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List: Posted: 04/04/11
Whether or not you repair or replace a chimney depends on one question alone: whether or not your chimney will adequately protect your home against fire and smoke if it is only repaired. Replacing a chimney altogether is a job that requires a professional mason. This job is out of the league of the vast majority of home improvement fans and is quite dangerous. Doing it wrong risks your home, family and everyone else in your home.
Your chimney may be able to be replaced if there is extensive damage to the mortar. In most cases, this part of the chimney takes the worst abuse. Temperature changes cause it to expand and to contract, and it is also constantly under all the weight of the bricks above it. Repairing this mortar requires you to clean out the crumbled mortar and to add more. This sounds simple enough, but mortaring bricks correctly does take some practice. If you do it incorrectly, there will be little or no benefit, and you may end up with a dangerous situation in which the chimney collapses and injures someone, or starts a chimney fire.
A chimney will sometimes need repairs around the stovepipes. These, as they aren’t structural repairs, are generally within the abilities of most homeowners. There are some products on the market that promise to make chimney repair easy, however they may or may not provide good results.
Because it’s so vital to your health and safety, it’s usually best to have any complex chimney repairs done by a professional. Having unlicensed people, such as yourself, make repairs on your chimney may also have negative effects where your homeowner’s insurance is concerned, as well.
The material in this article is for informational purposes only. The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of Local.com. See Additional Information