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The Procedures for Brick Chimney Repair and Fireplace Restoration When it comes to chimney and fireplace maintenance in your home, look for a service center, which can provide their skilled craftsmen to restore both function and beauty of your chimney and fireplace, if you see deteriorating signs of your chimney/fireplace, such as: soot build-up in your fireplace, bird’s nest in your chimney, cracked or deteriorated brick or mortar, lightning damage, water leaks, smoking problems. The most common problems that are found within the firebox are cracked and deteriorated brick or mortar, which are usually in the back wall, water infiltration, and not properly built firebox dimensions, which is a source of smoking into the room. These cracks are found by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) as fire hazards, because as the smoke carries waste particles from the fire and deposits these particles on the walls, inside and behind the cracks, and the oily substance, known as creosote, from these particles can re-ignite from sparks rising in the chimney; therefore, these walls should be free from creosote build-up. The process of repairing cracks is to chisel out the cracked areas and covering them with either Portland cement or fire-clay; however, one should never coat or smear the surface of the newly-covered cracked areas, as they will not bond well with the dirty, smoky surface. A chimney that is infiltrated with water can result into water mixing with the deposited particles on the chimney walls, like creosote and other deposits, and the resulting mixture is an acidic compound which prematurely corrodes the damper and causes deterioration of the brick and mortar. Water infiltration into the chimney may also reach the chimney crown and the shell itself or may cause faulty flashing where the chimney meets the roof, and all these can further cause damages to the interior ceiling and flooring materials of the house, which are near the fireplace.
A Quick History of Repairs
There is a build-up of smoke in the living area derived from improper dimensions of the chimneys, and the reason for the improper dimensions is found in two common design flaws: the chimneys are too short to prevent downdrafts and the areas between the lintel and throat of the chimney are not tall enough to allow smoke to roll before entering the smoke shelf.
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Chimney bricks are hard-fired materials that can last over 100 years, but when rain soaks into the brick, then freezes and expands due to harsh weather elements, the thin layers of the brick slowly begin to fall off and land at the base of the chimney. Furthermore, other forms of deterioration may occur to mortar joints, which may get weaken or develop premature voids, however, all these results may actually depend on the type of mortar used and the methods used during the original construction.

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