Carmel Chimney Repair
The city of Carmel, located within Hamilton County, is a sought after place to live. It provides a perfect blend of both new and older homes while offering amazing attractions, restaurants, business centers and promotion of the arts. With all the perks Carmel has to offer, it still comes with its issues – chimney repair is one of them.
The Interior Problem
In August of 2020, we scheduled a Chimney Safety Inspection for a customer in Carmel. The inspection revealed a number of both fire safety concerns and water entry issues. For starters, the fireplace contained damaged mortar joints that had decayed with time and use. These joints need to be maintained to ensure that all heat and embers are safely contained within the firebox.
Next, we found dangerous gaps located within the smoke chamber and the chimney liner. These gaps are a fire hazard as they can lead to the escape of hot embers and flue gases. Smoke and flue gases that escape the liner can find their way into other parts of the home like bedroom walls or attic space. We cannot overstate the importance of having your chimney sweep perform a liner scan using a pan and tilt camera. This scan should come standard with a Level 2 Inspection.
With clear fire hazards present, a repair solution was in order.
The Exterior Problem
After inspecting all required spaces of the fireplace and chimney within the interior of the home, our inspection advanced to the roof. It was above the roofline that we discovered multiple points of concern for water entry. The first was a cracked concrete crown. A cracked crown provides water with easy access to the rest of the chimney structure and can cause other parts to erode.
Other concerns revolved around the condition of the mortar joints and flashing. Multiple holes and bond breaks were discovered in the mortar which also make it easy for water to get in. The workmanship on the flashing was in question due to areas that had not been properly embedded into the chimney and spots where the flashing had pulled away from the structure. When chimney flashing fails like this, water will start to damage the roof, attic and even the ceiling of the attached room.
The final concern we noted is often overlooked by the competition–the chimney height. Did you know chimneys have a minimum required height? A chimney that does not extend at least two feet above any obstacle within 10 feet is a fire hazard and can also experience performance issues. With the above concerns discovered and documented, it was time to provide our customer with a worthwhile solution to repair their Carmel chimney.
The Chimney Repair Solution
Just like this project, its not uncommon for both fireplace safety and water entry issues to appear. Our comprehensive repair solution covered both. To address burning safety, our team installed a new stainless steel chimney liner partnered with a smoke chamber parge. These items restored the guts of the chimney to a safe burning condition, eliminating scary gaps where smoke could escape. A firebox repair was also performed to ensure the fireplace was now sealed up and ready for use.
The exterior of the chimney required a bit of skilled masonry work as the height needed to be increased and mortar joints repaired. After locking in a stone match, our team removed the old damaged crown and built up the chimney by another two feet. We tuck-pointed all damaged joints with new mortar. The chimney cap was outfitted with a new framed concrete crown. This particular crown provides the chimney with a drip-edge to promote directing water away from the face of the structure.
Because chimney flashing consists of more than one layer, we took the time to perform a complete flashing replacement. This involved not only replacing the top visible layer, but also the stair-step flashing and the protective underlayment. To do this correctly the shingles, immediately surrounding the structure, must be pulled up so that the roof decking is exposed. With all layers now replaced and secured, our customer can have the confidence that their flashing isn’t going to leak.
As you can hopefully see, this project required a great deal of care and planning. The finished product resulted in a happy customer who can now enjoy building memories around their fireplace. To ensure you get the right chimney repair solution, it starts with getting the right inspection. A quick 15 minute visit will not provide you with the education or facts needed to make a good repair decision. This is why we heavily encourage you using our Chimney Safety Inspection service. Please don’t hesitate to contact us to find out more how we can serve you with your Carmel chimney repair needs.