Advice on how to look after your chimney

How to Look after Your Chimney

Today, we’re going to discuss how to look after your chimney. We’ll provide tips for checking the state of your chimney’s health and offer some common chimney maintenance tips.

Tips for Checking Your Chimney

The chimney is an easily forgotten part of the house. The stack is right at the top of the property where it isn’t seen very often – much less inspected.

But, it’s incredibly important that you keep an eye out for wear and tear before the structure of the chimney is compromised. Here are some tips for checking your chimney yourself:

Check brickwork and cement

Checking the brickwork on your chimney is important when working out what state your chimney is in. But it doesn’t necessarily mean climbing up your ladder onto the rooftop. You can actually use a pair of binoculars to see the chimney safely from the ground. Here are some factors to look out for:

  • Missing bricks,
  • Loose or cracked mortar,
  • Missing screws,
  • General wear and tear.

But, if you do decide to use a ladder to check out the state of your chimney, you can read our blog on ladder safety first.

Check for Birds and Animals

Although not an everyday occurrence, you should still check for any small animals or birds getting lodged in your chimney. If you think this has happened, it’s important to act fast to stop the bird from damaging your chimney or getting stuck and dying. You can prevent birds or animals from getting in by applying mesh over the top of the chimney.

Check Your Property for Leaks

If you notice a leak in your property near your chimney then that can indicate an issue where the chimney and roof meet. You’ll need to sort this out quickly before it leads to bigger problems, such as mould, damp and electrical safety issues.

If you have any problems with your chimney, you can call Dalton Roofing for a free, no-obligation quote.

In the video below, we see Phil Dalton assessing a damaged chimney and explaining how he intends to repair and render the stack.

Ways to Maintain your Chimney

Now you know what problems to look out for, let’s have a look at some ways to maintain your chimney:

Clean your Chimney

This is a very important part of maintaining an effective working chimney. All that fire will cause a build-up of soot in your chimney, so getting it swept regularly will help keep your home safe and your chimney in prime working order.

How often you need to clear it depends on how much you use it. One recommended metric is to have it cleaned every 50 burns or so. And another is to check the soot in the chimney liner. Once it reaches 1/8” of soot, it’s time for a chimney sweep.

Either way, getting your chimney swept once a year or so will keep it clean, safe and in good working order.

Ensure Your Chimney is Waterproof

Chimneys are susceptible to damages from the elements. And when this happens, it can spell bad news for both the structural integrity of your chimney and the inside of your house.

To make sure your chimney is watertight, you must make sure your chase cover, crown and flashing are all in good nick. Let’s have a look at them in more detail:

If you have a prefabricated chimney, then chase covers are ideal for covering the large hole at the top of the chimney and help prevent lots of rain and snow from getting in. Although, many of these covers rust, so make sure to install stainless steel or aluminium for a long-lasting chase cover.

If you’ve got a masonry chimney, you can enlist the help of a concrete crown. This crown acts as a cover to prevent just birds, rain and snow from getting into your home while letting the smoke out through a pipe in the crown.

Finally, the flashing is there to act as a waterproof sealant where the roof and chimney meet. If your flashing is damaged, it will lead to water seeping into your property and cause all kinds of damp and structural issues.

Maintain Brickwork and Mortar

As mentioned above, if you notice that brickwork or mortar is compromised on your chimney, you need to get that dealt with quickly. As with all brickwork, it won’t last forever and will certainly need some maintenance throughout the property’s lifespan.

Maintain Your Chimney’s Flaunching

Flaunching keeps the chimney pots secure on top of the chimney stack whilst preventing rainwater or snow from getting into your property through the top of the brickwork.

Older properties use lime mortar in the flaunching and will deteriorate over time as a result. So, it’s important to get your flaunching checked too.

In this final video, Phil displays a recently flaunched chimney stack and discusses its effectiveness against the elements.

If you’ve found signs of damage on your chimney, it’s strongly advised you get a professional chimney specialist or roofer to take a look into the complication.

Here at Dalton Roofing, we offer services in roofing and chimney repairs in Sheffield, Rotherham, Chesterfield and the Peak District.

Give us a call today, if you’re in need of a helping hand with your chimney.