The masonry chimney is just what you picture when you think of a traditional chimney and fireplace. Masonry chimneys are built of various materials such as brick, mortar, stone, and concrete. This is different from a prefabricated chimney which is preassembled (factory built) and packaged as a single unit with the prefabricated fireplace. These are usually made of metal, though they may be designed to look like a traditional firebox and chimney. Masonry chimneys are often thought to be so durable (often more so than prefab) that they need little care through the year, but this is not the case. Here’s why you should schedule masonry chimney cleaning today (especially if it’s been a long time).
Masonry Chimneys Need Special Attention
Chimney cleaning becomes necessary by the time creosote levels in the chimney are about ¼ of an inch thick, though we recommend cleaning long before this. Creosote builds up as combustion gases byproducts such as smoke, water vapor, and tar fog. This thick black residue is highly flammable, and in a masonry chimney, the extreme temperatures can damage masonry to a point that cracks form and allow fire to move to the outside of the home. While all chimneys need annual cleanings, masonry chimneys pose a particularly high risk.
A Chimney Inspection Can Keep You Safe and Keep Your Chimney in Good Condition
A chimney cleaning visit always includes some level of inspection, which is helpful in determining whether you need any repairs. Masonry chimneys in particular are prone to water damage, and an inspection may determine that your chimney has become more of a fire hazard due to water damage. Your chimney sweep may advise that you add a chimney cap or that you make repairs for damaged masonry or a damaged chimney crown.
Call the chimney and fireplace experts at 2nd Generation Chimneys, Inc. today for chimney cleaning and chimney inspection in the Minneapolis and St. Paul, MN area today!