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Brick Chimney Repair and Fireplace Restoration When it comes to chimney and fireplace maintenance in your home, look for a service center, which can provide their skilled craftsmen to restore both function and beauty of your chimney and fireplace, if you see deteriorating signs of your chimney/fireplace, such as: soot build-up in your fireplace, bird’s nest in your chimney, cracked or deteriorated brick or mortar, lightning damage, water leaks, smoking problems. A fireplace that has cracked and deteriorated brick or mortar, which are usually in the back wall, water infiltration, and is structured in an improper dimensions, which is a source of smoking into the room, are the usual problems found in fireplaces. Cracks existing inside and on the walls of a chimney can actually be fire hazards, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), because the smoke, which carries waste particles from the fire, deposits these particles on the walls in these cracks, and these particles have an oily substance, called creosote, which can re-ignite from sparks rising in the chimney, so that before creosotes can build-up on the cracks, it’s time to repair them. To repair the cracked areas on the chimney and fireplace, the process involves chiseling out the cracked areas and covering them with either Portland cement or fire-clay; however, one should never coat or smear the surface of the newly-covered cracked areas, as they will not bond well with the dirty, smoky surface. When water infiltrates the chimney, it mixes with the deposited particles on the chimney walls, like creosote and other deposits, thus the resulting mixture is an acidic compound which prematurely corrodes the damper and causes deterioration of the brick and mortar. Further, the entrance of water may infiltrate cracks in the chimney crown, the shell itself or may cause faulty flashing where the chimney meets the roof, and all these may extend its damages to the ceiling and flooring materials of the house, which are adjacent to the fireplace.
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There are two common design flaws have been detected, the reason for the improper dimensions found in chimneys, which are: the chimneys are too short to prevent downdrafts and the areas between the lintel and throat of the chimney are not tall enough to allow smoke to roll before entering the smoke shelf, and because of this, there is a build-up of smoke in the living area.
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The effects of rain and harsh weather conditions may cause deterioration on the chimney bricks, which are supposed to last more than 100 years because they have been hard-fired, and the effect is such that when rain soaks into the brick, then freezes and expands due to harsh weather elements, the thin layers of the brick slowly begin to fall off and land at the base of the chimney. Mortar joints can also deteriorate or develop premature voids, but all these results may actually depend on the type of mortar used and the methods used during the original construction.