Chimneys can stand for many years without needing any repairs. A chimney that's in need of repair, however, can pose a health threat to the family living in the home. Some municipalities require that licensed masons perform all chimney repair work, while others allow the homeowner to do the work himself if he has the skills. A rebuilt chimney can service the home for many years and doesn't have to cost a lot of money.
Depending on the amount of damage to the chimney, it may need to undergo a rebuild. It's possible to rebuild certain portions of it. For example, if the outer brick facade is crumbling, you can remove the bricks and replace them while leaving the chimney liner in place. In some cases, the outer bricks may simply need tuck pointing to repair crumbling mortar. Always follow local building codes when rebuilding a chimney. Most codes require that the chimney have braces at certain locations that tie into the structure of the house. The chimney repair is subject to inspections regardless of who is doing the project. Inspections take place when the old chimney's demolition is complete, when the chimney is ready for framing and bracing, and when the project is complete.
Reline With Concrete
In more extreme cases, the tiles that make up the chimney liner have cracks. If that's the case, the liner tiles need replacing and resealing. Another alternative is to reline the chimney with heatproof concrete. The original tiles remain in place and a layer of concrete seals the tiles once again. This project takes special handling and the person who does it should have experience working with concrete.
Reline With Stainless Steel Chimney Liner
This method of chimney repair involves inserting a stainless steel chimney liner into the flue. Available in flexible and nonflexible styles, the stainless steel not only handles the heat from the fireplace, but it also provides a sufficient draft to house a good fire in the fireplace. Flexible liners are a better choice if the flue has any jogs in it. Depending on the amount of work on the chimney, you can push the metal liner up from the firebox to the roof, or drop it from the roof to the firebox. To provide extra warmth, set the stainless steel chimney liner in place and then pour heatproof concrete between it and the outer brick facade.
- Photo Credit chimney image by hazel proudlove from Fotolia.com
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