When you first discover that you have a leak inside the house, you might just simply stick a pail underneath the dripping water and forget all about it, hoping the rain will stop and the problem will go away. This is not a good plan. It’s better to get the leak fixed before the next rain storm. Water leaking around the chimney area might be an indication that it’s your chimney and not the roof that’s leaking. We at Chimney Doctor, LLC would like to help you know the difference between the two by suggesting the following signs to look for.
Spotting missing shingles on your roof or finding shingles below on the ground is one sign you might have aleaking roof. The area of the missing shingles–easily spotted because the difference in color in certain spots on your roof–can guide you to the spot on your ceiling that might have the beginnings of a leak. Another sign of a roof leak is having gutters that are clogged. Two ways to quickly spot this are seeing leaves sticking up out of the gutter or noticing that the downspouts are not freely releasing water–or releasing it at all!
Rain can come down into your chimney if your chimney cover has fallen or blown away, or wasn’t installed in the first place. A chimney cover is important not only to avoid water leaking around the chimney, but it prevents debris and small animals from getting in as well. If the cover (aka, crown), is cracked, it might take a little longer, but the rain will get in this way too. Leaking bricks can also bring water into your house.
Flashing, the thin metal underneath your shingles, can crack, and when this happens close by the chimney area of the roof, it might be hard to figure out whether the leak is coming from the roof or the chimney.
No matter where the leak is coming from, it’s important to get it fixed right away. Letting the problem go too long can not only cause problems with your roof or chimney, but the problem can also spread to the walls and even cause damage to your floors. Even furniture and appliances can share in the damage originating from one small leak that goes unrepaired.
Chimneys often bring to mind a cozy, warm setting on a chilly night. But a chimney that is in disrepair can cause a lot of damage to a home and its inhabitants. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommends that a chimney be inspected at least once a year. In this way, the professionals can help you know if your chimney is in need of a simple cleaning or if it needs a more serious chimney leak repair. To help you understand the importance of regular chimney maintenance, we’ve explained some of the dangers associated with chimney disrepair below.
Each year, chimneys that have not been properly cared for lead to numerous house fires. Blockages in the chimney due to animal nests, leaves and debris, or fallen masonry can cause the smoke and flames to travel into the home rather than up and out of the chimney. Creosote, which is a black or dark brown tar and soot caused by burning wood and other items, can also build up over time and cause a blockage. This is particularly dangerous as not only does it block the smoke and fumes from the fire from leaving the house properly, but is also a very flammable substance that can catch fire itself.
Another potential cause of house fires from chimneys is a damaged chimney liner. The liner is there to protect other more flammable areas of the home from exposure to sparks and smoke. If the liner is damaged, these other areas of the home are more susceptible to fire.
Blockages and damaged liners can also allow smoke to travel about the house, which can cause soot stains and make the house smell. But besides being annoying, this can also allow dangerous fumes to enter the home, such as carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide is an odorless, tasteless gas that can cause illness and can potentially lead to death.
One of the biggest causes of chimney damage, whether it is to the brickwork, liner, or other components, is water. A faulty chimney cap, crown, or flashing should be repaired as soon as possible to help prevent water damage from occurring in the chimney. Chimney leak repair can also help prevent water damage from occurring in other areas, such as the ceiling, walls, or attic space near the chimney.
Most people who have fireplaces do not know that an annual chimney cleaning is vital to the functioning of your fireplace and chimney as well as having many health benefits for you and your family. We’d like to explain some things that you should look for when looking to hire achimney sweep
Years of Experience
You may find a lot of information on many different chimney sweeps, but you want to find the one that offers many years of experience in the local area providing chimney sweep services. If you have friends or family who have had their chimneys swept recently, ask them who they have used. You can also find a lot of information about different companies online.
Ask about recent references of the company so that you can ask previous clients of theirs whether they did a good job, how they treated the client’s property, and whether the job was done efficiently.
Look for a company that has a positive reputation in the local area. There are likely to be many fly-by-night businesses that are around for just a short period. You want to make sure that the company you work with provides a quality service and has a positive reputation in the local community for doing so.
Licensed and Insured
Look for a company that can provide copies of their license and insurance information. License and insurance that is current and up to date shows you that the company is in good standing with the city and state and also protects you from liability of they are injured on the job at your home.
It is important that the chimney sweep you use is able to utilize the most up-to-date technology in chimney sweeping. This means providing a video scan of your chimney so that you can see what they see if they are spotting any issues. You will be more likely to have a problem resolved if you can see for yourself what the issue is.
Chimney caps serve a very important function. They help keep out leaves and other debris that can cause chimney blockages, prevent animals from finding their way inside your chimney, and prevent water from entering the chimney to cause damage to masonry, liners, fireboxes, and other chimney components. They often will also have a spark arrestor that prevents sparks from leaving your chimney onto your roof or property where they could potentially start a fire. Another bonus of a chimney cap you may not have thought of is that they can also improve the appearance of your chimney, and thus your home. We’d like to share 3 reasons why chimneys improve the aesthetics of your home.
1. Variety of Styles
Chimney caps come in a variety of styles. Because they are often made from workable metals like copper and stainless steel, the style options are numerous. In fact, at Atlanta Chimney Doctor, LLC, we even offer custom chimney cap options. Because of the variety of style choices for chimney caps, you are almost guaranteed to find an option that fits the style of your home.
2. Variety of Finishes
Chimney caps come in several types of materials that offer several types of finishes, such as powder-coated black or galvanized steel. One of the most popular choices in materials for chimney caps is stainless steel. Stainless steel provides a practically maintenance-free, durable shine that will look good for years. Some stainless steel chimney caps are even guaranteed to last a lifetime due to its rust-resistant properties. Because it is a popular choice, stainless steel also offers a wide selection of style choices.
3. Copper Is a Choice
Copper chimney caps are appealing for their durability and natural resistance to rust, but also because, like many copper items, they are usually aesthetically pleasing. Copper has an easy to clean, durable shine that can last for years with polishing. Even if you do not feel like polishing the copper cap on a regular basis, copper ages well, developing a patina that many people find desirable. Like stainless steel chimney caps, copper chimney caps often have a lifetime warranty.