We will be posting home improvement tips and reminders every week to help keep your home in tip-top shape.
When things get icy, your steps can get dicey.
This is a good time to check the handrails on the exterior of your house to make sure they are securely attached. And while you are at it, take a few extra minutes to check the handrails inside your home as well.
Give Your Masonry Chimney a Clean Sweep of Health with a Checkup
Masonry fireplaces and chimneys are made of brick, concrete block, stone, mortar, and other materials that are exposed to and adversely affected by the elements. They are often the most neglected items in a home, posing many potential and serious hazards, from fire to water damage.
Fortunately, with periodic maintenance, your masonry chimney can last a lifetime. If you can’t remember the last time you had your chimney checked, that’s a sure sign that it is time. “This is not a job for an amateur,” says Richard Dickson. “I strongly advise that you bring in a professional for most of the tips below.”
Dickson Development offers these 8 tips for a safe and healthy chimney.
- Check the top of the chimney to see if it is cracked and allowing water to get in. All cracks must be properly sealed.
- Pay careful attention to the part of the chimney above the roof line. This is often where you will find cracks and deteriorating surfaces.
- Take a good look at the roof flashing around the chimney to make sure that it is in good repair. Check for cracks or loose pieces.
- Examine your flue liners. Your chimney will have one or more (for the fireplace and possibly the furnace). These are usually made of clay. Be sure to have a professional examine the liners to make sure they are intact with no cracks or voids. If cracks are found, they should be repaired or the chimney relined.
- Be sure the ash dump is clean, if you have one for a fireplace. This would be either in the basement or on the outside, if the chimney is on the outside of the house. This is something you can do.
- Examine the firebox and smoke chamber of your fireplace for cracks.
- Evaluate the damper on the fireplace to make sure it is working properly.
- Investigate the piping. If the chimney is used for a furnace or hot water heater, the piping connecting the appliance to the chimney needs to be intact and connected properly.
Take a peek at the grout and caulking around the ceramic tile in your bathrooms to be sure it’s intact. A simple touch up can prevent water from penetrating beneath the tile.
Experiencing Dry Air?
If you have a humidifier tied to the duct work system in your home, make sure to check it once a year to see if it’s working properly and that the settings are correct.