Chimneys are often forgotten about during the warm months yet are highly desirable when the weather turns cold. This lack of use, however, can cause unexpected issues with your chimney or fireplace. You never know what has been living in your chimney or if there is a buildup of some kind that needs to be cleaned out in order for a fireplace to function safely. Chimney inspections and cleaning are vital to making sure you have a safe and controlled way to warm your home and a beautiful backdrop for yourself or guests. If your inspection finds a problem in your Norfolk, VA home, Batchelder & Collins, Inc. offers the masonry you need to help your chimney repair contractor get it back in good working order call (757) 625-2506 or contact us online.
At Batchelder & Collins, we offer a wide range of masonry products ideal for chimney repair and fireplace repair services. Yet before you can know that you need our products, you need to know that your chimney is in need of repair. Here are some signs that indicate it is time for Norfolk homeowners to call a chimney inspection professional to take a closer look:
At the top of your chimney is a chase cover or chimney cap. These metal pieces should stand up well over years of weather exposure, but over time they will eventually start to rust.
If you see reddish streaks on the cap, then it’s time to consider chimney repair service. You may also need chimney help if the cap has damage, but you may not be able to see this yourself. This is where a chimney sweep can be of help. During an inspection, they can check the chimney case top or cap and make sure it is not broken.
When water freezes, it expands. Then when it thaws, it condenses again. When water or moisture gets into the bricks in your chimney and goes through this freeze/thaw cycle, it causes spalling.
If your chimney is spalling, you may notice crumbling or flaking of the bricks. If you do not address the problem, the bricks can pop out of place. During the cold winters in Norfolk, this condition is far too common in homes with poorly crafted chimneys.
The key to reducing the risk of spalling after you have your chimney repaired is the quality of your brick and mortar. Our high-quality masonry can help your repair technician effectively address this problem.
Water damage can also cause spalling, and water can cause the chimney liner to rust and deteriorate. Not having a working chimney cap is the most common cause of water damage. However, regardless of the cause, you need to address this problem quickly because it will escalate. Waterproofing during fireplace installation can help reduce the risk of this type of damage, but you will want to ensure your chimney cap is always working correctly and you close your flue when you are not using the chimney to add more protection.
If you notice white staining your bricks on your chimney, you have efflorescence. This problem occurs when water-soluble salts get left behind on the surface of the masonry after water evaporates. Water damage from poor masonry can cause this, but it can also be part of the normal masonry process. Mortar and grout have moisture in them, and over time they will travel through the brick and evaporate, creating the potential for efflorescence.
Even the best craftsmanship of your fireplace or wood-burning stove can still allow efflorescence to occur. Sandblasting works to remove it, but this can damage the brick. Instead, talk to a chimney sweep about using chemical agents to wash off the salt and remove the unsightly look.
If you live in Norfolk or the surrounding areas in Hampton Roads, like Portsmouth or Newport News, you have two basic types of chimneys available. Metal chimneys give a building a modern look, but they are more costly. Masonry chimneys have brick construction and tend to be more aesthetically appealing, provide more architectural creativity, and are more affordable. They require installation from a trained mason.
Homeowners and businesses in Norfolk need to keep their chimneys and fireplaces in good working order. When they use their chimneys, buildup can occur, and that puts the building at risk for a fire.
Professional chimney cleaning involves removing creosote and other chimney buildup that can create the right scenario for a chimney fire. Professional chimney sweep services offer chimney cleaning in addition to a basic chimney inspection. If you feel concerned that your chimney is not working properly or has damage, you want to hire a chimney sweep service. Consider hiring a sweep that is part of the National Chimney Sweep Guild to get confidence that they are a well-trained professional.
Once your chimney has been professionally cleaned, you can call us for any repair materials you may need to revive your chimney to its once pristine condition.
A professional chimney inspection from a qualified contractor is vital to protecting your home from fire. The Chimney Safety Institute of America recommends having chimneys, vents, and fireplaces inspected at least once a year. If the inspection finds problems, have them addressed to protect your home.
The chimney repair estimates are most accurate when your chimney repair company inspects your chimney and provides one. You may only need a new chimney liner, insert, sealer, or chimney flashing, which will be cheaper than a completely new chimney. Repairs can average anywhere from a few hundred dollars up to thousands, while a completely new chimney can cost you around $10,000 or more. In addition, the repairs for a wood stove chimney may be more or less than the repairs for a fireplace chimney. That’s why it’s so important to get a quote, and perhaps from more than one chimney repair professional, before deciding what to do about your repair need.
At Batchelder & Collins, we have the experience you want when choosing masonry for the maintenance and repair of chimneys. With over 150 years of experience creating quality masonry products for our service area, which includes Norfolk and many surrounding areas, including Virginia Beach and Chesapeake, we have both the knowledge and the excellent service chimney repair contractors demand. We also offer affordable prices, which help you manage the costs of your chimney service. When you want to keep your home protected from the potential for a chimney fire, work with chimney repair services you can trust. We are masonry and hardscape experts ready to handle all of your chimney needs. We work hard to ensure that the customers we work with are completely satisfied.