Dealing with chimney repair work calls for a great deal of attention to detail. To see that the job will be done well, it helps to have a checklist of things to ask the professional who will be tackling the task. Here are three things that should be on your checklist when you're looking for a business to help you.
1. Matching Materials
It's rare that all the existing materials in a chimney can be reused once things get to the repair stage. Matching brick is generally easy, especially if it's a common type like red brick. If special stones were used, such as river stones, matching may be a trickier business. Bear in mind that soot and weathering will create additional matching issues, but a thorough cleaning and treatment with a heat-resistant sealant should get you pretty close to a match.
The one exception will be if the materials are highly unique and no longer available for purchase. Fortunately, many masons leave behind a small stock of original materials. Even if you didn't own the home at the time the work was done, it's common for builders to put these spare materials in attics, basements, and sheds. In order to get a near-perfect match, it's worth looking around your property to see if any of these materials were left there.
2. Addressing Smoke Issues Immediately
Damage to a chimney can lead to reductions in airflow through it. If there's any indication that smoke is feeding back into the room, you should take this issue up while chimney repair work is being performed. It's also wise to install a carbon monoxide detector in the room so you can be alerted if there are any gases coming back from the chimney. Many hardware stores also sell carbon monoxide testing kits.
The design of the chimney may also be a factor. In some cases, ventilation fans have to be installed to encourage the flow of air.
3. Time of Year
If you're dealing with a situation that isn't critical, meaning there doesn't seem to be a lot of falling debris or gases present, you may want to shoot for the industry's down season. The offseason in the chimney repair business is during the warmer months, so try to schedule an appointment between April and September. Not only will the warmer weather make performing the work easier, but you won't be deprived of the enjoyment of your chimney.
To learn more, contact a company like Excel Chimney & Fireplace Service.