Summer is the Perfect Time for a Chimney Facelift
Historically, most chimneys have been constructed of bricks that are held together by a mortar compound since that was determined to be the best way to build a chimney. But as the years pass, brick chimneys can become eyesores, or a homeowner may just get tired of seeing the same brick structure on the roof year after year.
For whatever reason, if you’d like to undertake a chimney facelift this summer, here are some ideas ranging from simple to involved.
Clean your chimney
Older chimneys often become stained and discolored for various reasons. If the staining on your chimney’s masonry is due to soot and ash, you should be able to clean it off with a scrub brush and regular dish detergent. You may discover a clean chimney looks like a brand new one and is no longer an eyesore.
(Note: Any unusual chimney staining should be evaluated by a certified chimney technician, because damage may be present.)
Paint your chimney
Now that you know how to clean your chimney’s bricks, you might consider adding some nice paint. For most chimneys, a quality latex primer followed by a coat or two of quality latex exterior paint will do. Some homeowners choose to use paints and primers formulated for high-temperature surfaces.
The good thing about painting a chimney as part of a summer chimney facelift is, if you’re dissatisfied with the color, you can always paint it again. Remember: Before painting, have your chimney inspected to see if there are any issues involving the bricks and mortar that need repair.
Add a stylish outside-mount chimney cap
An easy chimney facelift idea is to add an outside-mount (also called full-width) chimney cap. Unlike basic flue covers that only cover the flue openings, a stylish outside-mount chimney cap covers the entire top of the chimney, protecting both the flue openings and the chimney crown.
Full chimney caps come in many designs and colors that will add instant elegance to any chimney. Think of these caps as a mini-roof for your chimney.
Encase your chimney in wood, stucco or stone
If you want a full-scale facelift, consider surrounding your above-roof chimney structure with wood, stucco or stone. This is a good move if you’re tired of looking at bricks and think a new material would better accent your roof area and the house in general.
You can hire this work done by an experienced carpenter or contractor. Normally, no alterations to the chimney will be necessary, so you probably won’t need a chimney expert in on the job.
The importance of chimney cleaning and regular repairs
Here we’re talking about internal flue cleaning, not brick cleaning. By scheduling annual chimney sweep services, you’re able to keep creosote and soot inside the flue at a minimum. Doing this will reduce the risk of a chimney fire.
Leaky masonry can cause efflorescence (white staining) on the outside of your chimney.
Waterproofing or tuckpointing can solve many chimney leak problems. An inspector can check your masonry closely to find out if more extensive work is needed.
Having any necessary brick repair work performed can make chimneys look better. Also, adding a chimney cap or flue cover will keep remnants of combustion from exiting the top of the chimney and possibly marring the appearance of the bricks.
Hudson Valley Chimney of Poughkeepsie, NY, can help with all your chimney repair, brick replacement, tuckpointing and waterproofing needs. We also provide certified chimney sweep services to keep the inside of your chimney clean and safe.
Summer is the perfect time for a chimney facelift. When undertaking this project, we can help make sure your chimney not only looks great but works great, too. Call (845) 471-1071 to arrange an appointment or get your questions answered.