Need Chimney Repairs in Siskiyou? Call on Holy Smoke, Inc!
Seeing damage on your chimney or hearing during an inspection that work needs to be done isn’t on the list of ‘best things ever.’ Ultimately, no one wants to spend money on something so, well, unexciting. But the truth is, investing in chimney repairs when needed can save you a lot of headache and costs over time.
Let’s talk about the most common types of exterior chimney damage, what causes them, and what can happen if repairs aren’t made…
#1 Masonry Damage – What Causes It & What It Looks Like
You might think your chimney was built to be impervious to water damage, but unfortunately, a lot of chimney damage occurs because of water. Masonry is porous by nature, meaning it naturally wicks in a bit of water when it rains, sleets, or snows.
The trouble is, if that moisture gets inside the brick or stone and freezes and thaws with temperature changes, it can crack and destroy the masonry from the inside out.
On the outside, this might look like:
- popping, flaking, or spalling brick
- cracked mortar joints
- receding mortar joints
You might also notice discoloration (like a white powder or a black coloring) on the surface of the masonry or even vegetation or mold growth. All of these are signs of water damage.
Why Fix Masonry Damage Early On?
While it might seem easier to ignore these signs of a water problem, doing so can cost you in the long run – because the longer water damage goes unaddressed in masonry, the worse things will get.
In less time than you’d expect, a hairline crack in a mortar joint or brick can lead to a structurally unsound chimney and the need for a full or partial rebuild. And we can bet you’d rather spend your money on other things.
The good news is that making masonry repairs while damage is still minor is simple and affordable.
How Is Masonry Damage Repaired?
We offer a service called tuckpointing, which is the process of removing water-damaged or otherwise compromised mortar and carefully packing freshly-mixed mortar into the joint. When we’re done, the chimney will be better protected against water, and the strength, structural integrity, and beauty of the chimney will be restored.
Is There a Way to Prevent Masonry Damage?
Another important service we offer for masonry is waterproofing. Waterproofing is the #1 way to protect your masonry chimney against water damage and keep it looking great and free of leaks for years to come.
We use a specially formulated waterproofing agent that’s eco-friendly and designed just for masonry. Not only will it provide an invisible waterproof barrier, but it will also allow any vapor inside the brick to safely escape.
With our waterproofing service, you won’t have to worry about cracked bricks, receding mortar joints, mold growth, efflorescence (white discoloration on brick), or any other water woes for decades. Now, that’s good news.
#2 Crown Damage – What Causes It & What It Looks Like
Crown damage is another common problem we address for our neighbors in Siskiyou County. The crown is the concrete slab that covers the chimney opening like a small roof. Its job is to close off the chimney stack and prevent moisture from getting in.
So, what causes crowns to fail? Well, most often, they’re built of the wrong materials, using the wrong dimensions. Simple mortar mix will not suffice – a stronger material like concrete needs to be used
A good, solid crown will also be reinforced with mesh and built to proper thickness, with a nice overhang to prevent water from dripping right down the chimney stack.
Of course, even well-built crowns can fail over time as a result of snow, sleet, rain, sun, and age…
Why Fix Crown Damage Early On?
When you’re up on the roof with Christmas lights, you might notice your crown has cracks or is crumbling in some areas. The best thing to do if you notice crown damage at all is to schedule crown repairs immediately.
The reason is that cracks and weak areas of the crown will only get worse over time. As cracks become larger and rough patches wear down further, more water will be allowed into the chimney. So, by not fixing your crown, you could be opening many other areas of your chimney up to costly damage.
How Is Crown Damage Repaired & Prevented?
When making a crown repair – if damage is minor – we’ll use a special sealant to fill cracks and smooth over any rough patches. If damage is more extensive and a new crown is needed, you can count on our Certified Chimney Professionals and Certified Chimney Masters to build it right. We also have products that can provide a waterproof membrane and keep the crown protected against water damage in the future.
#3 Flashing Damage – What Causes It & What Does It Look Like?
Maybe you’re familiar with flashing, but maybe you aren’t. Chimney flashing, which is what we’re talking about here, consists of a series of layered metal sheets where the roof and chimney intersect. Its job is to seal the area where the chimney joins the roof and prevent leaks and damage to the chimney and home.
Some flashing fails because it’s made with a weak metal, like aluminum, rather than stainless steel or copper. Other flashing fails because animals tamper with it, strong storms lift or dent it, or water eats its way through.
And when flashing fails, you might notice:
- Water stains on ceilings near your chimney
- Water damage on the inside of your chimney
- And other signs of a leak
Why Fix Flashing Damage Early On?
Water doesn’t need a very big gap or hole to make its way into the home and cause a lot of damage. It just takes one small, vulnerable area. That’s why repairing flashing early on is so important – without secure, effective flashing, there’s nothing to keep water out of this sensitive area of the home.
How Is Flashing Repaired?
When flashing fails, the best thing to do is call a Certified Chimney Professional, like those here at Holy Smoke, Inc. We specialize in flashing repairs and can replace individual sheets of flashing or start from scratch. We use the best metal flashing for the job and work diligently to provide secure, effective results.
We also offer sealants that can provide an extra layer of water protection, so your flashing is extra secure and ready to keep moisture out for years to come.
#4 Chimney Caps – Why Are They Important & What Should You Do If Yours Is Damaged or Missing?
Lastly, there’s the chimney cap.
A chimney cap is the metal or plastic cover that sits atop the chimney flue to safeguard it against water, debris, and animal entry. The trouble is that some caps rust through, others blow off in severe weather, and some simply aren’t properly fitted and installed. And when your chimney is without the protection that a chimney cap provides, it’s in a lot of trouble.
Here’s how you’ll know if your chimney cap needs to be replaced:
- You look up at your chimney and notice it no longer has a cap
- You look up at your chimney and see rust stains or other streaks running down the cap and/or masonry
- You hear dripping sounds in your chimney during storms
- You see rust in your firebox
Why Replace a Chimney Cap ASAP?
If you think your chimney cap may be failing or you notice your chimney is missing a cap, call a Certified Chimney Professional immediately. A failed or missing cap can allow animals, insects, twigs and debris, plus the chimney’s #1 enemy (water), into the chimney. A little water, a few critters, and blockages caused by flammable debris can all lead to unnecessary hazards, damage, and costs. So, save yourself the frustration and protect your home by taking care of a missing or damage cap ASAP.
Here at Holy Smoke, Inc., we sell and install top-quality caps that are built to protect and look great. Plus, we carry a wide assortment of styles and sizes, so no matter what you need or want, we can get it for you and install it quickly and professionally.
Affordable Chimney Repair Is Just a Phone Call Away With Holy Smoke, Inc.
Since 1979, we’ve taken care of chimney repairs quickly and professionally for our neighbors in Mount Shasta, Fort Jones, Grenada, and all throughout Siskiyou County and Shasta County. Let us be there for you, too. To request an inspection or chimney repair, simply call 530-285-3841 or reach out to us here on our website today. That’s what we’re here for!