Cracked Chimney Repair

It is really important to repair your chimney as soon as cracks appear. Having cracks in your chimney can lead to water leaks, smoke issues and dangers during an earthquake.

Here is a before and after of a cracked masonry chimney repair we did.


Chase Covers & Shrouds in Long Beach

Here are before and after photos of Chase Covers & Shrouds we installed in Long Beach, California.





Zero Clearance Fireplaces

Factory built or zero clearance fireplaces have different design. This type of chimney is easily identified by having stucco or wooden sided chimneys.  Further, this type of fireplace has a metal firebox with refractory panels forming the firebox with a metal flue.  Almost all of these already have a chimney cap, but they are subject to deterioration from the elements and from aging.  Close to beach these rust out and need to be replaced. When parts of the top up there start rusting, rainwater will start becoming an issue.

Another issue is that several of these designs provide a nesting place for birds. Occasionally, screening can be added to prevent this.

Another aspect of these types of fireplaces is that the refractory panels, which form a protective barrier between the fire and metal firebox, can develop cracks in these panels. I might mention that if these cracks are hairline, they are usually not an issue. But most manufacturers of these type fireplaces recommend replacement of panels when crack is large enough to put a coin into crack.

Why Do I Need to Have My Chimney Swept?

Every time you use your fireplace, soot (creosote) is created and deposited on the inside of your chimney as the smoke travels up the flue.  As that substance cools it solidifies and results in a caked on layer that will build up use after use.  Creosote is made up of particles from the wood and is incredibly flammable.  After enough creosote builds up, it can ignite and launch a fast-spreading, dangerous chimney fire.  We will remove this creosote and leave your chimney and fireplace clean and ready for use.  At the same time, we will inspect the fireplace and chimney and make sure there are no additional hazards.

Traditional Masonry Chimney Caps

Custom chimney capWe believe traditional masonry chimneys should have chimney caps.  Chimney caps are also called rain caps or spark arrestors.  They serve a variety of purposes.  Even though we are not troubled by, unfortunately, by lots of rain, rainwater can cause a lot of damage to insides of fireplace and flue. If no rain cap present in a wood burning fireplace, rain water can mix with the creosote and ash in flue, making a caustic slurry that leaches the lime out of mortar turning the mortar to sand. This creates damage to the flue tile joints and firebox that can be expensive to repair.

The spark arrestor, breaks up any chunks of burning material, that may come out of chimney, into smaller pieces that are less likely to become airborne and land on something combustible, like a roof, neighbors house or into vegetation.

The chimney cap, also, keeps small animals from getting into chimney. We get lots of calls to get birds, raccoons, cats and other pests out of chimney. 

Further, a top mounted damper can often be put inside of a chimney cap. These are a marvelous invention.  The damper is a spring loaded metal plate, operated by a cable handle from inside firebox.  They do a fantastic job of closing off the chimney. They practically eliminate cold air downdrafts when closed.

And we install these to keeps bees from nesting. Once bees pick a chimney to hive in, they leave a scent that, even after bees are removed, the scent can beckon bees to return to try to hive again. The top damper provides a seal tight enough to keep bees out.

These chimney caps come in black galvanized, stainless steel and copper. For homes near the ocean, it’s recommended that stainless or copper be utilized. The stainless and copper have lifetime warranties.