Massachusetts Masonry

Content herein will be about masonry and chimneys.
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Frequently-asked Questions
about tuck-pointing (Mortar Repair ):

Question: How do you know if my masonry must be replaced or repointed?

Answer: Your masonry needs repointing if:

The mortar is breaking, missing, crumbling, or powdery. If not attended to, it offers an immediate entry point by which water can enter the masonry wall. The water is then subject for the expansive forces of freeze-thaw cycles, and with time deteriorates the masonry units. The water may also subscribe to the crystallization of soluble salts. That is referred to as efflorescence, or when the salts crystallize underneath the outer area of the masonry, sub-efflorescence or crypto-florescence. These also trigger the masonry to rapidly decline.

It’s been wrongly re-pointed previously. Probably the mortar in your community previously re-pointed doesn’t fit. Matching & (See Mortar Analysis for more information.) Maybe the prior re-pointing mortar is exceptionally difficult or water-vapor impenetrable and is evoking the masonry units it encompasses to decline. Either way, it’s a good idea to consider re-pointing.

Question: What mortars can I use to repoint my brickwork with?

Answer: It’s extremely important that the brand new re-pointing mortar be developed and used so that it’ll give way prior to the masonry units it encompasses do. Quite simply, historical mortar must be sacrificial. The reason behind this is the fact that repairing unsuccessful mortar is simpler and cheaper than repairing the initial brick or stone. Frequently, the initial brick or stone is no more open to use as replacement products.

To be able to build a re-pointing mortar mix that meets the above requirements, a sound understanding of the environment the masonry will soon be subjected to, in addition to the physical faculties of the host masonry units, is important. A comparatively small amount of money committed to a mortar investigation and/or an expert mortar match at the beginning of your project will save you a great deal of money over the life of the wall. Contact us for help.

Question: What should I do to be confident that my repointing work will both look good and last quite a long time?

Answer: These are the 10 primary aspects of a successfully performed re-pointing project:

Thoroughly assess the performance and physical characteristcs of both the masonry units and the original mortar it encompasses.

Determine which mortar joints get repointed and which ones do not.

The mortar joint should be precisely ready to accept the newest re-pointing mortar. This task is more involved than many people think and therefore is usually over looked.

Accurately determine the best mortar formula for the situation. (See Matching) & Mortar Analysis

mortar is corrected by Follow mixing methods. This could vary substantially with respect to the mortar recipe used.

while you insert the new repointing mortar into the joints Get a handle on suction (the rapid exchange of water from the damp mortar into the masonry).

Make use of the proper tools and procedures to guarantee the mortar is firmly compacted to the mortar joints.

after it’s been inserted in to the wall Watchfully get a handle on the conditions moisture, (temperature, wind, and sunlight) of the mortar. This task is essential and often-overlooked.

Be sure you have comprehensive, expertly published specifications for the company which demonstrably define the methods to be followed, not acceptable, and what what’s expected. Make the specifications section of your agreement using the company. These requirements are most useful prepared by an historic masonry expert who has already established considerable hands-on experience repointing historic masonry buildings. Abstract Masonry Restoration has considerable experience developing custom requirements for historical masonry restoration.

Pick a qualified and experienced craftsperson who has respect for the historic masonry fabric to do the work. Many masons are experienced and excellent at doing new masonry building, but few are acceptably trained to utilize historical masonry materials.

It started with a phone call. When the voice on the phone said she would require a chimney repair company in Massachusetts costing more than $1,000, her natural skepticism set in: ‘We’re from Boston so we tend to say: ‘Waida  minute, here.”

'I might have easily been ripped off,' she says. 'An awful lot of other people would have been cheated by this, too.'

Dan Simmons initially thought the contractor who called his house with a cheap cleaning present was his chimney had been swept by a local one who the previous year. The Conn., member was not even amazed when the technician from Sweep Clean Chimney told him it needed more then a cleansing, citing serious problems with the flue and lining.

Chimney cleaning and repair scammers tend to follow the patterns of these in other do-it-yourself industries, luring homeowners via telephone solicitations, door-to-door sales pitches or adverts offering too-good-to-be-true rates and preying on fear and not enough knowledge to score quick sales. When they obtain a foot in the door, they may maintain costly repairs or products are expected quickly to prevent serious issues like carbon monoxide leaks or chimney fires. Some encounters don’t turn out in addition to Simmon’s.

'I bought the home from somebody who had held it for 20 years, and maintenance was not his powerful suit,' says Simmon, who consented to have a chimney filling and pursuit limit installed although he had never hired the company before. He ended up paying $3,250 for work that was not completed and $620 for a chimney top cover the crew never delivered.

'The next person who appears will have a real hard time selling me such a thing — even Girl Scout Cookies,' Simmon says. A number for Sweep Clean was disconnected and a female who answered at another number listed for the company said it was not attached to the company.

Scams more commonplace in the North-east

Client run-ins with fake chimney companies seem to be concentrated in the north-eastern part of the country, with many complaints targeting companies depending on Long Island in New York, where Sweep Clean was found, according to experts from the business and law enforcement.

But bad experiences with fireplace businesses can occur anywhere. John Marshall of Pepperell, Ma says a technician dumped soot and dust beside his driveway after washing his chimney, and then refused it when he reported to the company’s office.

A large percent of people polled responding to an online study say they have had one or more bad experience using a chimney specialist and 2 percent say they’ve had nothing but bad experiences. Thirteen percent say they thought they’d paid too much or paid for services they did not need.

The shady business techniques have spread as far as Maine, where in fact the attorney general filed a complaint last year against a Massachusetts-based chimney repair business called Lysco Contracting for defrauding customers and failing to register to conduct door-to-door sales. The suit claims the company contacted elderly residents and offered chimney inspections or washing for $50 or less, and then used scare tactics to offer unnecessary chimney repairs for a large number of dollars. There have been no listings for Lysco in Maine or Massachusetts.

'I had just bought a house, and I wanted to be sure the fire place worked OK,' claims Spencer, who has small children. She says the technician informed that her home was at immediate risk for carbon monoxide buildup, which frightened her into paying $6,200 for a stainless liner, repairs and a supplementary chimney port that she later found believe was unnecessary. She says she felt pressured to add the extra $3,800 vent to her work-order when it was getting dark and the specialist told her she'd be without warm water overnight if she did not. 'Bottom line: I was scammed,' she says.

Businesses in his place market a fireplace cleansing for as low as $29.95.

Smith, who has tried to raise awareness by dealing with consumer groups and local and national media, says cons have been hurting his industry for a lot more than two decades. Consumer signals and news reports published within the last few year indicate that they continue, alongside those that puppy other home service industries like paving and air duct cleaning.

After they allegedly tried to swindle an elderly person from $1,200 worth of pointless chimney repairs, early last year, police arrested two men employed by Priority Home Improvements of Massapequa, N.Y.. Police in Tenafly, N.J., filed complaints against three other men linked to the same company in November.

'It is difficult to research and difficult to catch these guys,' says Capt. John Trainor of the Tenafly Police, who estimates he's examined about seven similar cases since 2002. 'They have numerous billheads and keep changing the business names.' There have been no listings for Priority in Massapequa and one number formerly connected with that company was being employed by another company.

Do your research, prevent take choosing decisions

As with hiring any specialist, it’s far better toobtain numerous prices before proceeding with work. Be wary of up-front prices that appear too good to be true, and don’t let companies pressure you into making snap decisions.

Mohler Masonry in Massachusetts recommends homeowners retain chimney contractors who are bonded and insured. Sauter goes in terms of having his insurance agent send proof he is covered around $1 million to potential customers.

Check always whether your contractor is affiliated with groups like the Chimney Safety Institute of America, which is one of just a few offering nationally-recognized accreditation for the, based on authorities. Professionals certified by the CSIA receive training and adhere to a standard of ethics.

A builder also ought to be in a position to provide photo or video evidence if any extensive repairs are expected. ‘I carry a digital camera,’ claims Sauter, whose company is highly-rated with 410 studies on Angie’s List.

There are about 1,500 CSIA-certified specialists of about 5,000 fireplace companies nationwide, according to Institute speaker Melissa Heeke. You can ask your company to show you their CSIA or other professional credentials, proof of insurance and any additional licensing that may be needed for your task. ‘It is extremely simple to get some resources and say you’re a chimney sweep because it is a largely unregulated trade,’ Heeke says.

Chimney checkups are important

It’s still important to support your chimney frequently in order to avoid any dangers, while it is wise to keep clear of fly-by-night organizations. Even though not exactly 90 percent of Angie’s List members who responded to a web-based survey reported having a chimney, 56 percent say they’ve never used a chimney supplier.

Whether your fireplace is venting a wood-burning or gas fireplace, wood stove, furnace or water heater, you should have it inspected yearly and washed as needed, based on the CSIA. Creosote could build up within your fireplace, making a fire hazard. Animals can take up residence or debris can accumulate, preventing a flue. A chimney professional can make sure there are not any problems with the different elements that may comprise your chimney — like the mortar, flue or hat — lots of which can be difficult or impossible to see without special equipment and a trained eye.

'We see so many fireplaces that require to be rebuilt from the roofline up because they have now been neglected,' Irish says.

The variety of rain in the Pacific North-west makes fireplaces very prone to water damage, which could influence the interior and exterior of the structure. ‘You can catch repairs if they are minor and save cash down the road,’ Irish says. A chimney master can’t only place issues getting origin, but help you on waterproofing.

When possible, have your chimney repaired before the burning season starts, around April through September. ‘We provide off-season and new consumer discounts,’ says JB Mohler, among the owners of the highly rated Mohler Masonry. You are likely to get quicker service if you do not wait for the first cold snap of the year.

Member Susan Brooks of Hollywood, Calif., says she ignored her normal fireplace maintenance for quite some time in an attempt to cut costs, although she uses her fireplace with a face made of lava rock daily in the winter.

'One day I started a fire and most of the smoke started pouring in the house,' says Parsons, who then called the highly-rated Mohler Masonry Company in Massachusetts. The technician determined she'd had a little fire, but surely could clean and fix the chimney in her unique mountain home for $1,805. The company also sent a card with treats on her cats afterward. 'I may have had a structure fire,' Smith says. 'After that knowledge, I am having it done on an annually basis.

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Regardless of wood, bricks are the most used building material throughout all history and it’s not surprising, considering how extremely flexible and resilient these nearly indestructible square clay blocks are.



The earliest stones found by archaeologists have now been calculated to be not quite 10,000 years-old! And numerous stone buildings have remained standing strong for more than 100 years. Certainly, St. Martin’s Church was built more than 500 years back, and it still holds the title of 2nd tallest stone building in the world. Obviously, many wood structures are still standing today and just as old, so what’s it about this building material that so much better is made by brick?



Impervious to Decay and Pests



Bugs couldn’t be much more disinterested, because bricks are most commonly made from a mix of impervious (and unedible) minerals and water just runs right off harmlessly.



You move into your wood stick figure dream home. Everything’s great until you discover strange piles of sawdust, bubbling color, and hollow-sounding walls. You hire an exterminator and understand that the dream house is inundated with termites. At that point, your choices vary from treatment to full-on reconstruction and can rely on exactly how badly the figure is damaged. Or probably it’s plagued with other styles of insects or rats.



Enhanced Efficiency



Stone homes built by the best stone mason contractors on another hand, experience none of those issues. Like cement,  stone masonry is great at maintaining internal conditions because of its high thermal mass. What that means, precisely, is that it takes longer for heat to travel through bricks due to a lack of conductivity, causing more even temperatures inside of your home. Moreover, air leaks are almost unheard of in brick houses simply because they are, within their simplest form, connected stones that are glued together. They’re mortared together, technically speaking, though the concept is the same.



Effortlessly insulating a wood frame house is a complex process that involves creating an open space between the exterior and interior walls and then filling that space with all the insulation material of your choice. It’s not an exact science and it’s not uncommon to leave empty spaces and problems within the seals that allow air to leak in and out.



Built Like a Brick Outhouse



There’s reasons this saying exists and serves to explain something exceedingly strong, hard, and durable. Stone houses are widely-known for his or her power, exemplary durability and resistance to the elements. Also, like concrete, the mortar between each brick takes time to fully harden, and once it does, it’s extremely difficult to eliminate. This also implies that brick houses are much less vunerable to fire damage, because it’s fairly difficult to burn off what’s effectively manufactured steel.



While all of the above benefits are excellent on their own, nevertheless, the combined outcome for homeowners is also better…



More Cash in the Bank



Even home insurance costs less due to the reduced vulnerability to issues such as fire and wind damage. They more than make up the difference in what they save homeowners in the long term, while brick domiciles may require a larger investment up front!

As a general rule it’s better to call in a chimney repair specialist when any of these issues have now been identified to be in need of repair. And therefore within a visual inspection or a physical inspection, if some of the things listed here are not functioning properly, it’s time and energy to get your chimney fixed.

Fireplace Neck Fix

It’s very important that your chimney inspector carefully examine the chimney throat. Breaks in the neck area of a chimney really are a major safety concern. Destruction inside the chimney throat can cause significant structural issues, and heat transfer issues, particularly if left unchecked.

The inappropriate use or installing of steel in the chimney neck can threaten the structural integrity of your chimney by exposing non-fire scored brick or tile, which can cause cracks or breaking in the masonry. In a great deal of cases this material within the neck gets hotter and breaks the masonry surrounding it. It also has been recognized to twist, heaving the masonry it is supporting making a hole that exposes the wood structure behind it. It’s vitally important to have it repaired immediately by a skilled masonry contractor, if your chimney inspection appears any signs of injury in the chimney throat.

Fireplace Flue Restoration

Make sure to find the services of a talented, skilled masonry company who will suggest the proper sort of Sudbury ma chimney fix for the design and construct of your chimney. Additionally, a skilled masonry contractor can ensure proper installation of the flue lining installation, ensuring that it’ll protect your chimney and your property for several years ahead.

Because of this, a broke flue requires prompt and proper replacement. It’s extremely important that the replacement fireplace parts be fitted properly creating a strong seal.

Chimney Crown Restoration

Chimney crowns keep out wildlife, especially raccoons and birds, from nesting and entering in your chimney if not fire. In addition it keeps out rain and snow from entering and developing water in your chimney, which can cause an embarrassing odor to emanate from the chimney, or worse, cracks in the chimney that can require further repairs. It can also trigger wind or draft issues, meaning that gas and smoke will not precisely exit your fireplace, instead coming back in to your living area.

Stone Chimney Repair

Older homes almost completely have stone flue chambers within the fireplaces. They are also vulnerable to cracking and deterioration with time, resulting in leakage of dangerous gasses to the house as well as possible structural damage, while bricks could handle a heavy compression load. It may allow water and water to enter, causing additional damage to other components of the fireplace. Apparently minimal harm to chimney bricks are among the major causes when homeowners neglect to get normal chimney assessments necessitating chimney alternative. Normal chimney inspections and stone restoration can save you a pricey chimney alternative down the road.

The Significance Of Normal Fireplace Inspection & Maintenance

On rare occasions, it could also bring about chimney fires. Make an effort to call an experienced masonry contractor who’ll stand by the quality of their work – you certainly won’t regret it.

Chimney examinations, maintenance, and repair should be significantly higher on the priority of the common homeowner than it currently is. While this is not a legal requirement in the Usa, it’s still strongly suggested at least one time per year that proper evaluation is completed on your own masonry fireplace. Chimney investigations are specifically important in the event that you reside in an older house with no clay liner, or within an earthquake prone area such as La or San Francisco Bay Area.

Correct chimney investigations should always be conducted by a skilled chimney professional. Experienced chimney professionals may spot hidden dangers and damage that might be ignored by a less experienced version. This may indicate the difference between a safe house or carbon monoxide dripping to the living-room. It could also mean the difference between a quick chimney restoration or an entire repair of your chimney that costs you more money and time down the road. A chimney inspection performed by an inexperienced masonry professional could easily miss if was discovered immediately a tiny break or minor injury that could have been changed. If left to break further, a chimney replacement could be potentially necessitated by minor damage while the minor damage becomes serious structural issues.

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In its most simple definition, the word construction describes the process of assembling individual parts to create a whole. Building a birdhouse, assembling a bike, and erecting a 1,000ft skyscraper all fall under the mantle of construction, however, only the latter really applies in modern day usage anymore.

Even then, the statement, “I work in construction” can mean one hundred and one different things; gone are the days when construction companies consisted of a few guys wearing tool belts and building houses. Today, the field of construction requires vast numbers of people, all of whom contribute their own unique and highly specialized skill sets. From the project managers and architects at the top to the hammer-toting workers at the bottom, all are essential roles in modern construction techniques and projects. While those roles are as numerous as construction projects are varied, the field can be broken down into four general types.

Types of Construction

·       Industrial – As evidenced by the name, industrial construction companies build industrial buildings. These include all types of factories and assembly plants, power plants, refineries, foundries, oil rigs and many more. This is probably the most demanding area, since all of the buildings must adhere to extremely high quality and safety standards. It wouldn’t do to suffer a catastrophic ecological disaster as a result of a poorly constructed oil refinery, after all.

·       Heavy Civil – Highways, roads, bridges, levies and countless other similar structures are all built by heavy civil construction companies. This area often requires specialized skills not usually needed in other type sof construction because it requires enormous forethought and planning. While the process of building a highway, for instance, is less complex than building a skyscraper, the highway may stretch 300 miles, all of which needs to be meticulously planned in advance.

·       Commercial – While this area is probably the most widely recognized due to the heart-stopping spectacle of workers balancing on support beams 1,500ft in the air, it also encompasses all other commercial buildings, most of which aren’t nearly as glamorous. Commercial construction companies build skyscrapers, to be sure, however they also construct office buildings, department stores, shopping malls, movie theaters and apartment buildings, among others.

·       Residential – If the previous area is the most glamorous and exciting, this one is definitely the most accessible and straightforward. Residential construction isn’t without its own pitfalls, however, as companies must meticulously plan ahead, deal with zoning and avoid damaging the surrounding area. At its base, though, this area provides homes for millions of people around the world.

While the above descriptions barely scratch the surface of the infinitely varied, demanding and complex world of construction, hopefully this will provide you with a better understanding and appreciation of some of the key differences between construction types.  

For a list of construction company’s look no further then a contractor directory.

If you are looking for something more specific like a Massachusetts chimney repair company then searching on the internet might be the best option.

 

Great page on different fireplaces!

Choose your repair man carefully

It started with a phone call. My friend Kevin called me after he had hired one of the four or so companies that had call him this last fall. These companies call every fall offering to clean his chimney at an incredibly cheap rate. You know what they say, too good to be true!

Anyhow, sure enough, after he hired one company the service technician came out to the house to clean the flues. After some time and a bucket of soot later he was told that the chimney needed a major chimney repair, and also a metal liner.

The house was only eight years old so my pal couldn’t imagine the chimney was in this kind of condition. I had used a company who offers good competitive masonry services and has tons of masonry information.

So take it from first hand experience. If a product is worth anything, it sells itself. It doesn’t need a call center to cold call for customers. Especially when the economy is at this point, people don’t like to waste their money.

Winter is coming, is your chimney ready?

Soon we will be knee deep in snow and our furnaces will be working overtime to combat the extreme cold weather we get here in Massachusetts. A lot of people also will have a fire burning in their fireplace or wood stove. Chimney’s take quite a beating from the snow and ice as well as the temperature fluctuation of hot exhaust from fireplaces and furnaces, so it is important to have proper inspections and cleanings done.

It should also be noted that only seasoned firewood should be burned in a fireplace or wood stove. Pine or other soft woods emit more creosote and this stuff is what builds up inside the chimney and could eventually cause a chimney fire.

From visually inspecting your chimney top you should be looking for loose bricks, missing mortar and any blackness exposed on the outside of the masonry below the top flue is of concern especially.

Stone foundation
Stone foundation

When you have a chimney repair in Sudbury ma, in your home which you use to cook or stay warm, you can’t just ignore it throughout the year.  You have to maintain it in order to keep it clean, safe, and reliable.  A chimney flue which becomes coated in creosote (flammable debris) is unsafe, and soot deposits can smell foul during warmer months as well.  Structural damage to your chimney can also cause fires.  There is some maintenance which you can do on your chimney yourself, but it is important to have a professional come in to inspect and clean your chimney on an annual basis.  For owners of wood stoves or for people who use wood in their fireplaces, it may be best to do it more than just once a year since creosote is a deposit which results from wood smoke vapors.

What time of year should you call in the professional?  In general you will probably want to do this in spring for a couple of different reasons.  One is that after the cold season has passed, you probably won’t be using your chimney anymore (unless you cook under it of course).  Regardless, you won’t be using it for heat anymore until next autumn or winter, so that makes it the perfect time to clean out the year’s accumulated debris and check for problems.  That way when it comes time to use the chimney again next year, you’ll know right from day one that your chimney is safe and ready for use.

The other reason it’s good to have your chimney checked in spring is that during the summer if it gets hot, any soot deposits still inside your chimney could begin to stink.  By having those deposits cleaned out before the heat strikes, you can save yourself from this particular annoyance. 

You can also check your chimney yourself regularly as you’re using it in the autumn and winter by having a look at the exterior masonry or metal and the chimney cap.  If you find any cracks or other obvious damage, you should call in a professional right away to examine the chimney rather than wait.  Another sign of damage you can look for on your own is peeling or stained wallpaper in the house next to the chimney.  You can check out the base of your flue and use a flashlight and a mirror to look higher in the flue for possible damage.  You should examine your fireplace, furnace or wood stove as well.  You can only examine the outside of the furnace yourself, though; to have the inside checked you should call in a furnace technician for safety reasons.

If anything is amiss during your self checks, then you should have a professional come in sooner rather than later.  If you’ve never had your chimney inspected, you shouldn’t wait till spring to do have it done for the first time.  Problems with chimneys can result in fires which may cost you your entire home.  That is why timely and regular chimney maintenance is so important!

wooden chimney fire
 

Fake fireplaces are not meant for producing heat!

It is widely unknown what the true potential of a manufactured fireplace is. The purpose of this post is to educate about the capability and limitations of manufactured chimneys and fireplaces and the potential dangers when misused.

Fireplaces that shouldn’t heat your house!

Most everyone just assumes if you can burn wood in it then it must be used for making heat of some sort. Common sense I know, but it actually isn’t true when it comes to what is referred to as a manufactured fireplace, or sometimes called a zero clearance chimney, or just an insert. Not very glamorous names, not a very glamorous fireplace either.

New England was slammed with a very early snow storm that left thousands of Massachusetts residents without power, heat or lights. In a time of crisis our primitive survival side kicks in. At first we exhaust all civilized solutions to our problems. Using a generator, staying with family, a hotel. If none of these solutions are available, we start to become more simple, primitive. We resort back to our hunter gatherer instincts, gather up some newspaper and wood and light a fire in our perfectly acceptable and safe fireplace, right? Seems like a good plan. Our builder told us that its a great, cost effective alternative to a real masonry fireplace, and it works just as good, wink, wink.

Not even close. On November 2nd a call was placed to the Northborogh Massachusetts Fire Department due to a house fire. When the crews arrived I’m sure they stared puzzled for a second or two, it was the chimney that was burning! Not a masonry chimney, but a wooden one that was hollow only containing the metal “flue” pipe. After some effort the Fire Department put the blaze out but not before it caused over $50,000 worth of damage to the property. The chief later made a statement warning Massachusetts homeowners of the dangers of trying to make these fake fireplaces heat a house.

Here he is quoted as saying: “It’s designed for a ceremonial or a pleasure fire at the holidays, not for hardcore, heavy-duty heating,” Northborough fire Chief David Durgin said.

At this time thousands of residents were still without electricity and heat. To have this warning come in at a time when people needed the heat of a properly built fireplace and chimney is nothing short of heartbreaking. Why are these manufactured chimneys produced en mass? Why don’t builders use proper
masonry contractors to build masonry chimneys? It is to save a few dollars? I cant imagine the savings would be THAT much, certainly isn’t worth the poor performance, and the possible deadly malfunctions in these units!


Manufactured chimney fireI am making this post in an attempt to voice a concern that the public is being misled when sold these wooden chimneys. In the words of the Northborough Fire Chief, they are not designed to heat your house, and they are not designed for continuous wood burning. It doesn’t sound to me like they are safe at all, but I suppose they are safe enough for a fire at Thanksgiving and Christmas, as long as you don’t unplug your smoke detectors!

imageWhen Do I Need Chimney Repair?

Chimney Flue Repair

The chimney flue liner is essential for keeping out potentially harmful gasses from leaking into your living area. For this reason, a cracked flue liner needs prompt and proper replacement. It’s extremely important that the replacement chimney liners allow the chimney to breathe without obstruction. Be sure to acquire the services of a skilled, experienced Groton ma masonry contractor who can suggest the right type of chimney liner for the design and build of your chimney. Additionally, an experienced masonry contractor can ensure proper fitting of your flue liner installation, ensuring that it will protect your chimney and your home for many years to come.

Chimney Crown Repair

A damaged chimney crown, also known as a chimney cap, can cause numerous problems for the homeowner. Chimney crowns keep out wild animals, particularly raccoons and birds, from entering and nesting in your chimney or even fireplace. It also keeps out rain and snow from entering and creating moisture in your chimney, which can cause an unpleasant smell to emanate from the chimney, or worse, cracks in the chimney that can necessitate further repairs. It can also cause wind or draft problems, meaning that smoke and gas will not properly exit your chimney, instead coming back into your living area.

Brick Chimney Repair

Older homes almost exclusively have brick flue chambers in the chimneys. While bricks can handle a heavy compression load, they are also prone to cracking and deterioration over time, leading to leaking of dangerous gasses into the home as well as potential structural damage. It may allow water and moisture to penetrate, causing additional damage to other elements of the chimney. Seemingly minor damage to chimney bricks are one of the leading causes necessitating chimney replacement when homeowners fail to obtain regular chimney inspections. Regular chimney inspections and Lancaster ma chimney repair can save you an expensive chimney replacement down the road.

Chimney Throat Repair

It is extremely important that your chimney inspector carefully examine the chimney throat. Cracks in the throat area of a chimney are a major safety concern. Damage in the chimney throat can cause serious structural chimney issues, particularly if left unchecked. The improper use or installation of metal in the chimney throat can cause this metal to expand and crack the masonry surrounding it. The damper as well as angle irons can actually heat up enough to warp and heave the masonry up, creating a gap exposing the wood framing behind the masonry wall. A damaged metal throat place can also prevent smoke from exiting the chimney, creating major safety concerns. If your chimney inspection turns up any signs of damage in the chimney throat, it is extremely important to have it repaired promptly by an experienced Massachusetts masonry contractor.