Frequently Asked Questions

Here are a few of our most frequently asked questions by home owners. We hope you find them useful.

How often should a chimney be swept?

Your chimney should be swept at least once a year. This will prevent hazardous buildups that can effect your health and the safety of your chimney. Below are 5 signs to look out for that may indicate your chimney is due for a sweep.

  1. Smoke is escaping into the room with the fireplace.
  2. You notice an unpleasant burning smell.
  3. Your carbon monoxide and smoke alarms are being set off regularly.
  4. You notice soot falling into the fire place or on the hearth.
  5. Lighting your fire and keeping it alight is becoming harder.

What is the common cause of chimney fires?

Dirty chimneys are the number one cause of chimney fires! Without proper servicing and maintenance, hazardous creosotes (the substance deposited from you fire) will build up inside your chimney becoming combustible. The simplest way to prevent this dangerous build-up of materials is to have a professional chimney clean at least once a year.

What is the cause of chimney leaks?

There are few things that can cause your chimney to leak, but five major culprits of leaking chimneys are:

  1. Damaged flashing, this is the metal band running around the base of most chimney’s that connects the chimney to the roof. If this becomes damaged or loose, rain water can leak into the roof or the adjoining walls.
  2. Damaged crown or flaunching, the crown is situated at the very top of the chimney and can be made of a solid slab or mortar known as flaunching.
  3. If the crown becomes cracked or damaged or the flaunching deteriorates over time, then water can leak into the chimney cavity and make its way down the chimney causing further damage to the lining.
  4. Deterioration of the mortar and masonry, if the pointing between the bricks or stones of your chimney deteriorate, this will allow moisture to enter into the chimney causing further deterioration over time.
  5. No chimney cap or cowl, if your chimney is no longer in use then a chimney cap should be fitted to prevent rain, snow and debris from entering your chimney. If your chimney is being used, a cowl can be fitted to reduce water ingress into the chimney.

What do chimney cowls do?

Chimney cowls are designed to improve the efficiency and safety of your chimney. These devices are installed on the top of a chimney pot and serve a variety of important functions. Chimney cowls protect your home from the wind, birds, nesting animals, debris that can cause damage to your chimney over time. Not only do they provide protection against these threats, they also help to increase the performance of your fireplace or stove.

There are several different types of chimney cowls available on the market today. Each type serves its own purpose in protecting your chimney from weather-related problems, such as rainwater or snow entering through the flue pipe and causing damage. Some models also reduce downdrafts by creating an updraft for better ventilation and increased fire safety.

What is chimney flaunching?

Chimney flaunching is the mortar that sits on the crown of your chimney and surrounds the base of the pots holding them in position. With a 3:1 mix of cement and sand, the flaunching gives a durable waterproof barrier, preventing water penetrating the chimney crown and chimney cavity.

Overtime chimney flaunching can deteriorate allowing water ingress. It is important to quickly repair your flaunching should it become cracked to prevent further damage to the structure of your chimney and the chimney lining. As the flaunching also secures the pots to your chimney crown it is important to make repairs to prevent the pots working loose.

Should I cap my chimney if it is no longer used?

In many homes, chimneys are used to vent smoke and other fumes from fireplaces. However, when a chimney is no longer in use, there are several benefits to capping it off. Capping a chimney can help protect the home from water damage, reduce energy costs, and keep pests out of the property.

Capping a chimney helps to prevent water from getting into your home through the top of the structure by creating a waterproof seal. Additionally, when wind blows into an uncapped chimney, it can cause air drafts that increase heating bills in the winter. By capping off your unused chimney you can save money on monthly utility costs as well as preventing water damage due to rain or snow entering through your roofing system.

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