CPM Chimney & Slate
978-320-9885
CPM Chimney & Slate
 
Chimney Work%

Cleaning:
     Cleaning a chimney is im­portant to prevent chimney fires -- and potential house fires. Therefore, the cleaner must be thorough and comprehensive in carrying out the cleaning. You're not just clearing out the soot and dust, but you need to scrape and remove creosote that has built up on your chimney walls.
      It is necessary to clean a chimney at least once a year to prevent creosote buildup and structural damage.  Many people are very much turned off from doing this type of work, but it must be done to keep the inhabitants of the home "safe".  Cleaning also li
mits the risk of fires, a common concern with fuels like wood, which create creosote build-ups that can lead to fires.  Fires that can be prevented with some easy maintenance and routine cleanings.  Each year, many homes are lost to fires. A good number of these losses are the direct result of a flue fire. This type of fire occurs when creosote within a chimney has had time to accumulate. Creosote is created when certain types of wood are burned at high temperature, causing a thick, highly flammable, material to form.
     Creosote also acts like a magnet for tiny microscopic critters that feed on the substance.  These microscopic critters can be carried into the home causing lots of misery for people with allergies.  If the creosote build-up is to the point where your chimney is not venting properly and becomes clogged, carbon monoxide can leak back into your home which is lethal.
    
Please note:  This information isn't being shared to frighten you.  Our only intent is to educate you to the facts of all around chimney safety.  The best way to prevent a flue fire, or to assure your family safe air quality, is to hire a professional chimney sweep once per year. As professionals, we can remove any amount of dangerous build-up from a chimney. It your car's exhaust system was in need of repair, you would undoubtedly have it done to keep yourself and your family safe.  Why not do the same for the exhaust system of your home?  A happy home is a safe home.
     Make sure your chimney is cleaned properly each year.  To make an appointment for your chimney cleaning, or to set up a re-curring annual clean-out, vi
sit our Contact Us page to schedule y
ours.

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Tuck Pointing (Repointing):
     The mortar between the bricks on your chimney can begin to crack and crumble over time because of the constant exposure to the outside elements. This is particularly true in the New England area where homes are subject to Mother Natures all seasonal elements of rain, snow, ice, sleet, hail, wind, sun, and salt.  Damaged mortar can open areas between the bricks and allow moisture to invade the chimney,  When this happens, over a period of time, it could lead to the possibility of chimney collapse and costly repairs. 
     If your chimney is crumbling and needs to be repointed, just go to our Contact Us page on the navigational menu and let us know.  We will be more than happy to remove the old loose mortar from the joints between the bricks, clean it out, and replace it with new mortar or masonry repair caulk in a procedure known as re-pointing. 

Flashing:
     Chimney flashing prevents water from entering at the point where the chimney and the roof meet. Typically, step flashing is used along the edges of the chimney stack. Leaks often occur at the chimney when flashing fails.

     Every chimney is different, so installing chimney flashing is often a custom project. In most cases, chimneys are not attached to the frame of the house. As a result, when the house settles or shifts, the chimney becomes the perfect place for leaks. Other times that the chimney flashing will need to be replaced include when it is missing, when it is rusted through, when it is totally covered with roofing tar, or when the roofing shingles are going to be replaced.  If you find water coming in around the chimney area and need your flashing replaced, go to our Contact Us page found in the navigational menu above and let us know.  We'd be happy to estimate your project for you.

Re-lining:
     Chimney relining is often the best way to assure safety and proper performance with solid fuel (wood, coal, pellet) appliances. In fact, chimney lining has become almost mandatory in order to bring existing chimneys up to present codes.
      Reasons for lining or relining your chimney include:

1. Properly sizing (by reducing) the chimney flue. Proper sizing assures better draft, less creosote and other     advantages.  Some chimneys double as exhaust systems for dryers, furnaces, HVAC systems, and other appliances. For these appliances to work as efficiently as possible, the flue must be the correct size! A chimney liner provides a correctly-sized flue for most residential appliances, which can help improve their overall efficiency.
2. Upgrading the safety quotient - having a liner inside your chimney assures that the fire will stay in a tightly sealed tube - and also transfer less heat through the wall of the chimney to nearby framing and combustible material..  A liner helps to insulate and protect a home from heat transfer. Whether you have a wood, gas, or oil burning fireplace, a liner insulates and prevents heat from spreading to any combustible materials, like wood. The National Bureau of Standards test mentioned above also states that unlined chimneys allow for rapid transfer of heat, which can eventually lead to a house fire.
3. Some older chimneys were built of brick with no liner - and some newer chimneys have cracked and deteriorated clay liners. Either of these pose safety hazards.  Gases that pass through a chimney tend to be acidic in nature. These gases degrade brick and mortar, which shortens the lifespan of a chimney. As well, when mortar joints erode, heat is able to transfer too rapidly. A chimney liner protects a chimney from abrasive and damaging gases. 

Rain Caps:
      Here are a few reasons to consider a rain cap:

    1. The obvious reason is that they prevent rainwater, sleet, hail, or snow from getting into the chimney liner.  Water is one of a home’s worst enemies.  A chimney is part of the home, so water is also a danger to that as well.  A chimney cap stops water from entering the chimney liner or flue by directing it away from the center and off the sides of a chimney.  If that water were to get into the chimney liner or flue, it could cause the rapid deterioration of the chimney.
    2. Rain Caps keep debris such as leaves, twigs and trash floating through the air out of your chimney.  If you live in a place with a lot of trees nearby, you have seen what happens when those trees shake the leaves from their branches in autumn.  You have probably been outside on a cold day raking those leaves out of your yard and out of your gutters.  Imagine those leaves inside of your chimney as well.  Imagine sticks falling from trees that hover above your chimney or a random piece of litter that is blowing by on a windy day getting into your chimney.  The chimney has suddenly become a giant trash can.  Granted, most chimneys will not experience a heavy build up of debris.  However, it does not take much to start a chimney fire or hinder the draft of your chimney.  A chimney cap will stop debris such as this from entering your chimney.It will keep birds and animals out of your chimney.
    3. A chimney makes a great place for an animal to build its nest.  It is dark, warm and safe from other predators, save for the adventurous household cat.  An animal in your chimney can eventually make its way into your home, or even worse it could die in there causing an awful odor to seep into your home.
     These reasons for having a cap installed on your chimney come together and help increase the overall life of your chimney.   If you are thinking of a Chimney cap, visit the Contact Us page found in the navigational menu above and let us know.  We would be more than happy to discuss it with you.

Crowns:
     Your chimney crown is the area that is around the top of the chimney. NOT to be confused with the chimney cap, which is an attachment that is added to the top of the flue pipe. The chimney crown tops off the masonry walls of the chimney, usually with a wider masonry or cement area.
     Without a proper chimney crown- or if you have a cracked one, rain water seeps into the bricks and mortar of your chimney structure. In the winter this water constantly freezes and thaws. When water freezes, it expands by about ten percent, turning small cracks into large cracks and causing “spaulling” (peeling) of the bricks, and deterioration of the mortar.

     Even the smallest amounts of water can result in brick flaking, mortar deterioration, and unsightly salt deposits on your chimney. Without a good crown that has been sealed your chimney does not have any protection. Eventually, the bricks and mortar break up enough that the chimney is no longer structurally sound.  The last thing any home owner would want is for lose brick to be falling down from a chimney height.  That could seriously hurt or even kill a passerby.  If you would like us to check your chimney crown or replace one that is deteriorating, just go to the Contact Us page in the navigational menu and make an appointment.  We will be happy to hear from you.

Re-building:
     Although temporary repairs are the common solution to a failing chimney, sometimes the better choice is chimney rebuilding. Many homeowners tend to neglect their chimneys to the point that when problems become apparent, it's often too late for simple repairs. The best option then is tearing down and rebuilding the chimney.
     Mortar crumbling, infiltration by water, exposure to the elements, frequent use, time, and lack of preventative maintenance will make a chimney very vulnerable, calling for a complete chimney rebuilding.  Improper chimney repairs is also the cause of chimney rebuilds. A chimney's lifetime depends on climate, usage, construction, and maintenance.
     When replacing a chimney, the bricks must be set on a stable base, then piled up to the correct height to facilitate optimum air drafting. Regular maintenance, including a waterproofing protection plan, will need to be performed to maximize the chimney's life span.  If you are thinking of a possible rebuild, go to the Contact Us page found in the navigational menu above and we'll be more than happy to give you an estimate for your special project..