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Linden Chimney Leak Repair

The question many homeowners have is how long does a chimney last? If your chimney is old, you should know that the answer is “not very long.” According to the EPA, chimney fires account for more than two million accidental deaths and one billion dollar cost to society each year. That price doesn’t include damages done by chimney smoke or other exhaust gases. It also doesn’t include any insurance costs related to chimney fires. Unfortunately, chimney fires are fairly common.

Based on EPA statistics, chimney crowns and mortar joints that do not seal properly lose their structural integrity over time. Depending on where the chimney cap or mortar joint is located, cracks can run the length of the flue and up to 100 feet inside the house. In areas where the chimney is located above the slab, cracks might be limited to the width of the chimney and sometimes extend the length of the chimney completely.

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Wherever the cracks occur, chimney leak repair is critical. Cracks that widen or contract with time will lead to a loss of air flow and cause a dangerous buildup of carbon dioxide and other gasses inside the flue. The resulting carbon monoxide emission poses a hazard to both chimney users and those living nearby. Carbon monoxide poisoning has been responsible for at least five reported house fires this year alone.

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Cracks aren’t the only issues chimney leaks cause. They’re by far the most frequent chimney leak repair issue and also one of the most expensive to resolve. Stains, water stains and water spills can occur at any time. At night or when it’s cold outside, chimney fires can ignite small bits of paper and dryer lint and hair. Paper cuts are easy to fix but if water stains are smoking, or if you see them starting to blossom – get to the chimney as soon as possible!

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Chimney crowns have a long history of needing chimney repair because of cracked or crumbling mortar. As we all know, mortar is the major component in chimney construction. Cracks and broken mortar are not uncommon in older chimney installations. When snow or ice makes its way into the chimney, you can easily get water stains on the brickwork, which make repairs more difficult and expensive.

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The most common causes of chimney leaks are the result of rain, snow and condensation. Unfortunately, condensation can create major damage to your home. If you live on a flat roof, which is common in many northern areas, then condensation can easily seep through the roof and into the chimney. Snow, on the other hand, is very dangerous. It can slip and slide, which can create large amounts of damage. Even standing water can easily cause a chimney leak repair to become necessary.

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There are many chimney repairs that can be done on a flat roof. However, if you have a pitched roof (one with two levels), then you will need to first install flashing around the chimney. Sidewalks and gazebos can also be installed around the chimney to prevent smoke from entering your home. After installing the chimney cover, and after weathering it and getting it ready to use, you may want to consider replacing your chimney liner.

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If you have a clay tile chimney, then you will not need to worry about condensation is a problem. You should still make sure that your chimney has been built correctly and that your chimney is at least four feet away from your house. Also, if your chimney is clay tile, make sure you do not have any sharp pointed objects (such as bricks or rocks) sitting on the flue as they can cut into the chimney and cause damage to your home. Chimneys that are clay tile may also be prone to fire damage, so if you are worried about this possibility, make sure your chimney is securely sealed.