Chimney Repairs can be a costly expenditure if you do not keep up with the maintenance of your chimney and fireplace. The chimney in your home serves as an integral part of your fireplace. A fireplace is a great supplemental heat source to have on cold, winter nights. New Jersey winters can be harsh and bring about patterns of freeze and thaw that can wreak havoc on your brick or stone chimney.
Like anything else in your home, it is important to maintain your fireplace and chimney for the main reasons of safety and efficiency. A properly working chimney will ensure that your fireplace is efficiently heating your home while carrying the smoke and toxins out of your home and maintaining the indoor air quality.
How often should I have my Chimney Inspected?
It is recommended that you have your chimney inspected every year (or after one cord of wood is burned). Routine inspections can identify potential problems before they become worse and turn into fire or health hazards.
Who do I hire for Chimney Repairs?
Before hiring someone to inspect or perform chimney repairs, you want to make sure they are certified by the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA). This is the highest, nationally recognized certification a technician can receive. Make sure your chimney service provider is qualified. This will ensure the work is being done to the highest standard and in your best interest. For more information about the CSIA, please visit: https://www.csia.org/
What are some Common Failures on Chimneys?
- Water Infiltration & Leaks
- Flue Lining
- Masonry Cracks & Spalling
- Creosote Buildup
External Cracking & Water Infiltration
Refractory panels in prefabricated fireplaces are the brick panels inside of your fireplace. They reflect heat into your room while protecting the interior of the fireplace. According to our certification guidelines, when you can fit the side of a Dime into a crack in the panel, they need to be replaced. For more information on chimney leaks click here.
What are some products that are used for New Jersey Chimney Repairs?
Camera scoping your flue is essential to preserving the life of your chimney. It is also directly linked to your home’s safety. Chimneys are designed specifically to remove hazardous heat safely out of your home. Over the years, condensation, weather, and natural movement have a negative effect on the integrity of the chimney lining. The only way to ensure your flue is in proper condition is by camera scoping.
Cracks in the flue tiles and missing mortar joints can cause dangerous heated materials to escape and cause a chimney fire. Chimney fires burn so hot that can easily catch your roof of your home on fire.
Factory built fireplace chimneys can come apart, without an inspection how would you ever know? Therefore, we camera scope during our inspections.
Chimney Repairs and Relining with Heatshield
For chimneys with cracked or spalled flues that are otherwise sound, the Resurfacing System is used to apply a coating over the entire flue. Cameras are used to verify repairs. To restore your chimney’s flue by resurfacing the interior, a custom-made foam applicator plug is placed at the bottom of the flue and attached to a winch on top the chimney.
First, a “tie coat” material is applied to the flue walls as the plug is pulled upward by the winch. The “tie coat” cleans any remaining dust in your flue and acts as a primer for the HeatShield Refractory Flue Sealant.
After the tie coat dries, the HeatShield material is then applied onto the flue at a thickness of about ¼” with the foam plug as it is pulled upward by the winch. This unique application method is known as “slip casting” or “slip cast extrusion”.
Our professional HeatShield Installer then verifies that your newly restored chimney is completely sealed and smoke-tight by video scanning your completed repair.
How much do Chimney Repairs cost?
Chimney repairs vary depending on the severity of the issue. Chimney repairs range from common issues like waterproofing to more serious repairs such as cracked flue tiles. Unlike other types of home repairs, chimney repairs are different. The chimney is a complete system made up of several different parts, all these parts are combined to make one. If one of the parts is broken, most times it effects the other. To truly know the costs of the chimney repairs, you must have a complete inspection performed by a CSIA certified technician, using a camera to thoroughly see the entire system.
What kind of Preventative Maintenance is Available?
First, always have a yearly inspection of your chimney system. This will make sure you catch a problem before it spreads to other areas of your chimney system. For example, if your chimney cap is damaged and is allowing water to penetrate the flue area, this can lead to freezing water expanding and damaging your flue system.
So, it is recommended to have an inspection, then have your chimney waterproofed if it has not been done in years. This prevents the most lethal enemy of your chimney system from creating havoc: water. Water is the most corrosive and harmful thing your chimney is exposed to. Keeping water out of the system is the key to a long useful life for your chimney.
Are there specific things we should do living in NJ?
Yes, because New Jersey has severe weather changes, it is especially important to keep up on the maintenance of the exterior of the chimney, especially the brick. Brick is porous and absorbs water. Water can penetrate the brick and can freeze, which causes issues of cracking and spalling. Our chimney technicians use a product called Chimney Saver; this is the best product on the market. It allows your interior chimney to breathe and at the same time it prevents water from penetrating the brick, similar to Gore-Tex.
Do you repair all kinds of chimneys?
Yes, we repair factory-built wood burning chimneys, brick wood burning chimneys and gas fired furnace, hot water heaters and fireplace chimneys. Factory built chimneys are commonly found in many homes in New Jersey. Most found in town home and condo units throughout NJ. We do hundreds of chimney inspections per year to help keep residents safe from fire.
Brick chimneys are most commonly found in private homes in New Jersey. These need special attention, especially keeping the exterior in good condition by waterproofing it with Chimney Saver products.
Tip: Make sure your furnace and hot water heater flue is properly installed. A simple way to check this, make sure it is pitched in an upward direction the entire length of the run (1/4 inch per foot) according to building codes. Many older homes have unlined chimneys that have hot water heaters and furnace flues entering them, by building code standards, they should be updated with a stainless-steel interior liner.
We install new liners into the existing brick chimney, this will prolong the life of your heating units and prevent a danger of carbon monoxide poison. Also, if you are converting oil to gas, you must install a stainless-steel liner into the chimney. The condensation created in the system mixes with the oil residue and creates sulfuric acid, a very toxic and damaging byproduct. Check with your local CSIA certified technician from Apex before installing new appliances. For more information, please visit our Chimney Repairs page.