When it comes to maintaining your roof there are a surprising number of things to be considered. From the guttering to the indoor fireplace and the actual chimney stack, you can’t afford to forget about any area if you want your chimney to remain in tip-top condition. Keep reading for some key points on how to properly maintain your chimney stack.
What are Chimney Crowns and What is Their Function?
The chimney crown is the top part of your chimney. It’s made of brick, stone or mortar and rests above the chimney’s flue. The purpose of it is to protect the top of the chimney from weathering and similar damage. The crown achieves this protection by covering and sealing the top of the chimney’s opening around the edges. It also helps to deflect moisture away from the top of the chimney.
A well-built chimney crown should last for many years. However, over time they can become weathered and deteriorate, especially if they are not cared for properly.
How to Check Your Chimney Stack
To keep on top of everything and to understand the signs that there’s something wrong, you should safely check your roof and chimney yourself. Despite this, you must never attempt to climb onto your roof without appropriate safety equipment and professional training because it is incredibly dangerous. Missing parts, leaks and fallen debris are all signs of issues. You should be able to spot obvious issues from the ground, but height will prevent you from seeing the roof up close.
To get a proper roof health check, you should therefore arrange for a professional roofing inspection to be carried out annually.
Signs You Need Chimney Repairs:
Some of the telling signs you need a chimney repair include the following:
- Rusting metal
- Debris from the chimney interior
- Cracks in the chimney crown
- Missing capping
- Water damage around or below the chimney
- Damaged chimney flashing
Does Your Chimney Need Repointing?
If you spot gaps within the mortar around the bricks, your chimney stack probably needs repointing. In locations where chimneys are susceptible to weathering like Durham roofers will look at your chimney and ask the following questions:
- Is there missing grouting? This might show through cracks in the mortar joint.
- Does the chimney look in poor condition? If it’s started to disintegrate, its structure might need repairing.
- Have you noticed any moisture ingress in your attic? Gaps in the roof could be causing rainwater to enter your property.
Does Your Chimney Need a Capping Cowl?
One of the more complicated parts of chimneys are capping cowls. These are covers placed at the top of the chimney stack. A capping cowl might be installed for ventilation purposes, stopping downdraughts and reducing the risk of fire. The caps are also good for keeping out birds, preventing chimney blockages and stopping rainwater from entering the chimney or your home.
The bottom line is, if you’re not sure whether your chimney or crown is damaged, it’s best to have a professional look at it. Experienced roofers will be able to tell you whether the crown is in a good condition and if not, recommend appropriate repairs. One thing that is for certain is that you must never leave roofing or chimney repairs to an amateur – it is not worth the risk.