What more appealing scene can you think of then to be able to cuddle up in a comfortable chair next to the fireplace hearth on a cool winter night, as the sounds of crackling logs linger in your ear. As the warmth of the fire fills your senses, and the flames flicker across the room. A well designed and maintained fireplace can add all of this and more to our life. Very few of us use our fireplace to heat our homes. We do have a few occasions each year when our fireplace and chimney are indispensable. Some of the times that I can think of, is when we get one of those big wind storms that seem to happen every so often. When that happens, having a fireplace and chimney in good working order can make the difference between being able to stay in your home, or having to find shelter elsewhere. Sometimes we tend to not think about our chimneys till we need them, but one of the best ways to ensure that they will be there when we need them is to have them cleaned and inspected on a yearly basis. If you maintain and repair your chimney as they need it, the cost will be quite low, usually under two hundred dollars. One thing to remember, the cost to replace a standard size fireplace is well over $10000.00 dollars. Before the damage becomes a large expense, give us a call and we will provide you with a free chimney inspection.
Most of the chimney repairs that we see are caused by water damage. So how can so know if your chimney is being damaged by water? Look for moss growing around the chimney. This is usually easy to spot. Wherever moss is growing, water has already penetrated the masonry mortar joints. If this is addressed early a simple tuck pointing of the mortar joints will fix the problem. If it's let go, the water will remain inside the masonry until the next time it freezes. When that happens, the water will expand and not only bust the mortar joint but will also destroy the brick. We have heavy rain and snow at times. Keeping your chimney or fireplace crown in good repair is the only way to ensure that water does not penetrate down into the masonry chimney. What is a chimney crown you might ask? It is the very top of your fireplace chimney, and here is why chimney repairs need to be made so often. When masonry contractors are building a fireplace chimney, they are working with mortar to lay the bricks, and 95% of the time they don't have any concrete with them. When they get to the top of the chimney crown they use the same mortar that they laid the brick with and build the chimney crown out of the mortar. This lasts for few years, and then starts to crack and let water enter into the masonry structure. To make the matter worse, most chimney cleaners and chimney repair companies, try to fix the problem with coats of sealant and paint that keep the chimney from being able to breathe. The best way to build a chimney crown is to build it with concrete. It will last for 35 years with little or no maintenance. If you build it with a drip edge, it will protect the fireplace chimney even better as the water will fall off the chimney crown and all the way to the ground, instead of running down the face of the brick.
As a masonry contractor, we never repair a chimney with improper materials or workmanship. We want you to be able to enjoy your fireplace for many years to come. Understanding how your fireplace and chimney work, is vital to the safe and proper use of it. If we can be of service to you, in the repair of your chimney, we will explain each and every feature and component that will keep you safe, warm, and dry. Whether you are planning a new fireplace for your home or remodeling an older one, there are a lot of choices of style and design. Some of these can be installed right over the old brick for a very reasonable price. In other cases, we can remodel the brick itself by grinding out the old mortar joints and tuck pointing new mortar between the bricks. This type of restoration can bring back life to the brickwork like if it was new. Whether you are buying or selling a home, don't underestimate the value of a fireplace. One of a homes top amenities is the fireplace. It's the part of the home that we tend to use the most, and is usually a focal point for the room that it is in. Those of us lucky enough to have a fireplace treat them with a reverence. We have our pictures taken in front of them and decorate them every season. Please take a moment and visit our beautiful picture gallery and gather some new ideas for your home here in the Bellevue area.