If your chimney is starting to appear dull and old, there are some cosmetic solutions that will give it the perfect summer facelift and have it looking good when winter rolls around. Not all unsightly chimneys, however, can be fixed with cosmetics alone. Let’s take a look at a few common chimney conditions and what you can do about them.
Remove chimney stains
If the exterior of your chimney is showing stains, here’s what you need to know.
White: This is caused by salt leaching out of water on or in the bricks. A spray sealant may prevent this problem. TSP is a good cleaner to remove white water stains. An inspection should be performed to determine if there is a leak issue.
Black: These stains usually are from soot exiting the chimney, building up at the top and then washing down the sides in the rain. Add a chimney cap if you don’t have one to reduce this problem. Keep your flue clean with annual chimney sweep services to drastically reduce the soot and creosote buildup. Once the problem is solved, clean the bricks with a good scrub brush and detergent.
Dark green: Algae growth on bricks will present a dark-green stain. Algae may need to be washed off periodically to keep the chimney looking clean and new.
Speak with a certified chimney professional to further address these and other types of chimney stains.
Paint your chimney
If the natural look of your bricks no longer excites you, consider painting them. A coat of quality latex primer followed by one or two coats of the latex paint color of your choice should do a good job. It’s important that you fix any issues with your chimney’s masonry before painting so you don’t have to redo parts of it if repairs are necessary.
Have a lovely chimney cap installed
A custom full-width chimney cap will do wonders for your chimney’s appearance. Available in various styles and colors, these components look like a little roof on top of your chimney – plus they provide solid protection against outside debris getting into the flue and water damage to the chimney crown that surrounds the flue pipe(s).
Add an encasement
As long as your chimney is in good shape and no repairs are needed, you can surround it with your choice of materials such as wood, stone or stucco to give it an entirely new look. If you’re handy, you can do the work yourself; if not, hire a carpenter or contractor. This isn’t a complicated job, and it will make a noticeable difference to the appearance of your chimney and your home.
Dealing with brick damage
If your chimney looks bad due to damaged bricks, the only facelift you might need is some brick repair. But beyond aesthetics, damaged bricks mean other problems may have started or will soon.
Loose or spalling bricks allow water into the openings, where it will freeze and expand and do considerable damage. The same goes for crumbling mortar joints. Your chimney masonry should be air-tight, so if you have brick issues, have them repaired to preserve the life of your chimney and make it safe. Added cosmetic appeal is just a side benefit.
Northeastern Chimney of West Hartford, CT, is ready to help with professional certified chimney sweep services, chimney masonry repair, chimney rebuilding and all levels of chimney inspection. We want your chimney to look good and be safe and efficient. Call us today at (860) 233-5770.
This post first appeared on https://www.mychimney.com