As winter starts heading towards its conclusion, chimney owners are starting to think about packing away their firewood and getting ready to let their chimney sit inactive until next winter.
But, before you put your chimney completely out of mind for the spring, summer, and fall, it is important to make sure you take care of any chimney maintenance or repairs for damage sustained over the winter as soon as possible.
Because chimneys are typically only in use for a relatively small portion of the year, it can be easy for homeowners to neglect the condition of their chimney and put off work as long as possible. However, chimney repairs are something you simply cannot afford to put off.
Ignoring cracked or broken masonry, substantial damage to the chimney flue, clogs or ventilation problems, or other issues you could potentially be putting your chimney, your home, and even your family at risk of danger.
Chimneys may seem strong as a rock, but even they have their breaking point. Weakened or damaged masonry may even still seem sturdy, but all it takes is one severe storm or one fallen tree branch to finish the job and cause a complete or at the very least and significant portion of your chimney to collapse. Believe us, when a chimney is in rough condition it may not take much to finish the job.
In the event that your chimney sustains this level of damage, you won’t just be put in a position where you now have to completely replace your chimney, but you will also likely need to address damage to your roof as well. If you think hail and wind can damage shingles and roofs, you can imagine what some tumbling bricks or stones can do too.
Cracks or damage in chimney masonry can be expanded or made worse by continued use and exposure to heat. If you get through the whole year without addressing significant chimney damage, you are only going to make it worse by continuing to use it.
On top of that, continuing to use a damaged chimney can be dangerous to your home. Any damage that causes high levels of heat or flame to escape anywhere but the flue of your chimney can risk exposing the flammable wood frame of your house and sparking a house fire.
Using a chimney that has sustained damage to its flue or results in improper ventilation could have other deadly consequences as well. Without proper ventilation, deadly Carbon Monoxide, the Silent Killer, produced by fire may not be able to escape your chimney and enter into your home.
Odorless and tasteless, even small or limited exposure to Carbon Monoxide can be lethal. Low concentrations can be deadly in 8 hours, but high concentration can kill in around 5 minutes. Not only is this a good lesson in ensuring those with chimneys have monitors in place, but it is also a lesson on the importance of maintaining proper chimney ventilation. If chimney damage is putting ventilation at risk, you are putting your life at risk.
Don’t let lingering chimney problems put your home and family in harm’s way. Let Lathrop Contracting help protect your home by repairing your chimney and let you return to worry-free winter comfort. Our free estimate can identify the root of your chimney damage and put our experience to work to fix it.
Lathrop Contracting has proudly served the roofing and masonry needs of residential and commercial buildings for many years, from repairs to installations. Call (317) 783-6929 to schedule your free roofing, gutter, or masonry estimate today.
How often should I repair chimney brickwork?
It is important to regularly check on the condition of your chimney’s masonry to ensure it is in good shape. Before winter and after winter is the ideal time to have your chimney checked and serviced or repaired. If there are any signs of damage, make sure your chimney is repaired as soon as possible.