Posted on: 16 April 2017Share
Even if you regularly clean your chimney, certain components might need to be repaired over the years. The most common problem that homeowners want to fix is having a leaky chimney. That is, at times that they are not using their fireplace, the chimney lets air (and possibly water) flow into the house. You might also experience bugs and animals coming into your house through your chimney. There are quite a few places where your leak could originate. As a result, finding the problem can often be a little tricky.
Checking or Replacing the Damper
The first thing you should do is check the damper. This is the mechanism that you should be able to easily open and close via the handle. It should be left open when the fire is running but closed when you aren't using it. Since it is opened and closed so often during the winter months, there is always a slight chance that it will come dislodged. Ash from the fire can also settle on the lip of the damper, preventing it from fully closing. If this is the case, you can reach into the damper (use a flashlight) and clean off this ledge. In some cases, this will solve your problem. but more often than not you will need to have a professional come examine and repair your damper. They are uncomplicated devices, but they are hard to reach and most repairs require unique tools that you probably don't have.
Installing a Chimney Balloon
A chimney balloon is another solution for chimneys that don't have a damper. A chimney balloon sits at the top of the chimney, but is similarly activated by a switch that will be installed on the fireplace. The balloon inflates and deflates as needed. These will also need to be professionally installed.
Resealing the Flue from the Inside
Any damper or balloon repairs will be basically worthless if your chimney flue is leaky. Flues can loose their seal in many circumstances. Older chimneys usually experience so much water damage that cracks form on the flue interior. Of course, seeing or fixing these cracks is nearly impossible without professional equipment. A chimney repair specialist will use a special camera to find damaged spots in the flue. They then use special tools to fix the spots, while using the camera as their eyes. It is a complicated process, but the cost depends on how severely damaged the flue is.
To learn more, contact a company like Excel Chimney & Fireplace Service.