Chimney Repair & Maintenance

Advantages of stainless steel chimney liners:
Stainless steel chimney liners have a lifetime warranty.
Stainless steel chimney liners provide superior fire protection for your home.
Meet code requirements for safe operation and resale.
Stainless steel chimney liners are one long continuous piece - not sectional (no connectors or fireplace mortar joints to shift or separate like clay tile chimney liners).

When your original construction fire clay flue tile liners are cracked, the cracks open during the heating phase and allow gases to pass through to your chimney walls. The gases, being acidic, attack the masonry and will shorten the life of your masonry structure. In addition, this will lead to carbon monoxide in your home. Stainless steel chimney liners are needed to exhaust all poisonous gas and chimney smoke out of your home safely.

The NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) Code 211 requires that all masonry chimneys be lined. Unlined chimneys are so unsafe that researchers characterized building chimneys without chimney liners as "little less than criminal". The installation of fire liners in chimneys has been recommended since the early part of the 1900's.

Chimney Straps:
Tying a chimney to the wall of a house is kind of a conflict of interest. On one hand, code requires that there be a 1-in. airspace between the chimney and any combustible material, of which the side of the house certainly qualifies. On the other, you don't want your chimney to fall over. 
The vast majority of chimneys on outside gable walls of houses can be freestanding and need to be supported. Especially those in high-wind areas, should have some sort of added support.  With an existing single-flue chimney on a house on Long Island, where we are located, the quickest, easiest way to anchor the chimney is with U-shaped metal straps. These straps are made from 1/4-in. steel 1-1/2 in. wide and bent to fit around the perimeter of the chimney.  The straps extend to each side far enough that they can be lagged into the wall framing. Usually there is a strap at the top of the upper floor and another close to the peak of the gable. The peak strap can also be lagged to the gable rafter or barge rafter.  These straps are designed to help counteract horizontal movement of the chimney due to wind.They will not help with vertical movement from the chimney’s settling.

Chimney Cricket:
We get more calls about leaks around chimneys than about any other problem. And more often than not, the culprit is the flashing — the sheet metal that keeps the intersection between the chimney and roof watertight.

Proper flashing around a chimney includes two layers. The first is called step flashing: Sections of L-shaped sheet metal are woven into the shingle courses and lapped up the side of the chimney. Next comes the counterflashing: A second layer of metal is embedded in the chimney mortar joints and folded down to cover the top of the step flashing

The corners are especially vulnerable. We cut and bend the metal around the corner. Even in a quality installation, this leaves one small spot that should be sealed with a high-quality urethane caulk. This caulk can work itself loose over time. If the flashing looks to be in good condition, re calking should take care of the problem. However, caulk is not a substitute for properly overlapped flashing materials.

The type of metal used for flashing depends on where you live. Aluminum and galvanized steel are the usual choices.
When the chimney is at the bottom of a roof slope, we always install a cricket, a small diversion roof that prevents water from pounding the up-roof part of the chimney. We frame and sheathe crickets just like the rest of the roof, and then completely cover them with a modified bitumen membrane, which is folded up under the chimney flashing. We install asphalt shingles over the membrane to blend the cricket with the rest of the roof.

Because chimneys are such a potential trouble spot, inspect them once every year or two for loose or missing flashing and cracks in the masonry. Small cracks can be sealed with caulk designed to repair masonry. I also recommend that my customers waterproof their brick chimneys every few years with a silicone-based sealer that can be applied with a garden sprayer. Not all builders agree, but this is a great way to keep water from seeping into the brick.

Chimney Repair
MB Maintenance Expert Brick Masons can repair and rebuild any type of chimney.

Your Chimney lining is one of the most important safety features of your chimney. MB Maintenance can Reline or replace you chimney liner to make sure your chimney is 100% up to code and safe.

Chimney Pointing
MB Maintenance can Re-point the bricks in your chimney to prevent leaks and any further damage from happening to your chimney. Chimney Pointing is your first step to prevent costly chimney repairs down the road.

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Chimney Crown Rebuilding
Crown Sealing & Repair

Chimney Crowns Protect Your Chimney

Your chimney crown is the area that is around the top of the chimney. Not the chimney cap, that is an attachment that is added to the top of the flue pipe. The chimney crown tops of the masonry walls of the chimney, usually with a wider masonry or cement area. This solid covering stops moisture from filtering down through your brick or stone work in your chimney. It protects the mortar that holds everything together.
There are chimney crown sealants that are able to be applied to a chimney crown that still has structural integrity, but needs to be waterproofed. Larger cracks are filled with high bond patching material and then Crown Sealing in applied over the top of the whole chimney crown. The sealant forms a waterproof membrane between the elements and your chimney. When properly applied these solutions can add up to 15 years to the life of a chimney crown that has begun to wear.
If your chimney crown is showing its age, it may be time to replace it with a new concrete chimney cap before it is too late. Some masons will simply use mortar mix to create a new top for the chimney. Problem is, mortar mix will crack and leak very quickly and is not a weather resistant material. A cement chimney crown that is properly designed to overhang the outside dimensions of the chimney structure is the best solution..

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