Protecting Your Investment Lindemann Chimney Supply offers wide variety of flexible and stainless chimney liners like Olympia, Bestflex & DuraFlex Chimney Liner. With the state of the nation’s economy it’s imperative to protect your investments. One of the biggest investments you will make is in your home. Failing to take measures to preserve it now can cost you hundreds or even thousands later. Here are some savvy investment protection strategies that allow you to control potential losses in regards to your chimney.

At the top of the chimney is a mortar colored chimney crown. This mortar “cover” keeps moisture and debris from penetrating the area between the outside of the flue liner and the inside of the chimney structure. If we were to use X-ray vision and look inside,Protecting Your Investment Articles we would typically find an airspace gap there. If a crack develops in the crown, moisture can enter this area, quickly leading to deterioration and repair expenses. To prevent future costly repairs, chimney crowns can usually be repaired as long as the crown is still structurally sound. In addition, most crown repair products also contain waterproofing agents.

A chimney cap protects the chimney like an umbrella. Without a cap your chimney functions as an open rain gauge, collecting water and debris which can quickly lead to damage. Caps have several protective functions. The screen acts as a deterrent to keep critters from entering the flue. Those cute cuddly critters leave behind droppings, fleas, dirt and other undesirables. It also acts as a spark arrestor, helping to lessen the likelihood of sparks igniting the roof. The lid prevents or minimizes the entry of rain, snow, leaves, and other debris. A larger cap can cover the crown shedding rain away from it. Some chimney caps even have a damper function. This type of chimney top damper cap is used for woodburning fireplaces. Open it when using the fireplace and you will still have the protection of the chimney cap feature. A chimney top damper saves hundreds of dollars in utility costs, providing a quick return on your investment dollars. They usually pay for themselves within 2-5 years.

Since a chimney is a masonry material it should last forever. Right? Unfortunately, this isn’t the case. After all, the Grand Canyon was once a level masonry structure. Water is proven to erode masonry over time. Sometimes, it takes thousands of years, like the Grand Canyon. Chimneys can deteriorate more rapidly because they are exposed to extreme stress and temperature extremes. The interior of the flue can be hot while the exterior is cold — maybe even freezing. This can cause stress to the structure. Also, corrosive residue inside the flue can attack mortar joints when moisture enters and mixes with it, resulting in a caustic residue. Waterproofing your chimney wraps it in an invisible protective shield. Be sure to verify that the waterproofing material is vapor permeable. This means that moisture on the inside can still escape to the exterior, but moisture on the outside is prevented from entering the structure. Some waterproofing materials have solids that block the pores of the masonry, causing the moisture to become trapped in the chimney, usually leading to greater deterioration than if the chimney was never waterproofed. Paint can have the same affect.

Many historical homes have ivy growing on the exterior or the chimney. Although it provides a quaint appeal these plants can cause damage requiring hundreds or thousands of dollars in repair costs. Keep in mind that these plants anchor into the masonry with their little roots that grow over time. When this happens, it’s like having thousands of tiny nail holes in your mortar joints. These small holes open an entry to moisture that can penetrate through the chimney causing damage. This weakens the structure over time.

Chimney flashing is the metal that surrounds the chimney at the roofline. It covers the gap between the chimney and the roof and slopes to shed rain away from the chimney. If it leaks the chimney can get wet and lead to deterioration or it can cause damage to ceilings, walls, wet attic insulation, etc. This can amount to a hefty repair bill. There are products that your chimney professional can use to repair a leaky flashing at a relatively economical cost in comparison to replacing drywall, wallpaper and ceiling fixtures.

Chimneys collect residue from the flue gasses they exhaust. Woodburning releases creosote and other byproducts into the flue. Coal releases sulfur. Oil releases sulfur and nitrates. Gas can leave acids as a result of the combustion air that it pulls from the house. Regardless, any residue could lead to chimney deterioration. Especially when moisture is present. Having the chimney inspected and cleaned is a vital step to preserving your chimney and keeping your home safe.

The chimney is the most important “appliance” in your home. It exhausts toxic gasses and heat and your heating appliances are dependent on how well the chimney works. It’s even more important to protect this vital part of your home and preserve the safety of your family. Thoughtfully consider these issues and know that if you experience these problems there is often an economical fix, as long as you address the problem instead of waiting until major deterioration sets in. It’s all a part of protecting your investment dollars.

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