Now is the time to schedule with A & M Chimney Service. Owned by Michael Showalter and succeeding from All Safe Chimney Service, A & M Chimney Service possesses a wealth of knowledge to handle all of your chimney needs.Did you know that your masonry chimney can deteriorate rapidly if certain simple preventative measures are not followed?
Here’s a few simple steps A & M Chimney Service suggests to avoid much more costly repairs further down the road.
1. Applying a water repellent.
Water penetration and the freeze/thaw cycle is the greatest enemy to masonry chimneys. The Brick Institute of America does not recommend using a water “sealer” on masonry chimneys because sealers trap moisture and clog pores of masonry work. Water “repellent” should be used because it allows the material to breathe. A & M is the local dealer for “Chimney Saver” water repellent and one application is guaranteed for ten years.
2. Installing a chimney cap.
Chimneys without caps allow damaging water (rain/snow) to enter the chimney, along with disease-carrying animals. A & M can install a cap with a lifetime warranty that will keep rain, snow and animals out of your chimney.
3. Keeping the chimney crown in good repair.
Every masonry chimney should have a concrete crown that covers the top of the chimney and helps protect the entire structure. If the crown is cracked, missing or damaged, water can enter the masonry structure. If caught early, repairs can be made, avoiding costly repairs or possible rebuilding. A & M will repair and/or build a new crown with a special “Crown Repair” mix that comes with a 10-year warranty. If you have a framed-in factory built metal chimney and the chase cover plate is rusting, they can replace that cover plate with a stainless steel cover that comes with a lifetime warranty.
Tuckpointing is removing old, deteriorating mortar with a diamond blade and injecting new mortar. Deteriorating mortar joints between brick, block or stone will eventually cause the chimney structure to lose its stability and require major repairs or rebuilding. Tuckpointing can add years to your chimney and save you thousands of dollars.
5. Sizing chimney flue to appliances.
All woodstove, inserts, fireplaces and high-efficiency gas furnaces should have the proper chimney flue size to allow for safe exhaust. Oversized woodstove/insert flues can cause an excessive build-up of highly flammable creosote and a chimney fire could occur. If the chimney has a clay liner, the liner could erode allowing possible leaks in the flue, complete flue blockage or carbon monoxide poisoning. If the flue in unlined mortar and brick could be loose and falling and moisture could be leeched through the home’s interior wall causing ceiling and drywall deterioration.
As a nationally certified restoration company, A & M can inspect your wood-burning appliance or high efficient gas furnace chimney flue to help determine if it is properly sized and safe. A & M can install a stainless steel gas liner that comes with a lifetime warranty, which will end moisture problems and increase the efficiency of your furnace. If the chimney is unlined or the liner is damaged, A & M can install a new stainless steel liner that comes with a lifetime warranty. Damage repair as a result of wind, lightning or chimney fire is normally covered under your homeowner’s insurance policy.
6. Keeping the chimney clean.
The National Fire Protection Association recommends having your chimney inspected or cleaned on an annual basis. Wood burning chimney flues can ignite and cause a damaging chimney fire if not cleaned often and properly. Gas and oil chimney flues should be inspected and cleaned to guarantee no flue blockage and safe exhaustion thereby avoiding carbon monoxide poisoning.
7. Fireplace dampers
Fireplace dampers that are loose, broken or missing can cause major heat loss up the chimney flue. A & M can install a top-mounted stainless steel high-efficient damper that will completely stop heat loss and comes with a lifetime warranty.
8. Gutter Cleaning
How well are your gutters working? Gutters are something the average homeowner doesn’t pay much attention to, but they play a more important part in your drainage than you think. Leaves and other debris can cause gutters to overflow. This, in turn, can cause extensive damage to your basement walls, crawlspace or slab home. Worse, by the time you see it, it will already be too late.