Rebuilding a chimney is often the last resort taken when considerable damage has been caused. Such damage may be due to adverse weather conditions like hurricanes & tornadoes or natural disasters like earthquakes.
Damage can also be caused when urgent maintenance tasks are postponed.
Rebuilding a chimney will cost much more. However, it helps maintain a proper functioning system. Here, we’re more interested in the options or alternatives available to you when rebuilding your chimney.
If you’re thinking of rebuilding, you’ll want to get as many tips as you can find. That is what we’ve made available to you in this article.
Are you looking at changing the entire unit? Here is a guide on replacing the system.
When Does A Chimney Need To Be Rebuilt?
The need to rebuild your chimney often arises as a result of several factors. These are mainly associated with improper functioning or failure of the chimney.
Such signs include large cracks, leaning chimney, shaling, white bricks, spalling, no chimney cap, and damaged crown.
Some chimney problems can’t be fixed easily and are better solved by rebuilding the entire chimney.
Before we get into details on available chimney rebuild options, let’s discuss each of the above-mentioned problems.
Several factors (mostly due to the action of weather) always act on chimneys, thus affecting their efficiency.
Problems such as cracks result. Small cracks can easily be repaired or fixed. However, large cracks may pose structural problems, hence the need to tear down and rebuild the chimney.
Having a leaning chimney is quite risky and dangerous as it can cause severe damage when it topples over. This could result in injuries or worst. The best way to tackle this problem is to have the chimney rebuilt.
Shaling is mostly due to the seepage of water into space or the gap between the flue lining and the chimney. This is evident in tiles dropping into your fireplace.
When ignored, such faults can worsen or compound the problem. A chimney rebuild is one way to fix the problem.
When water seeps into bricks, it causes a chemical reaction where minerals and natural salts are pulled to the surface. This weakens your chimney and will have to be fixed immediately.
The best way to fix this problem is by having your chimney rebuilt.
Spalling is due to the seepage of water into bricks. What results over time is the gradual deterioration of chimney bricks. The earlier this is fixed (rebuilt), the better and safer it becomes plus, your chimney functions much more efficiently.
No Chimney Cap
The absence of chimney caps for extended periods only point to one thing; significant damage to your chimney.
When nothing is acting as a barrier or covering from rainfall and other conditions, your chimney easily gets damaged beyond repair.
Such a situation will call for a chimney rebuild.
Like the chimney cap, the crown protects against the elements. A damaged crown means there’s no line of defense to protect your chimney.
As a result, your chimney’s condition deteriorates fast, leading to damage that can only be fixed by rebuilding it.
What Chimney Rebuild Options are there?
What readily comes to mind when thinking about rebuilding your chimney are the options available. Everyone wants to have viable options. With such options, you’re able to choose what best fits your situation.
Such options mostly have to do with the extent to which such a rebuild is necessary. In other words, chimney rebuilds range from the not-too-extensive to extensive rebuilding work.
There are three major types of chimney rebuild services. They include partial chimney rebuilds, roof line up chimney rebuilds, and total chimney rebuilds.
Partial Chimney Rebuild
As chimney mortar deteriorates, water seepage is more common due to an increasingly porous masonry.
This leads to spalling which is caused as a result of the thawing and freezing of such water mostly common in winter. The only way to fix the cracks and chipping away of bricks is by carrying out a partial rebuild.
As the name suggests, a partial rebuild isn’t as comprehensive as complete chimney rebuilds are.
Here, only a smaller section of a large chimney is covered. Also, a partial rebuild is carried out on smaller chimneys. Some partial chimney rebuilds also include or cover chimney crowns.
Apart from rebuilding an entire small chimney to code, this limited rebuild may be restricted to the upper or top section of a chimney. There’s no need for scaffolding for such chimney rebuilding tasks.
Roof Line Up Chimney Rebuilds
This chimney rebuild option is much more detailed than a partial chimney rebuild. Here, the focus is on the roof line up. The only time this type of rebuild is necessary is when a considerable amount of mortar or brick deterioration has occurred.
In such a case, tuck-pointing chimney repairs won’t be of much help.
Instead, the chimney is brought or pulled down to the level or area of the flashing which is by the roofline. However, there are times when the flashing may also require fixing.
Such flashing may be rusted and won’t be able to hold up. In such a situation, the flashing is also removed and fixed. The damaged part of the chimney is then rebuilt to code and a new chimney cap placed on top.
Total Chimney Rebuilds
This is the most comprehensive chimney rebuild service you can get. As the name suggests, it is total and involves tearing apart the outer bricklayer of the chimney for it to be rebuilt. The only time a total chimney rebuild is necessary is when structural damage is involved.
In other words, problematic or faulty parts of the structure, especially those below the roofline resulting in leaning chimneys will call for a total rebuild.
What more? Significant damage or eroding of mortar will also require a total chimney rebuild.
This chimney rebuild option is mostly considered when such damage isn’t isolated but spread across the entire chimney. Apart from structural concerns, design flaws are additional factors that will influence the need for total chimney rebuilds.
In carrying out a total chimney rebuild, the outer bricklayer of the chimney is dismantled or torn apart. New construction is carried out from scratch using new brick and mortar to the structure’s outer layer.
What Options Will Serve Your Needs Best?
Having provided you with a list of chimney rebuild options, the most logical question to ask is what options best serve your needs. Now, this may be an easy decision to make for others. However, the same cannot be said for everyone.
Regardless, you don’t need to deal with such technicalities as there are technicians whose job is to assess your chimney and recommend the most appropriate rebuild approach or option.
Depending on where you live, you’ll only need to make a quick online research to find chimney repair services nearest to you.
Choosing the Right Rebuild Provider
One of the most important decisions you’ll ever make is deciding who handles or performs your chimney rebuild needs. Not every company making bogus repair claims should be considered.
Your best bet is making research on the most reliable service providers within your domain.
Check for reviews from previous clients. Here, you should be able to have a fair perception of the capabilities of different service providers. Apart from the quality of service provided, you’ll also benefit from competitive pricing.
All of these help greatly in making your most preferred pick for your chimney rebuild job.
Taking Appropriate Preventive Measures
Chimney rebuilds can cause you lots of money. Having successfully fixed or replaced your faulty chimney, you should consider taking appropriate preventive measures. What exactly are we talking about?
We’re simply referring to a situation where your chimney is properly maintained to prevent future rebuilds.
Such preventive measure extends the chimney’s lifespan thus guaranteeing that it functions efficiently.
The best way to do this is by waterproofing your chimney system. One of the ways to do this is by ensuring that both chimney cap and crown are properly placed.
The crown must be such that there are no cracks. This helps prevent moisture and water from entering such openings. The chimney cap on the other hand does much more than preventing water from getting into the flue. Debris, bugs, rodents, and reptiles are all prevented from getting into the chimney.
Caps come in various sizes each fitting a wide variety of chimney structures. These are easy-to-perform maintenance services that cost next to nothing, yet help a great deal in prolonging the lifespan of your chimney.
With this, you’re able to avoid extra expenses that come with frequent chimney rebuilds.
The Financial Implications
When it comes to chimney rebuilds, the cost is likely to form an important part of your considerations.
The typical costs for a chimney rebuild hover around $1,000 to $5,000. This depends on a variety of factors such as your location, the extent of rebuild services to be carried out on your chimney as well as your service provider.
Such options must be carefully considered before the commencement of the project.
If you’ve read to this point, you should have a better idea of the options available to you for your chimney rebuild needs. These are very crucial and help in no small measure to choose what best fits your needs.