We are all aware that when the winter season arrives in the Windy City, the main thing we have to do to keep the atmosphere at home as warm and pleasant as possible is to light our chimneys. However, if we do not give our chimneys the respective maintenance of masonry and tuckpointing in the warm months, that experience can turn into a winter hell. Therefore, here is a guide to the most frequent problems that you may encounter with your fireplace and that should be solved in a timely manner:
1. Collection Spots
If you notice that your fireplace is collecting water and debris progressively, it can be two things. The first reason may be due to the position of the chimney in a descending (but crucial) part of the roof slope, especially if it is close to the eaves than to the ridge; while the second may be due to the fact that the chimney itself is too wide.
In either case, the situation can be solved by installing a chimney cricket. If not installed, the fireplace could have leakages due to pooling water to the point of making the masonry restoration in Chicago option impossible.
2. Improper Installation of Flashing
This piece, which is made up of two separate metal strips, is crucial for the waterproofing of the chimney – as well as its roof junction- and must be inspected from time to time to see if it is correctly overlapped with the shingles. The same is said in the downhill part of the chimney, where the flashing must be on top of said shingles.
However on the uphill side, the metal must be tucked under the shingles. If this is not set up properly, gravity will force water into the chimney’s stoneworks, causing leaks.
3. Chimney Cracks or Dents
If the brickworks of the chimney and the flashing of the same show any evidence of cracks or denting, it is advisable to carry out a masonry repair as soon as possible, since if it is not treated, water could enter the chimney to the point of compromising its structural integrity and require an expensive chimney restoration in Chicago.
These three signs will help you identify when a chimney requires a respective conditioning service and although one can check them on their own – either with a pair of binoculars or with a hi-res camera-, it is recommended that you request the services from masonry contractors for more thorough evaluations and repairs. If you wish to request our services, you can contact our tuckpointing and masonry contractors in Chicago.