Expert Chimney & Fireplace Repairs – Trust Us for Affordable Solutions
If your chimney is damaged or falling apart, or if any components of your chimney need to be replaced, having a certified and experienced chimney tech out to look things over as soon as possible is essential. Why? Because a chimney that’s not in good condition isn’t safe to use – and by continuing to light fires you could be putting your home and family at risk.
Investing in annual inspections and swift repair services ensures your system not only looks great (keeping the value of your home higher), but functions as safely and efficiently as possible too. That said, finding a team you can trust to get these jobs done right is key.
That’s why folks living in and near Hillsborough rely on us for it all. Give us a call now to schedule your next chimney repair service.
From Top to Bottom, Our Repair Services Have You Covered
We offer a long list of chimney and fireplace services. From regular maintenance like annual chimney cleanings to more intensive procedures like fireplace repairs, our highly experienced chimney sweeps can do it all. We work to ensure your system’s needs are covered from the firebox floor to the top of your chimney cap. Rely on us for the following.
Water damage is a common problem with masonry chimneys, and if left unaddressed, it can lead to significant structural issues and safety hazards. Like what?
- Deterioration of mortar. Water can penetrate the mortar holding your brickwork together, causing it to crumble and deteriorate. This weakens the overall structure and makes it more susceptible to collapse or tilt.
- Cracks in the brickwork. When water soaks into your bricks, then freezes and expands, this triggers something called the freeze/thaw process. That added pressure causes your bricks to crack, which then leaves more pathways for water to enter when things thaw out. That can occur over and over in the winter if not readily addressed.
- Staining on the chimney. Water carries minerals and other contaminants that can leave unsightly stains on your masonry’s surface. This includes effloresce, a white, powdery substance that can form on the surface of masonry as water evaporates.
- Damage to your home. Once damage has started occurring to your chimney masonry, it’s only a matter of time before water gets into your home, damaging woodwork, leaving stains on your ceiling and walls, triggering mold growth, and more.
- Inefficient and unsafe functioning. In the end, your system won’t function as safely or as efficiently if masonry damage is present. Smoke, gases, and heat will be much more likely to enter your home, putting those in it at risk.
To address chimney masonry damage, it’s important to hire a team of professional and experienced chimney technicians – like us – for the job. Our experts can assess the extent of the damage and provide a comprehensive repair plan based upon your needs and budget. Some common repairs include tuckpointing, brick replacement, rebuilds, crown repairs, and more – and we’re equipped to do them all.
Additionally, it’s important to address the source of the damage. This may involve repairing or replacing the chimney cap, installing a new chase cover, relining your chimney, or fixing any flashing issues. We can also recommend waterproofing solutions to prevent future water damage and to keep your bricks from soaking in more moisture.
Chimney Leak Repairs
Chimney leaks and water can cause damage to almost every part of your chimney and fireplace – and if left unaddressed your home and woodwork will experience damages too. The good news is that chimney leaks can be avoided when you invest in proper preventive measures from a CSIA-certified sweep.
Here are some of the things we offer to help you avoid leaks and water damage.
- Chimney Caps: Chimney caps are protective covers installed at the top of a flue, mostly known for preventing rain, snow, debris, and animals from entering the chimney. Chimney caps come in a variety of materials (like stainless steel, copper, aluminum, etc.) and should be customized to fit the size and shape of your chimney.
- Waterproofing: Water can penetrate the masonry of a chimney and cause damage over time, including cracks, spalling, and deterioration. Chimney waterproofing prevents this. Your tech will spray waterproof sealant over the exterior of the chimney, which will keep water out, while ensuring your bricks stay vapor- permeable (a must for chimneys). This sealant can also help to prevent damage caused by freeze/thaw cycles.
- Chase Covers: Chimney chase covers are protective covers that are installed over the top of a chimney chase (a structure that encloses a factory-built chimney or flue pipe in a prefabricated system). These devices prevent rain, snow, debris, and animals from entering the chase and damaging the chimney or flue, and come in a variety of materials, like stainless steel, copper, and aluminum.
With all of these services, trusting a professional is imperative. If a component isn’t fitted correctly or if the wrong products are used for waterproofing, you’ll only continue to face damages and other issues over time.
Looking for even more leaky chimney solutions? Reach out! We’d love to do everything we can to work with your unique needs.
Chimney Damper Repairs & Installs
Using your fireplace can make an evening spent indoors go from boring and cold to cozy and relaxing in a hurry, but what about when your system isn’t in use? What prevents the heat or A/C in your home from escaping up the flue? Well, that’s where chimney dampers come in.
These devices are installed inside the flue of a chimney to ensure the conditioned air in your home doesn’t escape, and it can help control the flow of air and smoke when your system is in use too. They also aid in preventing downdrafts that can cause cold winds and unpleasant odors to enter the home, and they provide additional safety by preventing embers or sparks from escaping the chimney.
Because dampers have such an important job, it’s important to ensure yours is functioning correctly and is in good condition. This is another one of the many reasons why annual inspections are such a necessity! If you suspect your damper is stuck, rusted, broken down, or needs to be replaced, don’t hesitate to reach out.
We can also install a lock-top damper if that’s something you’d be interested in. These are installed at the top of the chimney, rather than the throat, and they work alongside the chimney cap to help keep water, debris, and animals out of your system. They also seal tightly with a rubber gasket (as opposed to throat options that offer a metal-on-brick seal).
A properly lined chimney ensures both your home and your masonry stay protected from acidic fumes, heat from your fires, smoke and carbon monoxide, and more. Chimney liners also improve the efficiency of your fireplace by helping to maintain proper draft and airflow. All of this comes together to keep your household safer and prolong the life of your chimney, ensuring you get the many years of satisfaction you deserve.
That said, some systems have liners that are damaged, while others are missing their liner altogether. This puts your household at a huge risk, so having a certified tech look things over right away is a must – as is booking those annual inspections.
Ask our team about your relining options with HeatShield®. If you have a clay flue liner, this may be the most cost-effective and least invasive option, and will help you avoid requiring a full rebuild or an expensive stainless steel liner. We can explain the process, assess your system’s current condition, then decide if one of the three HeatShield® resurfacing options might be right for you.
Smoke Chamber Parging
Many don’t know where or what their smoke chamber is, let alone what parging it means. So, let’s start with the basics – a chimney smoke chamber is the transitional space above the firebox that helps to direct the smoke, gases, and other byproducts of combustion into the flue and up the chimney.
But, because of its location and function, the smoke chamber can be subject to the buildup of creosote and other combustion byproducts – all of which can pose a fire hazard if not properly cleaned and maintained. And when the smoke chamber is corbelled, or has a stair-step design, this only gives the buildup more crevices to settle into. And, frankly, it decreases system efficiency too.
This is where smoke chamber parging comes in. Smoke chamber parging is a process where a specialized mortar or cement mixture is applied to the interior surfaces of the smoke chamber. This smooths out any irregularities, so smoke and fumes can travel up and out as efficiently as possible.
Now, as you can imagine, this is an area that isn’t always easy to access and getting this job done right, so that your system can operate safely and efficiently, isn’t easy to do if you don’t have the expertise and insight of a certified chimney sweep. This is why trusting a professional for this job is imperative for getting the correct results. Rely on our experts for it all.
Your fireplace firebox is where fires are built up and contained – essentially they’re the star of your system. Because of this, in a masonry fireplace, a firebox should be made of fire-resistant materials, such as firebrick or refractory mortar, allowing it to withstand those high temperatures your fires produce.
And if the firebox is damaged or in need of repair, it can create some serious safety hazards for your entire household. Cracks or gaps in the firebox can allow heat, sparks, smoke, and flames to escape into the walls or ceiling of the home, potentially causing a house fire – or allowing those inside to be exposed to harmful gases.
Fortunately, we have the tools to keep your system in the best shape possible.
Do you have a prefabricated firebox? It should be equipped with refractory panels. These are specially-designed panels that are made from a heat-resistant material, which help to protect the walls and other components of the prefab firebox.
Unfortunately, over time, refractory panels can become damaged or cracked due to exposure to heat and typical wear and tear – and damaged refractory panels can allow heat and flames to reach the combustible components of the firebox, increasing the risk of a house fire. Let us inspect your setup and replace any damaged or worn refractory panels, if needed.
When’s the Best Time to Book Chimney Repairs?
If you need routine maintenance or non-urgent repairs completed, such as minor masonry work, then it’s best to schedule these repairs during the off-season – aka during the spring and summer months. Why?
- Scheduling flexibility. During fall, sweeps get busy. Everyone is gearing up to start putting their fireplace to use during the cooler nights and snowy days soon to come, which means we get lots of appointment requests. That means getting repair work scheduled can be a hassle and finding a convenient time to book might not be possible.
- Ideal weather. When it comes to certain chimney repairs – especially masonry-related ones – the products we use may need to cure. Curing should be done in ideal weather conditions in order for the results to last – and this isn’t when things are snowy, icy, and below freezing. Springtime would be the best time to get work like this done to avoid further damage down the line.
- More convenience. Isn’t it always better to get an appliance repaired when you’re not actually hoping to use it? For instance, needing your oven repaired on Thanksgiving day probably wouldn’t be ideal. The same goes for chimneys – have repairs done in the months you’re not typically using it anyway, so no one has to be inconvenienced.
- Peace of mind. One of the biggest perks of scheduling repairs – or any chimney maintenance, really – in the spring and summer months is that, come fall, you can light your fireplace with ease and peace of mind on that first cool evening. While your neighbors are scrambling to get appointments, you’ll be kicking back enjoying the heat, warmth, and ambiance of a well-working system – can’t beat that.
Now, all that said, it’s always a good idea to book repairs as soon as you notice a problem in order to prevent further damage and ensure the safety of your home. So, if you do have a pressing issue during your burn season that you don’t think should wait, definitely give us a call. Also, if you need repairs due to damage caused by severe weather, fire, or other emergencies, then it’s best to book with us as soon as you can.
What Do Chimney Repairs Cost?
We get it – it’s nice to know what you can be expecting in terms of cost before diving into a chimney repair job. The problem with this question is that the price tag on chimney repairs can range from the hundreds to the thousands depending on what you need and what state your chimney currently is in.
Think of this scenario. If you need a new fridge, and your buddy calls you up saying, “I found a used fridge for $1000 – do you want it?” you’re probably not going to just say yes. You’ll ask questions: How old is it? Does it actually run? How big is it? What brand is it? Is it scratched or damaged? And so on and so forth…
So, if you call and say, “I need my masonry repaired, what will that cost?” or “I need relining services, how much are they?” …we’re not going to have a solid answer for you. We’ll need more details.
What we would recommend is having our techs come out for an inspection. After that, we’ll be able to provide a detailed and comprehensive repair plan for moving forward, based on your needs, preferences, and budget. And we’ll get you an accurate estimate too.
Will My Home Insurance Cover Chimney Repairs?
It depends on your specific plan, but it’s definitely a possibility – and well worth looking into. It usually comes down to what type of repairs you need and what it was that caused the damage.
If your repairs are due to neglect or lack of maintenance, then no – it’s highly unlikely your insurance will help you out.
If your repairs were caused by some type of catastrophic event, though, like a chimney fire, flood, earthquake, tornado, or something similar, then the odds of getting at least part of your repairs covered increases substantially. These are known as “sudden occurrences” and should be included in your coverage.
It’s always best to review your insurance policy or contact your insurance provider to fully understand the specifics of your coverage and whether your chimney repairs would fall into it. Additionally, you can consult with one of our professional chimney repair experts for an estimate and for an assessment on what caused the damage.
We are here to help!
CALL US TODAY 908-864-4114
How Can I Prevent Chimney Damage?
Having a chimney company you can put your trust in to get repairs completed correctly – and which remains honest with you throughout the process – can feel like a huge weight off of your shoulders.
We’re proud to be a team so many throughout Somerset, Hunterdon, and Middlesex Counties can rely on for repairs, but we also want you to know what you can do to hopefully avoid damages from occurring again down the line.
Book inspections and sweepings.
Booking regular maintenance – such as inspections and chimney cleanings – is one of the most effective ways to prevent bigger damages from occurring later on. Annual inspections, for instance, give your chimney sweep the opportunity to spot small issues before they become bigger and more expensive to address, and regular sweepings ensure creosote isn’t breaking down your masonry or creating any fire hazards.
Don’t delay having repairs completed.
If you do have damages that need repairs, or if you have components that should be replaced, don’t put these services on the back burner. They aren’t going to hold tight until you’re ready to take care of them – they’ll worsen and worsen until what might have been an easy fix is now a time-consuming repair job.
Use your system properly.
You’re responsible for using your system correctly and appropriately – and failing to do so can invite more damage and other hazards. One prime example is being careful about what you’re burning. Throwing trash, plastic, and unseasoned or treated wood into your fireplace is going to encourage buildup and decay. Because of this, make sure the only thing you’re using to fuel your fires is properly seasoned wood.
In addition, make sure you are regularly scooping fireplace ash, checking on chimney components (like the damper or chimney cap) to ensure they’re working well, and getting that regular professional maintenance on the books before the start of each burning season.
Trust a CSIA-certified sweep.
When it comes time to schedule your chimney maintenance, don’t just hire any old company – and not necessarily the one that offers the cheapest rates, either. The chimney industry isn’t nationally regulated, which means anyone with some equipment and a business license could say they’re a professional chimney sweep and claim to know it all when it comes to your fireplace.
That’s why looking for experience and certifications – namely a certification with the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) – is a must. This shows that the company is dedicated to obtaining proper chimney knowledge and providing their clients with the highest level of care possible.
Invest in preventive maintenance.
Preventive measures – like cleanings, inspections, relining, having a chimney cap installed, chimney waterproofing, and more – are vital for keeping your system protected and in good shape. Again, investing in affordable maintenance early on is always going to be better than having to shell out thousands for repairs or a rebuild down the line.
And not only does it save you dollars over time, but it allows for peace of mind when lighting fires too – and that’s priceless.
We’re Here for Local Homeowners
Highpoint Chimney truly cares about the safety and satisfaction of the clients we serve. Because of this, we pride ourselves both on our high skill levels and our ability to offer personalized services, based on your unique needs and expectations.
If your chimney seems to be suffering, get in touch with our experts, so we can figure out what services would be best for you. You can book with us online or give us a call at 908-864-4114 now. We’re eager to hear from you soon.