Replacing a chimney that is in bad shape is an important action to take to restore the full functioning of this structural component of your home.
There are times when parts of a home structure will need to be fixed or repaired due to their condition.
Before home improvements are made, it’s important to consider inspecting your chimney to find out if it needs to be repaired or replaced.
This article will be dwelling on the latter. If you’ve experienced some difficulties in fixing your chimney, it may be time to consider having it replaced.
When To Replace Your Chimney
Severe deterioration of a chimney will require doing much more than repairs.
In such situations, repairs won’t fix the problem. The only best option available to you is to have it replaced. Such chimneys have become structural liabilities and would need to be fixed to save your home.
So, what are these structural liabilities like? Sometimes, you may be dealing with a leaning chimney. Not fixing it immediately may result in it toppling over or collapsing. This presents safety risks to you and your household.
Assessing the Condition of Your Chimney
To determine the condition of your chimney, a close inspection or assessment is necessary.
One of the best ways to do this is by calling a professional to have it checked. Chimney technicians know the common signs to look out for in determining what actions (whether maintenance or replacement) to take.
Replacing Chimney Parts Vs Replacing the Entire Chimney Structure
In trying to fix your chimney, a decision will have to be made. Making this decision rests entirely on the condition of your chimney. In other words, certain chimneys may only require maintenance work such as the replacement of worn-out parts.
In other cases, your entire chimney may require complete replacement. So, how can you know if your chimney maintenance needs fall under the former or latter category? You’ll need an expert to figure this out. Chimney technicians are professionals that inspect the functionality of your chimney.
This enables them to conclude whether replacements are limited to certain parts of the chimney or total revamping is necessary. In any case, you should be prepared as urgent repairs will prove very beneficial.
Chimney Replacement Parts
After an assessment of your chimney, the technician or expert concludes. Such conclusions will require certain actions to be taken. In the case of part replacements, faulty parts of your chimney which affect its smooth functioning will need to be replaced.
Now, there are several chimney parts. How functional they are will determine whether they need to be changed or not.
Replaceable parts include chimney liners, chimney caps, stove pipe, chimney pipe, chimneypots, gas vent pipe, and direct vent pipe. Other replaceable chimney parts include pellet vent pipe, chimney plugs, exhaust fans, chimney surrounds, double-wall stovepipes, and more.
Not all chimneys are the same. There are different types based on the fuel being used. As such, parts may vary.
How To Know When Your Chimney Is Due For Replacement
There are always signs to watch out for during chimney inspection. These signs point to a failing chimney system hence the need to have them fixed or replaced.
They include white salts on bricks, absence of chimney cap, damaged crown, spalling, leaning chimney, worn, or cracked flue liner.
White Salts on Bricks
Whenever you observe white salts on the surface of bricks, it points to one thing; water damage. When water seeps through bricks continually, white salts are observed on the surface.
Such observations are signs of gradual deterioration of your chimney structure.
You’ll need to call in the technicians for further assessment as certain parts of your chimney may be due for replacement.
Absence of Chimney Cap
A chimney cap is an essential component of your chimney without which severe damage can be caused to your structure. As such, you’ll need to have this part of your chimney replaced immediately.
So, what benefits are derived from the chimney cap? There are several!
First, a chimney cap will keep out water from getting into your chimney.
Without this, rainwater easily gets in resulting in damage to walls, attic, and ceilings. This part of your chimney also helps keep out critters, birds, rodents, and reptiles such as snakes from using it as an entry into your home.
A chimney crown helps protect it from damage resulting from the elements.
Having a damaged chimney crown will cause significant problems hence the need for replacement. To ensure it remains in perfect working condition, your chimney crown should be inspected yearly and fixed immediately when the need arises.
Further delay will only compound the problem as such damage widens. You may end up paying more for a complete overhaul or replacement of your chimney if you don’t act fast.
Spalling or Shaling
Spalling is usually evident whenever you notice your chimney walls flaking or peeling off. When this is noticed, it only means one thing; a gradual deterioration of your structure caused by the water.
In the case of shaling, you’re likely to notice tiles falling into your fireplace.
Any of these two conditions is a result of damage caused by water. The best action to take is to call for professional help immediately. A replacement of your chimney may be necessary to fix this problem.
One of the scariest things to deal with is a leaning chimney. This is a disaster waiting to happen as it could easily crumble under its uneven weight. To prevent this from happening, it’s advisable to call for immediate replacement.
Although getting this fixed may result in a lot of expenses, it’s worth it and helps prevent injuries or worse due to sudden collapse.
Worn or Cracked Flue Liner
Chimney liners are essential to the proper functioning of every chimney. These help with the expulsion of heat, combustibles, and gases outside. Liners eventually get worn out or cracked as time passes, thus resulting in improper functioning.
To have a flue liner fixed, you’ll need to call for the replacement of this part of your chimney. The earlier this task is carried out the better it is for your chimney to function efficiently.
Roof leakage is another reason to call for chimney replacement. However, not all roof leaks require this approach. The extent of the leak will determine what actions to take. The best approach is by calling a chimney technician to conduct inspections.
The inspections carried out are thorough and seek to identify the source of the leak. If it’s determined that the leak is due to a structural defect, then the chimney will have to be replaced.
How To Replace A Chimney Step By Step
Before conclusions are reached for chimney replacement, a proper inspection will need to be carried out.
Where’s the Fault Situated?
A chimney can be divided into two main sections. These include the breast and the stack sections. The breast is the most visible part of the chimney. Wherever this part of the structure follows, it’s likely to be seen protruding in rooms among other spaces.
The stack on the other hand is the part of the chimney that is seen from outside. It rises up from the roof and has a cap. Sometimes replacement work may be restricted to certain sections, while at other times, both sections may be involved.
Who to Consult
Chimney replacement isn’t an easy task. It involves a whole lot more than removing defective parts and replacing them with new ones. The process requires a lot of consultation. This simply refers to the need to speak with experts.
Chimney experts or technicians play a key role in determining if you need a chimney replacement or not.
Sometimes, chimney replacement work can be quite extensive. It may involve some structural adjustments as well.
As such, you’ll need all the help you can get properly fix it. Anything less than a proper fix may result in structural defects that you may be unprepared for.
Depending on the scale of chimney replacement work needed, you may need to contact your local code enforcement office. This is necessary because permits as well as other relevant documents may be required for the project.
Getting these is important to avoid breaking the rules.
Being Prepared for the Process
The process of chimney replacement may affect your activities within the period of repair.
Therefore, it’s important to plan beforehand for the disruption that may result. You may want to also discuss with your technician what actions to take to prepare for the process.
The type or degree of replacement work needed to have your chimney fixed will determine the cost incurred. An onsite inspection will be necessary to determine the extent of the problem.
Having spotted the issue, the technician works out the cost details and presents you with a quote.
You’ll need to make the final decision about whether to give the approval for work to begin or not. It’s important to also discuss any concerns you have with the technician.
That way, a better strategy is adopted to tackle the problem.
The smooth functioning of your chimney is dependent on how efficient all components of the system are. Failing chimneys are due to failing components hence the need to have them fixed or completely replaced.
Here, we’ve provided you with all the information you need to keep your system working with no issues.