Most homeowners never give a single thought to it until it's too late, but there's actually a lot to think about when it comes to chimney repair. In Suffolk County NY
, the regular rainfall and the typical February freeze even in warm years can do a lot of damage to a chimney even over the course of a normal year. Add that to the possibility of significant chimney-related disasters like lightning or flue fires or birds settling in over the summer, and you've got a lot that can go wrong.
That's why everyone who owns their own house and has a chimney should get an annual chimney inspection, generally right at the end of the summer before the rainy season begins. In most cases, you'll pay the low double-digits for someone to come out, take a look at your chimney, and tell you everything's fine.
But on those occasions when something is wrong, you'll be glad you invested in this little bit of insurance, because there are only two kinds of chimney repair on Long Island
: the preventative kind and the expensive kind. An annual chimney exam will keep you in the preventative zone.
If you don't keep up (or a significant disaster occurs), you'll find yourself needing to pay out for a repair. The most common chimney parts that need fixing up are:
• The Chimney Caps
• The Mortar Crown
• The Firebox
• The Damper
• The Flue
• The Storm Collar
• The Flashing
Chimney caps restrict water, animals and debris from getting into your chimney and causing problems. They also keep sparks in, which is good for not having a fire on your roof.
Mortar crowns are concrete constructions that keep water out of your flue. Cracks in mortar crowns are the most common cause of water leaks into your attic or ceilings.
The firebox is the place where you actually build the fire. Problems here can lead to minor annoyances like your house burning down.
The damper keeps the flue closed when fireplace isn't in use. More importantly, it keeps the heat from escaping straight out the chimney, so if yours is broken, your fireplace will be primarily a pretty light and not so good for warming your home.
The flue lets smoke and other nastiness out while working with the damper to keep the heat in. Flues often collect creosote and other flammability on them, and need to be cleaned regularly.
The storm collar is a series of sheet metal plates up top that shunt water that's running down your chimney away from the area where it meets the roof. If it gets bent by a tree branch or something, it can cause leakage into your ceiling.
Flashing is the lining on the inside of your chimney that protects the mortar from the heat and chemicals that flow up your chimney. Flashing can crack and fail, leading to structural weakness along your entire chimney. It's probably the single most important part of your chimney.
Chimney Rebuilding, Chimney Repair