If your fireplace is old, you may need to get Pennington chimney masonry repair. However, before you get it fixed, you should have it cleaned. Keeping it clean also helps your chimney last longer. We want you to have a strong and clean chimney for many years to come, so we have tips for keeping your chimney functional and spotless.

Pennington Chimney Masonry Repair

Step 1: Sweep it Out | Pennington Chimney Masonry Repair

Before you start cleaning out the chimney, it’s important to get rid of all the loose ash and soot. You know that the soot will be tracked around the house if you do not clear it away. This step is as easy as taking a dustpan and broom and sweeping. Make sure you dust the sides of your chimney to clear away any other loose ash hiding in the nooks and crannies. Clear away as much as possible before you move on to the next step. Make sure you wear protective equipment on your hands, face, and eyes as there will probably be disgusting ash flying everywhere that can really hurt your lungs. Also make sure you clean off your broom so you do not sweep ash into the rest of your house later.

Step 2: Wash the Bricks

Now you could purchase your own store bought brick cleaner, or you could create your own natural cleaner. You want to clean the bricks thoroughly with a well working cleaner. One method that you can use for some small scale cleaning is a little cream of tartar and water. Mix a little water with some cream of tartar to make a thin cleaning paste. If you have enough cream of tartar, apply this paste to the blackened areas of your bricks and let it do its work for five to 10 minutes. After this, just rinse the cream of tartar and repeat the process if necessary.

Another common cleaning mixture is vinegar and water. If your chimney is about 20 years or older, vinegar may be too harsh for your chimney. Otherwise, this is a great cleaning solution for getting rid of the ash stains. Do a half and half mixture and just put it into a spray bottle. Spray this on the darkened bricks and let it set for a few more minutes. Spray again and then start to scrub while it is wet. Work from the bottom up in small circles for a better cleaning job. You can follow with a baking soda and water solution to cancel out the acidity.

One more home cleaner you could make is made with a half cup of baking soda and a couple tablespoons of dish soap. Just apply a thin layer to the inside of your chimney by applying from the bottom up, and again scrubbing in small circles. Let this sit for a few minutes and then rinse with warm water. With any of these cleaning solutions, it may take a few rounds of cleaning, but the work is well worth it.

Step 3: Check for Problems | Pennington Chimney Masonry Repair

While you clean out your chimney, you should monitor to see what areas may need repairs. As you clean the bricks, look for broken or chipped pieces. You should also look for any leaks and holes in your chimney. It’s important to check for any repairs needed for a better chimney.

Do You Need Repairs?

Sometimes, simply cleaning out your chimney isnt enough to keep everything in working order. There will be times when your chimney becomes damaged and will require repairs. So, how can you tell if you need Pennington Chimney repair work done? Below, we will take a loot at some of the signs that you need chimney repair.

Check for a Chimney Cap | Pennington Chimney Repair

You don’t even need a ladder for this one, step outside and take a look. The chimney cap’s main purpose is keeping rain out of the chimney flue. Yes, it is not a masonry portion of your chimney, but its presence is vital to the survival of your chimney’s interior and exterior.  In 95% of cases needing Mercer County chimney repair service, a chimney cap is not present.  Why is this a problem?  Water.  Water is the top source of deterioration of all home components, rot, mold, mildew, moss, freeze-thaw, etc, etc. Water in your chimney, or in your masonry is always bad news.  If your chimney does not have a chimney cap, its time for a chimney inspection, possibly some repair, and most definitely time to install a chimney cap.

Pennington Chimney Repair | Is your Chimney Crown in Good Condition?

The chimney crown is the chimney’s second line of defense against water. The crown is the 2″-3″ concrete or mortar slab that has been poured on the very top of the chimney. This covers the top course of bricks of your chimney and surrounds the top flue tiles of each appliance.  Why is this needed? Besides for the aesthetic appeal, chimneys are constructed with a hollow interior surrounding the flue tiles.  This hollow space around your fireplace, and flue liners is very important. Other than covering the hollow opening of the chimney the brick also much be covered. Most bricks have a somewhat water resistant facing on their front and sides, however, on the top and bottom they are extremely porous. This is vital during brick construction so the mortar can have the best bond to the brick top and bottom as possible. However, when left exposed to the weather the brick becomes saturated with moisture and is exposed to freeze-thaw, moss and mildew.  Wet bricks and mortar joints will lead to deterioration. Check your chimney crown for proper construction, proper thickness, cracks or receding edges or corners.  Just like chimney caps, when a chimney has an improper or damaged crown, 95% of the time there is deterioration to the chimney structure. This will call for the need to get Mercer County chimney repair.

Pennington Chimney Repair | Do you need Chimney Tuckpointing?

Chimney tuckpointing is commonly misused to describe “mortar joints”. “Tuckpointing” is actually a verb and describes the process of repairing mortar joints, this is a common Mercer County chimney repair service and usually needs to be done on all chimney masonry every 30-50 years.  So how do we know when we need our mortar repaired?  Since chimneys are half above the roof and half below the roof, they always deteriorate at different rates. Above the roof the chimney is exposed to harsher weather conditions, colder temperatures, wind, rain, ice, snow.  Below the roof the chimney is much more protected. Not to mention if the chimney is missing a cap or has a damaged crown, the damage will start at the top and slowly progress downward.  Check your mortar joints above the roofline first.  Check for cracks, separations between the mortar and the brick, and finally take a screwdriver and scrape the mortar to see if it is soft or begins to flake a fall away.  Good mortar will barely leave a mark when running your screwdriver across it. Bad mortar will fall away and leave a gouge.  Make your way down the chimney below the roofline and check the mortar there as well.  Any areas where the mortar is soft should be repaired. Chimney tuckpointing can only be done to partially damaged mortar however.  If the mortar joint is left unchecked for long enough it will fail completely through the joint and the bricks will be loose.  Once your bricks are loose, they have to be rebuilt.  Take a hammer or the palm of your hand and tap on some bricks near the top, moving down.  If any of the bricks are loose, those will need to be torn down and re-mortared.

Pennington Chimney Repair | Do you have Efflorescence or White Staining?

White discoloration on a chimney is a sure sign of a moisture problem and a good indicator of some possible Mercer County chimney repair service.  This is called efflorescence, it is the natural salts in the brick and mortar that are brought to the surface by moisture and then left behind when the moisture evaporates.  This can be removed easily with warm soapy water, however, this w0n’t solve the problem.  The most common causes of this is a missing chimney cap, a damaged or missing crown, and/or damaged mortar joints.  Let your Mercer County chimney repair service technician know where you are noticing the white staining on your chimney for a more accurate diagnosis.

St John Chimney Sweeps | Best NJ Chimney Repair

If you are looking for a Pennington chimney masonry repair, St. John Chimney Sweeps treats its customers like family. We want you to have the cleanest and safest fireplace for your home. For more information about our services, visit our website or give us a call today.

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