Contractor Tips Blog

Sep
3

Spring or Summer Maintenance for Your Chimney

When the warm spring weather arrives, you may be more than happy to stop stoking the fire and open your windows. While the heating season may be over, it is time to do any needed maintenance to your system. If you have a fireplace with a chimney, performing chimney maintenance needs to be done to protect your home and family. Here are some of chimney maintenance tasks you should add to your to-do list this spring or summer.

Chimney Cleaning

Creosote is a natural-occurring by-product of burning wood. This build-up in your chimney can cause blockages and chimney fires. If you use your woodstove or fireplaces as a main source of heat, you may need to have your chimney swept or cleaned every year. If a build-up of 1/8” of soot or any glaze is indication that your chimney needs cleaning.

Inspection

It is important to have your chimney fully inspected each year. You can do a visual inspection of the exterior to look for settling or cracks in your chimney. Any masonry issues should be repaired immediately. However, it is important to have a professional inspection to check the interior of the chimney, the damper and other elements.

Repairs

One of the reasons not to wait to complete chimney maintenance until fall is if there are repairs needed. If the chimney structure needs repairs it can take time. Chimney professionals are busy in the fall and you may run into issues getting your chimney repaired in time for winter.

As soon as you are ready to shutdown your fireplace for the season, schedule your inspection with a local chimney specialist. They can let you know if you need a cleaning or repairs to give you plenty of time to perform the maintenance needed before it is time to start a fire again.

Posted on behalf of:
Anglin’s Foundation & Masonry Repairs
1027 Oregon Trail
Marietta, GA 30008
(770) 422-2924

Apr
16

Will Your Chimney Last the Winter?

Chimneys can last for decades, safely removing smoke from your home and keeping your fireplace ventilated. However, they do need maintenance and repairs to keep them safe and functional. There are an estimated 25,000 chimney fires and many other chimney problems that occur every year. If you have an older chimney, you need to make sure it kept maintained. Have you inspected your chimney to ensure it is ready to last the winter?

Signs of Chimney Problems

A routine check of your chimney is the best way to catch signs of disrepair. As your chimney gets older, it may settle or become unstable. This can allow air in that can cause a chimney fire or result in a collapsed chimney. Some signs to look for include:

  • Spalling or shaling. If there are pieces of chimney tile falling inside in the fireplace, this is called shaling. Pieces of chimney falling around the outside structure is called spalling. Both are signs of damage that can lead to structural problems.
  • Leaning chimney. Take a close look at your chimney from outside. Is it leaning, or does it have deteriorating mortar joints? This can be caused by settling and too much moisture, leading to a crumbling or collapsing chimney.
  • Rust or white stains. Rust on dampers or the firebox and white staining on the outside of the chimney are signs of too much moisture. This can cause deterioration of the mortar and chimney.

If you notice any of these problems, call a chimney or masonry expert to schedule a professional inspection and repair. This can prevent chimney failure during the winters months and keep your family safe.

Posted on behalf of:
Anglin’s Foundation & Masonry Repairs
1027 Oregon Trail
Marietta, GA 30008
(770) 422-2924

Feb
26

Chimney Inspections and Buying a Home

When looking at possible new homes, there are many different factors to consider. Size, location, schools, price and possible problems with the home are all on the list of concerns before investing in a new home. While home inspections are used to identify any possible problems in the home, they are only an overview of many different structures and systems in the home. If the home has a fireplace and chimney, a general chimney outside inspection is usually completed, but it may not be enough to find serious problems within the chimney structure.

Benefits of Professional Chimney Inspections

If you are considering buying an older home that has a chimney, it may be worth the investment to have a separate chimney inspection performed by a masonry expert. Chimney structural issues can exist that are not evident and are often missed in standard home inspections. Having a professional chimney inspection before committing to a purchase can benefit the buyer with the following benefits:

  • Identify any deeper chimney problems
  • Save the buyer thousands of dollars in unexpected repairs
  • Peace of mind
  • Options to ask for repair stipulations before purchase
  • Internal inspection of the chimney

Serious structure issues in a chimney can be dangerous and an expensive surprise for new homeowners. It is worth the investment for a professional chimney inspection, especially on homes that have older masonry in place. Choose a masonry expert that perform level one, two and three chimney inspections that are not covered with standard home sale inspections. This can uncover any possible issues or give your potential home a clean bill of chimney health for your peace of mind.

Posted on behalf of:
Anglin’s Foundation & Masonry Repairs
1027 Oregon Trail
Marietta, GA 30008
(770) 422-2924

Dec
10

3 Signs Your Chimney Needs Repairing

Posted in Masonry

Your chimney can last for decades without any problems. Routine cleanings are usually all the maintenance needed to keep it safe and efficient, but occasionally you will need repairs. If the structure of your chimney becomes unstable, it can become a hazard. Bricks can fall or leaks can cause a fire, putting your home and family at risk. Here are three signs your chimney needs a repair by a professional mason.

  1. Leaning. If your chimney has begun to lean, you should be calling your local masonry expert immediately. This can be a dangerous situation. A high-wind storm, heavy rains or nothing at all can bring your chimney tumbling down if it is unstable.
  2. Cracks. Are there spaces between bricks or cracks in your chimney? This can lead to bricks falling or the entire chimney crumbling down. Cracks can be signs of an unlevel foundation under your chimney or other structural problems.
  3. Evidence of moisture. There are signs that your chimney is leaking in moisture, which means it needs repair. If the wall near the chimney is warped or there is damage to the wallpaper, it can point to moisture issues. Also, if your firebox or damper is rusted, this is a sign of moisture problems.

Other signs of chimney issues are not as easy to spot. If you are on your roof and notice the chimney crown is cracked or the mortar joints are damaged, these are also signs you need a chimney repair. Don’t hesitate to call your local masonry expert for a repair. Chimney problems can lead to fires, injury and property damage that you want to avoid.

Posted on behalf of:
Anglin’s Foundation & Masonry Repairs
1027 Oregon Trail
Marietta, GA 30008
(770) 422-2924

Aug
5

How Often Do You Need Your Chimney Inspected?

When was the last time your chimney was inspected? Maybe it was when you bought the home, a few years ago or possibly you have never had it properly inspected. Considering the importance of a chimney in heating your home and the consequences of a damaged chimney, it should be a higher priority than it tends to be for many homeowners. Here are some basics on why and how often you should have your chimney inspected.

Your chimney is exposed to the elements, both from the fires you burn and the outside weather. The interior can be damaged through the acidic material that is deposited through the combustion process, breaking down the chimney material. Plus, the inside and outside can be affected from storms, wind and other weather. Even the ground beneath your home can affect your chimneys structure, causing shifting and settling from erosion and other influences.

Other reasons to have your chimney inspected include blockages and buildup inside the chimney. Creosote can accumulate inside the chimney, putting you at risk for a chimney or house fire. Wildlife and debris can enter the chimney, causing blockages that can be dangerous when you start using your fireplace again.

Inspections of your chimney should be done annually for preventive measures. A professional chimney service can check the interior for blockages, buildup and damage that cannot be seen from a visual outside inspection. They can also look for any signs of structure issues or settling that may need to be repaired. The best time to schedule your inspection is in the late summer, early fall, before you will need to use your fireplace again. This allows time to have your chimney cleaned or repaired before the colder weather begins to occur.

Posted on behalf of:
Anglin’s Foundation & Masonry Repairs
1027 Oregon Trail
Marietta, GA 30008
(770) 422-2924

Mar
31

Masonry Concerns When Buying a New Home

Posted in Masonry

You find the perfect home for your family and you want to secure the deal with a down payment. Before you write that check, you need to make sure that you are buying a home that is structurally sound. While it is common to have a general home inspection, these basic inspections do not always catch hidden issues that could cost you thousands of dollars down the road. Masonry and foundation problems can often be difficult to catch by a general contractor; it may be worth getting a masonry expert to complete an inspection before you buy.

Chimney Inspections

One area that can get overlooked is the chimney. While a quick external inspection of the chimney will be done, this can easily miss hidden problems. You will want a closer look at the chimney, especially if it is an older home. A masonry expert can perform a more detailed chimney inspection to ensure there isn’t structural damage inside the chimney that could lead to fires and other expensive issues down the road.

Foundation Problems

Foundation issues come in many forms and may not be immediately noticeable during a basic inspection. If there is even a slight sinking or unstable component in the foundation, it can put the entire home at risk. A foundation or masonry expert can take a closer look at footings and other elements to ensure the home and other structures like decks have a solid, safe foundation underneath.

It is worth the extra investment for a masonry inspection to be performed on a home you plan to buy. If there are issues, you can negotiate to have them fixed before the sale or have the cost of repairs taken off the sale price.

Posted on behalf of:
Anglin’s Foundation & Masonry Repairs
1027 Oregon Trail
Marietta, GA 30008
(770) 422-2924

Oct
4

Why Damaged Chimneys are Dangerous

Posted in Masonry

Your chimney is essential to allowing you to have a fireplace inside your home and still have breathable air. It allows smoke to escape and air to feed the fire in small doses. However, if you have a masonry chimney that has begun to lean or shows signs of damage, it may be putting your home and family in danger. Chimney repairs are not something you should procrastinate about fixing as they can potential be harmful, even when you are not using your fireplace.

Masonry chimneys can last for many decades when maintained. Occasional cleanings and small repairs to bricks is often all that is needed to keep them safe and intact. However, they do depend on a solid foundation to stay stable; sinking foundations can cause a leaning chimney that can come crashing down at any time. In addition, you can have a small chimney fire without knowing it that can damage the masonry from the inside out.

Once the integrity of the chimney is compromised, it becomes a dangerous element in your home. Single bricks can topple, endangering those below, or the entire chimney could fall, putting your family and home at risk. If the interior has been damaged, there is a higher chance that a small chimney fire can spread to the rest of your home instead of being contained inside the flue walls.

Considering the dangers, it is never a good idea to put off a chimney repair. If you notice your chimney is leaning or has cracks, call a masonry expert for an inspection. It is not worth the risk to your home and family – get your chimney repaired as quickly as possible.

Posted on behalf of:
Anglin’s Foundation & Masonry Repairs
1027 Oregon Trail
Marietta, GA 30008
(770) 422-2924

Jul
21

Buying a New Home? Don’t Forget the Chimney Inspection

Posted in Masonry

When you are searching for a new home, you want to ensure that this giant purchase is protected. It is standard to have a home inspection performed to understand any possible problems with the house. While this can cover many aspects from the foundation to the structural integrity, it does not cover everything. If your potential home has a fireplace and masonry chimney, add a high level chimney inspection to your list of ‘do’s” before you buy.During a standard home inspection, they will generally include an inspection the chimney for damage. However, this is a very basic look for any obvious problems. If the chimney is leaning or has visual damage to the structure, it will most likely be caught. However, big problems could be lurking under the surface of a chimney that looks structurally sound.

There are many different components in a chimney and factors that can affect the structure and safety. There are also different levels of chimney inspections that look at these components. Chimney inspections come in three levels, with number three being the most comprehensive. The levels include:

  • Level 1. A basic inspection of the accessible areas of the chimney for any problems, including the interior, exterior and connections.
  • Level 2. The next level goes above and beyond level 1 by also inspecting deeper into the chimney with a camera, plus other areas like the basement or attic. In many cases a level 2 is required for selling a home – check with your realtor.
  • Level 3. Level 3 is the most comprehensive inspection available, uncovering any structural issues that may be hiding inside the chimney.

Don’t risk an expensive chimney problem down the road. Insist on a level 3 chimney inspection by an experienced masonry company, especially on older homes with fireplaces, before you buy.

Posted on behalf of:
Anglin’s Foundation & Masonry Repairs
1027 Oregon Trail
Marietta, GA 30008
(770) 422-2924

Jun
23

Buying a New Home? Don’t Skip the Chimney Inspection

Posted in Contractors

Shopping for a new home can be daunting. There are so many factors to consider: size, location, amenities, price and so much more. You have a grocery list of items you want in a home, including structural integrity. No one wants to buy a home and then find out six months down the road it needs a major repair. Although all homes receive an inspection before sale, a general inspection may not reveal hidden issues.  If the home you want to buy has a chimney, don’t skip a specific chimney inspection before signing on the dotted line.

Hidden Chimney Problems

A general home inspection will detect a leaning chimney or one that has noticeable damage to the masonry. However, unless the issue is visible from the outside, many chimney problems will get missed. Level I or II inspections rarely catch chimney issues that are not visible. There are structural issues within the chimney that can lead to major chimney repairs and even full chimney replacement. A chimney that is unstable can become a hazard to your home as well as your family; a falling chimney can cause serious, even fatal, injuries.

If you are considering buying a home with a chimney, take the extra step of getting a qualified chimney inspection. These inspections can uncover any hidden problems within the structure, giving you the option of asking for these issues to be fixed before you buy. If the chimney passes inspection, you have the peace of mind that you won’t need a major chimney repair in the near future.

When scheduling your chimney inspection, make sure to use an honest, reputable masonry company with many years of experience in chimney repairs and replacements.

Posted on behalf of:
Anglin’s Foundation & Masonry Repairs
Marietta, GA
(770) 422-2924

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