Have you noticed any visible problems on the exterior of your chimney? Any falling debris on the roof or ground? See any cracks or voids in the masonry construction? Water dripping in either in the interior vicinity or in the fire box itself? Might be time to get that looked at before it gets worse.
I've been called to more chimney repairs this year than usual and it's prompted me to take a little more notice to chimneys in my daily travels...been seeing some unsightly disasters all around so I thought I might do another post on the topic and maybe save a few before they get worse, and they definitely will!
I think a lot of people recognize they have a problem but either think & hope it won't get any worse or would rather wait until its bad enough that they have no choice...I'm gonna tell you why that's huge mistake. Here's a few reasons why and also why you might wanna think about doing something before the freezing temperatures hit.
1. As far as masonry deterioration goes, everything gets worse in the winter. The freeze & thaw climate in our region will exacerbate any small problem and if the destructive stars are aligned it can go down hill rapidly. Because of this climate is why it is more important to follow the masonry rules than anywhere else in the country...one broken rule can severely diminish your masonry lifespan. For instance, a crack or separation in the mortar at the very top of your chimney here in PA can and will be the beginning of the end for your chimney where as if the same crack on the same chimney was in lets say Arizona it will still last a lifetime.
(To the left- is a share chimney in Norristown that I repaired last year...this top was totally destroyed, it had to be removed and redone)
2. If you get your chimney looked at and have an early intervention then you will save THOUSANDS of dollars!$$$ Truly I tell you, for small one man repairs I will come out for $300-$400 per day plus cost of material. In other words, if you have a crack or slight deterioration up there then I'd get you taken care of for under $500. If you wait and your chimney top gets totally destroyed then I will have to build scaffolding, remove the entire top or at least parts of it and rebuild a proper top...that is why chimney work is so expensive. It's high up, dangerous, tough to maneuver, have to drag heavy material up there, protect the roof, then clean everything on the way down! Price is north of $2500 baseline price if you wait.
(To the Right- Same shared Norristown chimney, new top)
3. If you have water dripping into the home originating from the chimney or the flashing then there is a good possibility that it is saturating and rotting everything on it's way down...that can get tremendously expensive.
4. The obvious...we like to light the fireplace up when it starts getting chilly out right? Well nothing could be more disappointing then lighting that fire only to find that the smoke started rolling right back into the house! Maybe your flu liner collapses a little bit due to deterioration and its enough to prevent the appropriate draft.
The point I'm making is that it is easier to spend the little money now then the big money and headache later. Call me for a free look and we can talk about yours.