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How Does the Age of a Chimney Impact its Ability to Stand Up to Water Intrusion?

While virtually any chimney can leak, older chimneys are prone to more of the issues that contribute to leaking. And over time, moisture intrusion on a chimney will impact the state and structure of the chimney and eventually lead to the need for some kind of maintenance.

Prefabricated Manufactured Chimneyswater

* Most notably, galvanized chase covers will begin to pit and deteriorate allowing water to seep into the wooden structure.

* Water running down a pipe can contribute to rust forming on the metal works or interfere with the mechanical parts of any attached appliance (i.e. fireplace, gas logs, etc.).

* Continuous introduction of water into a wooden chase either between the metal chimney and wooden framing or between wooden structure and the vinyl, brick or stone veneer will eventually lead to rotting of the wooden structure. Regular annual inspections as recommended by the Chimney Safety Institute of America and the National Fire Protection Association can help to anticipate any age related leaking issues before they become a problem requiring extensive repairs.

Masonry Chimneys

As masonry ages, it becomes more soft and porous. This goes for the brick and the mortar.

* Water exposure can cause the bond between courses (rows of bricks) or mortar and stone to break (cracking between the brick/stone and the mortar).

* Water saturation and subsequent freeze/thaw with colder temperatures can cause bricks to crack or spall (the face of the brick pops off), or even cause bricks fall off the chimney altogether.

Aging brickwork becomes even more vulnerable to water intrusion. Again, regular annual chimney inspections can result in recommendations that will head off the inconvenience of water entering you home unexpectedly by way of your chimney.

Flashing on Any Chimney

Almost all conventional flashing has some caulk used in its construction. As the caulk ages, it becomes vulnerable to drying and cracking leading to water seeping into the area between the roof and the chimney structure. Flashing should be monitored during regular annual inspections by a CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep who can verify if your issue needs attention and can provide suggestions for resolution. Let our trained professionals here at Blue Sky Chimney Sweeps|Bless Your Hearth help determine overall condition, need for maintenance, issues with functionality, and even offer solutions for long-term issues. Regular inspections/maintenance can help insure there are no issues related to moisture exposure.

How to Hire a Chimney Sweep

Do You Need A Chimney Sweep?Not all chimney service companies are created equal. While capitalism has its advantages, it does have its downsides and one of the less attractive happenstances associated with it in regard to hiring a chimney sweep is that virtually anyone can start a chimney sweep business in these United States. This presents complications for homeowners looking for top-quality service and expertise that comes from experience and good training. So…..

How can you be sure who you are hiring?

How can you know what a company uses as criteria when developing their standards? How can you figure this out before inviting them into your home?

Here are some things to consider:

  • What credentials do they hold?
    • The truth is…the chimney service industry is largely unregulated and it can be
      difficult to determine a technician’s level of skill and the company’s overall
      commitment to excellence. Fortunately, the Chimney Safety Institute of America
      (CSIA)—a nationally respected, nonprofit organization—has an established
      certification program to help standardize chimney sweep credentials. Hire only a
      CSIA certified chimney sweep when selecting service technicians to take care of
      your home.  But that’s not all……
  • What kind of insurances and licenses do they hold?
    • Liability Insurance ensures that a sweep is protected when they visit your home in the event of an accident or injury
    • Workers Compensation protects the sweep company’s employees in case they are injured while they are performing the company’s work.
    • State Retail License ensures that the State recognizes them as a legitimate business.
    • Contractor’s License ensures that the State recognizes the company as having expertise in designated areas.
  • How does the company set their appointments?
    • A professional, top quality chimney service company will show respect for your time. They will be able to give you as small a window as possible for arrival time, a confirmation call, a call when on the way and be willing to clearly communicate with you throughout the entire process especially when there are scheduling complications such as delays and weather issues.
  • Does the technician provide proper ID and present themselves professionally?
    • Because a service technician will be coming into your home, it is paramount for the company to establish a level of trust — and for you, the homeowner, to be comfortable. Look for the company brand on vehicles, uniforms and paperwork. Don’t hesitate to ask who will be coming to your home and subsequently to ask for ID when the technician arrives. And finally……
  • What do other folks say about them?
    • A company’s online presence can be helpful in determining the level of service that is consistently offered. Check out a company’s reviews, their website, and their Facebook page. If the company in question has a poor reputation or it’s hard to find out anything about them, it might be a good idea to move on.

If your intention is to hire an experienced, CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep with an established, reputable company, contact Blue Sky Chimney Sweeps|Bless Your Hearth today.

We are committed to the highest quality of service. We hold your trust in high regard. We want to answer your questions!