chimney Sweeps at (609) 737-0133 today and schedule an appointment. Our professional team will take care of all your chimney maintenance needs. We treat our customers like family and love to keep them safe.