Chimney Repair, Re-Pointing & Replacement
The Chimney stack is the most exposed part of the roof system so it bears the brunt of harsh weather conditions. The combination of high winds, frost, snow, heavy rainfall and the heat of the flue when the fire is burning will eventually weaken the chimney structure. Caulking, overtime, will dry and crumble and the external brick work can crack. This can lead to water seepage in the inner flue.
A damaged chimney stack will not only produce a less effective fire but it can also lead to greater fire and carbon monoxide risk. However, the biggest danger is the risk of falling masonry. An unstable chimney stack is an accident waiting to happen.
Do not attempt to inspect the chimney stack yourself. Inspection needs to be carried out by an experienced chimney and roofing specialist. Many flaws such as cracking and leaning cannot be seen from ground level and need a closer, expert inspection. Depending on the findings, your chimney may require re-pointing or complete reconstruction.
During an inspection the condition of the chimney pot, crown, pointing, lead flashings and surrounding roof tiles will be inspected.
One of the most common chimney stack problems is pointing erosion. Pointing is the cement that bonds bricks together. Over time this can dry out and crumble leading to brick erosion, gaps and water penetration.
The lead flashing may also need replacing. Lead flashing is placed around the bottom of the chimney stack to prevent water seeping into the flue. While you’re having chimney repair works done, it’s also a good time for the roofing specialist to take a look at the general condition of the roof and undertake any smaller repairs that may be needed such as loose tiles or broken guttering.
It’s advisable to seal the fireplace during chimney repairs to stop debris and soot from falling down the flue. If your TV aerial is attached to the stack it should be removed while repairs are being done.
If you live in a terraced property and the chimney stack is ‘co-owned’ by your neighbour, it makes sense to split the cost and get the entire chimney re-pointed rather than just your half.
If the pointing has eroded considerably the entire chimney stack may need to be taken down and re-built.
Depending on the level of deterioration, you may just need the crown (the first 4 courses) re-built. However, it’s usually advisable to dismantle the stack down to the flashing. If the existing bricks are still in good condition they can be re-used, otherwise new bricks will need to be used. For an older property, reclaimed bricks in a similar colour to the rest of the property can be purchased.
MB Roofing has over 30 years experience in roofing and chimney repairs. Contact us today for a free, no-obligation estimate.