How to Spot Chimney Leaks

If your chimney is leaking in Marietta, GA, you need to fix the problem as soon as possible. A leak could lead to structural damage, mold growth, and a number of other problems. Watch for the following 5 signs that you may have a leak that needs to be taken care of as soon as possible:

Cracks in Mortar

Check the mortar joints and bricks for any signs of cracks. The cracks will allow water into the chimney. If your chimney is located in a shaded area, you’ll have trouble drying it out so the moisture will stay around and continue to damage your chimney. If you’re wondering about whether your mortar has cracks in it or if there is a lot of moisture in it, you can perform a Masonry Absorption Test (MAT). This test will tell you how much water has been absorbed into the masonry material.

Damaged Wood Siding

If you have wood siding along the exterior of your home, you need to look for signs that it’s deteriorating. Over time, any loose knots will come off the side of your home, making it easy for moisture to seep into your home. Some wood siding will even split as it gets older. If you notice any of these issues, you should replace your siding as quickly as possible.

Cracked Chimney Crown

The chimney crown is placed on top of your chimney to prevent water from getting into your chimney. If it gets cracked, it will have a hard time keeping water out. Look for signs of cracks, which could be the cause of your leak. The cracks should be filled or the chimney crown repaired or replaced to remedy the problem.

Cracked Fireplace Flashing

The fireplace flashing is typically made from aluminum. It surrounds the chimney and prevents water from getting inside. If there are any cracks in your fireplace flashing, similar to the chimney crown, it could be letting in water. Have the flashing repaired or replaced as soon as possible.

Lacking Chimney Cover

A chimney cover goes on top of your chimney to prevent birds, water, debris, and other things from getting inside. If you don’t have a chimney cover, rain can pour into your chimney. Purchase a chimney cover and have it properly installed to start taking advantage of all that it has to offer you.

When you do notice any of these signs of a chimney leak, contact Atlanta Chimney Doctor. We’ll help you determine where the leak is coming from, so we can remove excess water from your chimney and prevent future problems.

 

How to Repair a Chimney Crown

Your chimney crown is located just above the chimney flue. It is required to help keep water from seeping into your chimney. If moisture gets into your chimney, you could have water damage and your fireplace will struggle to heat your home. The most common issues that people have with their chimney crowns are cracks and damage. If you have these issues with your chimney crown, you may be wondering about how to repair a chimney crown in Marietta. To do this, you would need to take the following steps:

1.      Prepare the Area

Use caution as you climb a ladder to get on top of your roof. When you reach your chimney crown, you should remove all debris, rocks, and particles around it. Clean off any mold that may have started to grow. Use a stiff wire brush to remove it effectively. If you need to remove the crown, be careful as you do so. Place a drop cloth over the hole to prevent anything from falling down your chimney.

2.      Remove Extra Concrete

If there is extra concrete that needs to be removed, you’ll need a chisel. Tap away as you remove the broken concrete. Place the concrete in a bucket, so you can carefully bring it off the roof with you.

3.      Create Your Mixture

The mixture that you use to attack the chimney crown should consist of 2 parts mason’s cement to 1 part gravel. Make sure that there are no lumps in the mixture. Then, you should add water a little bit at a time. Make sure that the mixture sticks together without becoming too runny. Then, add about 1 cup of a bonding agent.

4.      Attach the Chimney Crown

If your chimney flue is less than 6 inches in length, you should place your chimney crown about 2-inches from the flue. If your chimney is greater than 6 inches in length, then you should place your chimney crown about 4-inches from the flue. Use a trowel to spread the mixture evenly over the chimney crown. Make sure that there are no bubbles. If you’re using the mixture to fill cracks, make sure that you’re getting the mixture deep into the crack. You don’t want to just fill the crack along the surface.

5.      Dry the Mixture

Allow the mixture to dry completely before moving onto the final step. It may take an entire day to allow it to dry out completely. If you need to, place a drop cloth over the chimney crown to prevent rain or other debris getting into the wet concrete.

6.      Add Sealant

Once the concrete is dry, you should apply a coat of sealant. For example, you could use Crown Coat. Make sure to use a brush and apply at least 3 coats.

Repairing your chimney crown is important to making sure that no water will get into your chimney. If you need any assistance completing these steps, contact Atlanta Chimney Doctor. We can come to your home to inspect your chimney crown and determine the right steps to take to make sure that your crown is fixed and protected from future problems.

 

The Chimney Sweeper’s Tools

In order to protect your home from the dangers associated with creosote in your chimney, you need to hire a chimney sweep in Atlanta to clean your chimney. The chimney sweep will cover your furniture to protect it from the soot. Then, he or she will use special tools to remove the soot and tar from your chimney. The special tools consist of the following 3 things:

Wire Brush

A wire brush will be attached to a rod of various sizes to reach up your chimney. The wire brush is a flat, round brush that scrapes soot and creosote from the sides of your chimney. If your chimney contains a stainless steel liner, then the chimney sweeper will use a polypropylene brush instead.

Vacuum

A heavy-duty vacuum can be used to remove ash that comes out of your chimney. The vacuum can also be used to clean out the corners and base of your fireplace. It’s important to use a specialized, heavy duty vacuum that won’t get destroyed from the ash and soot.

Chemical Cleaner

Chemicals can also be used to remove stubborn creosote that is built up on the sides of your chimney. There are spray-on powders that can be used in your chimney to break down the glaze. It also makes the creosote less flammable. It can absorb oils and orders that are hard to remove, too.

The tools may not be overly complicated, and the process is not overly complicated either. However, it’s important to use the right tools that won’t damage your chimney. You need to be careful to remove as much of the creosote and other debris as possible, so you won’t have to worry about the dangers associated with a creosote buildup. Some of those dangers include fire, carbon monoxide poisoning, or a very dirty home.

Contact Atlanta Chimney Doctor to schedule your cleaning as soon as possible. Our professional chimney sweepers will come to your home with the proper tools in hand to take care of the problem for you.