Chimney Corbeling: Chimney Masonry Repair

Clay Lamb

Clay Lamb

Clay Lamb is a Cincinnati Chimney Sweep contractor and the executive producer of the YouTube channel, podcast, and blog Ask the Chimney Sweep. He is also an award-winning educator and public speaker in the chimney and fireplace industry.

AsktheChimneySweep.com….Educational Videos
FireplaceandChimneySupply.com….Chimney products
AmChimney.com….American Chimney Cincinnati, OH
Clay Lamb

Hips and Shoulders: Chimney Corbeling

Chimney Corbeling can cause bigger problems so it is best to get the issue fixed sooner rather than later. The corbelling hips on your chimney could be allowing damaging water to come into your home. Corbelling aligns the shape of the smoke chamber to allow for better air flow inside the chimney. By design, the smoke chamber height can not be any bigger than inside width of the fireplace room opening, and the depth should not be greater than the depth of the smoke chamber.  The smoke chamber has to be placed at 45-degree angle and perched smooth on the inside.

Smoke Chambers

The shape of the smoke chamber should be capped off so not water can penetrate. Do it with concrete stones as you can see below. It is most important during construction any open voids of the brick itself are properly filled to prevent water penetration. Always remember small holes can allow gallons of damaging water in the chimney smoke chamber and even down into the firebox below. In the 60s 70s and 80s, many builders cut costs by making these flat instead of pitched at all. We’d always recommend having your chimney contractor take a picture of the top of the corbelling to determine if it needs a new stone cover, silicone waterproofing, or grind it out and tuckpoint it.

See also smoke chambers.
corbeling
Here’s a perfect corbeling. Really doesn’t get better than this design!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

corbel
This Chimney Corbeling looks fine from the ground up. But take note of the picture below…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

corbeling
Looking from the roof down you can see that poor masonry craftsman provided trouble for the homeowner. You need to fill these holes in the original construction.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chimney Corbeling
Again looking down from the roof into the corbel, notice the large holes letting the water in and actually causing further damage. Shoddy craftsman has again failed these homeowners and created further damage.

 

 

 

 

 

Author of this blog, Clay Lamb, is a Cincinnati Chimney Sweep, also the producer of the YouTube channel Ask the Chimney Sweep and owner of American Chimney.

Level 2 inspections are needed if you are making any changes in the way you use your chimney, such as changing the type of fuel used, relining the flue, or if you’ve had any accidents that may have caused damage, a level 2 inspection is needed. If you have  had a building fire, chimney fire or an earthquake. You will need to have a level 2 inspection performed. This type of inspection is also recommended by NFPA 211 any time there is a sale or transfer of a property, largely because a large percentage of fireplaces have problems that could lead to a chimney fire.

As you probably assumed, a level 2 inspection is more in detail than level 1. A level 2 chimney inspection includes all of the visual examination included in a level 1 inspection. Also some additional work including examination of the attic, crawlspace and other accessible areas. In a level 2 inspection, a video camera or other device may be in use to examine the flue. It might also check for cracks or damage to the joints in the chimney’s structure. There are no specialty tools in requiry to open doors, panels or coverings in performing a Level 2 inspection.

A Level 2 inspection should also include a visual inspection by video scanning. Or other means in order to examine the internal surfaces and joints of all flue liners incorporated within the chimney. No permanent removal or destruction of an attaching portions of the chimney, building structure or finish shall be in requiry by a Level 2 inspection. When a Level 1 or Level 2 inspection suggests a hidden hazard. An evaluation cannot be in performance without special tools. These will be in use to access in concealing areas of the chimney or flue. A Level 3 inspection is to be in recommendation.

Make sure you check out our YouTube

https://www.youtube.com/user/askthechimneysweep

And other blogs

http://askthechimneysweep.com/

Affiliate Disclosure

I NEVER recommend a product or service that I don’t personally use (and love) myself but just to be totally transparent you should know that some of the links on my site ARE affiliate links and I DO make a small commission from any sales that are made. Thanks for your support!

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Clay Lamb

Clay Lamb

Clay Lamb is a Cincinnati Chimney Sweep contractor and the executive producer of the YouTube channel, podcast, and blog Ask the Chimney Sweep. He is also an award-winning educator and public speaker in the chimney and fireplace industry.

AsktheChimneySweep.com….Educational Videos
FireplaceandChimneySupply.com….Chimney products
AmChimney.com….American Chimney Cincinnati, OH
Clay Lamb

Leaky Chimney: Chimney Water Damage

Clay Lamb

Clay Lamb

Clay Lamb is a Cincinnati Chimney Sweep contractor and the executive producer of the YouTube channel, podcast, and blog Ask the Chimney Sweep. He is also an award-winning educator and public speaker in the chimney and fireplace industry.

AsktheChimneySweep.com….Educational Videos
FireplaceandChimneySupply.com….Chimney products
AmChimney.com….American Chimney Cincinnati, OH
Clay Lamb

Got a Leaky Chimney?

A Leaky chimney is no April Fools joke, with Spring just around the corner the rainy season will be upon us! Keep this video and hope that you never have to use it!

Schedule an appointment to get it checked out!

 

Author of this blog, Clay Lamb, is a Cincinnati Chimney Sweep, also the producer of the YouTube channel Ask the Chimney Sweep and owner of American Chimney.

  1. Moisture coming in from the top

This isn’t hard to imagine especially when there isn’t a chimney cap. Even though chimney caps and rain shrouds are accessories, they are still necessary. Not only does it keep out birds, animals and debris out, but it also keeps rain out. Rain water comes straight from the top of the chimney flue, and leaks down and creates moisture problems. The types of damage caused by rain pouring into the flue include a rusted firebox, rusted damper, and a damaged flue lining. The moisture can also cause strong odors from the fireplace, especially during warmer months.

A simple solution to rain in the chimney is to have a chimney cap or rain shroud installed. Whichever is appropriate for your heating unit. One of the most important value of a chimney cover is it keeps the chimneys from getting blocked. This can cause CO poisoning. (Check out our blog on CO poisoning for more information).

  1. Leaks from a damaged chimney crown

The chimney crown is at the cement part at the very top of the chimney where the masonry ends, the chimney crown covers the top of the masonry and forms a waterproof seal all the way around the flue. The crown is made with cement, and cracks can form due to shifting of the structure, freezing and thawing cycles in wintertime, from age, or shrinkage dating back to the first day the crown was put on. When your crown has cracks, the water goes right through those cracks.

 

  1. Condensation, Leaking from Inside Out

Even when you try a chimney cover, flashing or even rebuilding the top of your chimney, the problem of condensation cannot be fixed. To fix the problem, you might have to resize the loner. Some places along the way a gas furnace was installed, the chimney is not lined with a properly sized liner. So the fumes of the gas were condensing on the inside of the chimney and soaking the bricks and keeping them moist all the time. This can be easily fixed by a chimney liner.

 

  1. Flashing that is not Watertight

The flashing may not be watertight. So this can be caused by faulty installation or deterioration. Flashing is the metal pieces used to form watertight connections between the chimney and the roof. When the flashing weakens or hasn’t been correctly installed, water can get in the chimney flue and make wood rot, attic damage, roof damage or even ceiling damage. You should have your chimney checked annually. Along with checking your attic regularly for signs of leakage around the chimney area. Flashing leaks are common problem. So make sure you watch out for it. 

Check out our YouTube channel and blogs with Ask the Chimneysweep!

How to Prevent Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

“Get a bucket, the Chimney is leaking”

Author of this blog, Clay Lamb, is a Cincinnati Chimney Sweep, also the producer of the YouTube channel Ask the Chimney Sweep and owner of American Chimney.

  1. To Prevent a Chimney Fire

A chimney fire can be very large and noticeable with loud popping and cracking sounds, lots of dense smoke and a strong, and hot odor. But chimney fires aren’t always dramatic enough to let the neighbors know something is wrong. Sometimes, they burn slow and aren’t visible. They still can reach high enough temperatures to seep into the walls of your house and ignite flammable objects. Flames from a chimney fire can quickly spread into the walls or onto the roof of your home and cause massive devastation of your home.

This is a very bad scenario, but it can be carefully avoided with the right care and maintenance of your chimney. One of the most common causes of chimney fire is, a dirty chimney. Over time, chimneys will become clogged with creosote. Creosote is a natural, tar-like substance that is created by burning wood. Creosote is black or brown in appearance and, over time, it builds up. As it builds up, it leaves a glazing inside your chimney. So, this glazing is highly combustible and it can take a small amount of glazing to start a chimney fire. Not enough air supply is only one of the factors that contribute to the buildup of creosote. This is an it important reason to make sure your chimney is cleaned regularly.

  1. To Protect Your Health

Carbon monoxide (CO) is produced whenever fuel is burned. At low levels, CO can cause headaches, dizziness, nausea, confusion and fainting. So, a blocked chimney or a chimney with an nonfunctioning flu can cause a buildup of this dangerous gas. With too much CO, it can be fatal.  CO is responsible for thousands of deaths in America each year, and many of these poisonings are caused by blocked chimneys. This is why it is critical to have your chimney examined and swept to make sure your flue is clear before using the chimney.

  1. To Avoid Smoke Damage

So, when a chimney is not cleaned regularly, shoot will start building around the flue. This makes it difficult for the flue to draw the smoke upwards. This can cause the smoke to enter your rooms. Soot will leave a black film around your hearth and dirty any furniture, carpeting or decorations nearby. Sometimes, smoke can even cause black staining around your chimney. This can be near impossible to remove.

Make sure you check out our YouTube

https://www.youtube.com/user/askthechimneysweep

And other blogs

http://askthechimneysweep.com/


Affiliate Disclosure
I NEVER recommend a product or service that I don’t personally use (and love) myself but just to be totally transparent you should know that some of the links on my site ARE affiliate links and I DO make a small commission from any sales that are made. Thanks for your support!

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Clay Lamb

Clay Lamb

Clay Lamb is a Cincinnati Chimney Sweep contractor and the executive producer of the YouTube channel, podcast, and blog Ask the Chimney Sweep. He is also an award-winning educator and public speaker in the chimney and fireplace industry.

AsktheChimneySweep.com….Educational Videos
FireplaceandChimneySupply.com….Chimney products
AmChimney.com….American Chimney Cincinnati, OH
Clay Lamb

Level 1 Inspection: Chimney Cleaning

Clay Lamb

Clay Lamb

Clay Lamb is a Cincinnati Chimney Sweep contractor and the executive producer of the YouTube channel, podcast, and blog Ask the Chimney Sweep. He is also an award-winning educator and public speaker in the chimney and fireplace industry.

AsktheChimneySweep.com….Educational Videos
FireplaceandChimneySupply.com….Chimney products
AmChimney.com….American Chimney Cincinnati, OH
Clay Lamb

Chimney Cleaning and Maintenance

Are you looking for a chimney inspection? This is what your chimney sweep should be inspecting for when they visit your home. Level 1 Inspection is a visual inspection of the easily accessible parts of your chimney.

Here at American Chimney, we do a series of levels of inspections. Level 1 inspections are 33 point chimneys. We look at readily accessible chimneys which require no tools as Jerry Isenhour describes in the video up above.

A level 1 inspection is when a technician comes out to do a very basic inspection of your chimney. Basically anything that can be in reach is included as well as viewing the interior of the chimney.  According to NFPA 211 standards, the inspection should be done every year so we can begin using the fireplace or other appliance knowing the chimney is capable of venting the exhaust out of the home as it should. As a Cincinnati Contractor, American Chimney, a level 1 inspection is when the chimney technician will examine the readily accessible portions of your chimney.

So this means the technician will perform a visual inspection with a bright light source. They will examine all areas of your chimney and flue that is viewable without any special tools. Your technician may use common tools such as a screwdriver or pliers to examine any openings.

There should be no damage to any structures or finishes. Parts of your chimney that should be in examination in a level 1 inspection will include portions of the chimney exterior, portions of the chimney interior, accessible portions of the appliance and chimney connection.

In a nutshell, your chimney technician will be examining the chimney to make sure that the basic structure is intact and there aren’t visible signs of damage. During this inspection, your technician should also verify that there are no obstructions or combustible materials in your entire chimney flue system. In the inspection, the chimney contractor will check to see if there is any combustible material in the chimney that do not meet code clearance standards. If so, you should schedule a cleaning with your local chimney sweep.  

Make sure you check out our YouTube

https://www.youtube.com/user/askthechimneysweep

And other blogs

http://askthechimneysweep.com/

 

We love the shorter fireplace tools!!

Affiliate Disclosure

I NEVER recommend a product or service that I don’t personally use (and love) myself but just to be totally transparent you should know that some of the links on my site ARE affiliate links and I DO make a small commission from any sales that are made. Thanks for your support!

Read More
Leave a comment
Clay Lamb

Clay Lamb

Clay Lamb is a Cincinnati Chimney Sweep contractor and the executive producer of the YouTube channel, podcast, and blog Ask the Chimney Sweep. He is also an award-winning educator and public speaker in the chimney and fireplace industry.

AsktheChimneySweep.com….Educational Videos
FireplaceandChimneySupply.com….Chimney products
AmChimney.com….American Chimney Cincinnati, OH
Clay Lamb