How to care for your chimney

In these windy, snowy and rainy months, your roof and chimney are going to take a battering – and if they’re not well maintained they may not be able to withstand the forces of extreme weather conditions.

Chimneys are often a neglected and overlooked part of the roof.  Checking the condition of your chimney is an important part of a regular roof maintenance check.  Chimney maintenance is essential to prevent damage and deterioration, and if left unchecked, the result could be a chimney that becomes a serious health and safety hazard.

Why you should repoint your chimney

Over time, constant changes in temperature and weather conditions such as wind, ice and rain as well as extreme heat can cause mortar to crumble.

If you spot gaps in the mortar of your chimney’s brick or stonework, then it’s time to get it repointed. This will involve filling in and repairing joints to ensure your chimney stays secure and functional. By repointing your chimney, you can significantly extend its lifetime and gain the most from your existing brickwork.

Keep your chimney watertight

If you’re worried about your chimney in wet weather, there are a number of ways to ensure it stays watertight.

•    Chimney caps are a preventative measure that help stop water penetration, and they’ll also prevent birds and animals from entering or nesting in your chimney.  

•    Check your chimney crown – this is the top element of a masonry chimney and directs water away from the flue to the edge of the crown.  This should be crack-free and extend beyond the sides of the chimney a minimum of two inches.

•    Repair or replace your flashing - if you see water damage on ceilings or walls, your chimney flashing may be in need of repair or replacement. This forms a seal between the roof and the chimney and prevents rainwater from running down the chimney into living spaces.

Lead is perfect for flashing as it’s hardwearing and flexible – it can be cut and welded together to make it watertight, and it works well with other materials such as stone and brick.

Should you rebuild or remove your chimney?

If your chimney is showing wear and tear from years of use it may be time to replace it with a new one. If you don’t, it could be at risk of falling down. Visible cracks, loose render, eroded masonry and damp to walls below are all signs of deterioration.

If your chimney is no longer in use, you could consider removing it altogether. Many chimneys are now redundant, and they may be more trouble than they’re worth if they let damp seep into your house.

You may only need the chimney stack to be removed, which reduces the work and cost to just the loft and roof areas. However, you could also remove the chimney breast, which would then create more space within that room of your home.

Would you like advice on how to care for your chimney?

TM Roofing is a chimney specialist and we have vast experience in repointing, rebuilding, rendering, removing, and repairing chimneys. We also carry out chimney surveys and chimney lead works, as well as advising on any chimney works and maintenance.

We can provide a free no-obligation survey on your chimney to check it’s safe and watertight. Just call us on 01252 851719 to book your free survey.  View Chimney Case Studies >>