Forever immortalized by Mary Poppins, Harry Potter, and Santa Claus, chimneys seem to be the magical epicenter of the home. It makes sense really. There is certainly something special about a fire on a cold winter day, and the long, black tunnel seems to lead nowhere (much like a wardrobe). No matter how old someone is, it is easy to dream up fantastical happenings around a fireplace and chimney. Even though real fireplaces are few and far between, chimneys remain equally important for those homes with gas fireplaces. As many homeowners have become painfully aware, taking care of chimneys is vitally important to make sure fireplaces, either wood-burning or gas, are properly ventilated
Keeping Out the Elements
As most people are aware, chimneys are designed to channel smoke and carbon monoxide out of the home. What few people ever really ponder is how chimneys let those things out but keep rain and snow from falling in. When it comes to preventing precipitation from falling into a home, there are a few things at play keeping the fire dry. The first thing is that when there is a fire in the fireplace, there is an updraft of warm air. This warm air shoots through the top of the chimney, blowing away any rain or snow that might be trying to make its way into the chimney. Another way chimney’s keep precipitation at bay is that most of them are curved, which catches any stray raindrops or snowflakes long before they douse any flames. Finally, many people put one of a number of waterproofing devices on or in their chimneys. The most popular of these devices is called a chimney cap, which is like an umbrella for chimneys.
Leaks Will Happen
Despite the fact that chimneys are well designed and protected, it is certainly possible for them to leak. When chimney leaks happen, it is important to call a professional chimney sweep about repairing the leak and any damage it caused.
When it comes to a leaky chimney, there are a lot of things that could be causing the problem, such as cracks in the crown, flashing, or masonry work, or lack of a chimney cap. In order to fix such problems, we utilize a variety of products and techniques. The most obvious fix for a leak is the installation of a chimney cap. The type of chimney cap a chimney sweep will install depends entirely on the size and shape of the chimney and whether the top of the chimney is flush with the rest of it or has a crown.
Repairing Leaks and Damage
Another thing the chimney sweep will look for is any structural damage. He or she will examine the type and extent of the damage and then decide on the appropriate chimney repair techniques. Once the damage has been fixed, the chimney sweep will use any one of a number of waterproofing products to make sure the damage doesn’t reoccur.