A Chimney is a vertical structure incorporated in a building to direct smoke away from a house or property. The smoke may be produced by a fireplace, boiler, stove, or furnace. It is usually that part of the structure that extends above a building. The metallic interior of a chimney is called a flue. In some circumstances the external brick work is called the chimney while the internal metal work is called the flue.
The common parts of a chimney are:
Chimney Pots – ceramic pots seen at the top of the chimney that add beauty and character.
Chimney Breast – the portion of a chimney that projects from a wall to accommodate a fireplace.
Chimney Stack – the part of the chimney that is seen above the roof.
Flaunching – the sloping layer of cement that forms the base for the chimney pots
Chimney Cowl – specifically designed to protect the chimney by keeping birds and vermin out and stopping rain entry. They increase an upward current of air (updraught) and decrease downdraught.
Chimney Flue – the inner metal chamber of the chimney directing smoke away from the property.
With your chimney being an external part of the building, it is exposed to the weather elements. It is battered by snowstorms, heavy rainfall, high winds, and sleet. Of course, the result is wear and tear which leads to common repair issues.
Chimney repair covers all the activities to keep your chimney in good working condition so that it works well. Repairs and regular maintenance helps your chimney last longer and puts off a costly chimney rebuild. Common repair issues that may arise include:
In the past, chimney repairs were carried out by dedicated chimney experts. Now, most experienced, and qualified roofers also offer this service and should be your point of contact for any chimney repair issues.
Here is a breakdown of some key aspects of chimney repair and maintenance as well as their estimated costs.
A chimney sweep keeps your chimney clean and clear. It means removing ash and soot from the chimney so that it is efficient and safe for all solid fuel burning. For great outcomes, hire a professional and experienced chimney specialist armed with a chimney sweep kit. The sweep kit includes vacuums and specialist cleaning tools to sweep the chimney from bottom to top.
Aside exceptional circumstances, chimney sweeps should be scheduled at least once a year. For wood-burning chimneys it should be at least 2 – 4 times in a year.
Using the services of a chimney sweep specialist means there should be no mess as they are equipped with the right tools including industry sheets that prevent any soot falling into the house. Besides they clean from bottom up.
The average cost of a chimney sweep should be between £50 and £100. £100 is mainly in the London area but it should not be more than £80 across the UK.
The flashing is the sheet of metal that connects the roof and chimney. It also prevents leaks and ensures the connection between the roof and chimney is watertight. As the flashing is exposed to weather elements, it is susceptible to wear and tear which means it has to be replaced from time to time. Another common issue with flashing is when not installed properly, there could be leaks which means water enters the property.
Regular chimney inspections are recommended to identify any issues with flashing. The cost of replacing the chimney flashing ranges from £400 to £500 if scaffolding is not required. With scaffolding costing between £300 to £500, the total cost would be between £700 and £1000.
Chimney Repointing is the process of renewing parts of the chimney’s mortar joints which may have suffered from the impact of weather elements. Overtime, this leads to wear and tear and if not addressed will result in more damage to the structure. The brickwork could be damaged, and water will get into the property through the chimney.
Damage to the chimney structure means a costly chimney rebuilding. Chimney repointing is a good way to extend the life of your chimney.
Again, this should be done by a qualified and professional chimney specialist and will cost about £500 for a small chimney and £1,000 for a bigger chimney.
Flaunching is the layer above the chimney that serves as a base for the chimney pots and prevents water from entering your chimney. As the flaunching is also exposed to extreme weather conditions, they can deteriorate over time.
As part of the chimney inspection, the flaunching should be checked otherwise if they deteriorate overtime the chimney pots could be lose and could fall off. Toppling chimney pots will be a hazard to your building and passers-by.
The average cost of repairing chimney pots and flaunching is £100.
Chimney Flue Installation
The Chimney flue improves energy efficiency and maintains the fireplace. If the chimney is deteriorating or unsafe then a Chimney Flue lining is a great option and will reduce the incidence of carbon monoxide.
The cost of chimney flue lining depends on the size of the job and the materials required. It is advisable to ask a qualified expert to carry out an inspection to determine what kind of flue liner required. As a rule of thumb, a good and experienced installer will charge between £400 and £800 to fit a stainless-steel flexible flue liner in your home or property.
For all repairs and maintenance tasks for your chimney, the best option would be to call in professional experts. Experts that are experienced and have successfully repaired and maintained various chimneys. Always ensure that you have an annual inspection of your chimney to detect any issues in time and deal with them accordingly.