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Does Your Chimney Liner Need to Be Replaced

The chimney liner is an integral component of your chimney system that helps your fireplace Does Your Chimney Liner Need to Be Replaced- Memphis TN- Coopertown Service-w800-h597burn safely and efficiently. Unfortunately, chimneys liners can become damaged over time due to overuse or damage; when this happens, your chimney liner may need to be replaced.

What is a chimney liner?

Inside the chimney structure the flue connects the top of the chimney to the firebox, helping smoke and gas vent to the outside. In order to help the byproducts of combustion vent properly and to protect your home from them, a chimney liner is needed.

According to the Chimney Safety Institute of America defines a chimney liner, a chimney liner is “A clay, ceramic, or metal conduit installed inside of a chimney, intended to contain the combustion products, direct them to the outside atmosphere, and protect the chimney walls from heat and corrosion.”

How are chimney liners damaged?

Most homes with masonry fireplaces have chimneys lined with clay tiles. While these tiles are extremely heat resistant, there are masonry joints in between every tile; this increases the chance that a joint can deteriorate and become damaged. Damage to the chimney liner is most commonly caused by age, overuse, animal entry, or lack of preventative maintenance.

Because of the location of the chimney liner, it can be difficult to tell if it has been damaged. Damage to the chimney liner can go undetected for years, especially if the chimney seems to be burning and venting normally. In these cases, a video inspection may be needed to pinpoint the specific areas of damage to the chimney liner.

Does my chimney liner need to be replaced?

If your chimney liner has been damaged in any way, your chimney may need to be relined. Because it is nearly impossible to replace clay tile liners without significant damage to the chimney structure, an alternative chimney liner may be recommended.

Cast in place and stainless steel liners are two extremely popular choices when relining a chimney. Not only do they seamlessly line the flue, but they can increase the efficiency of the fireplace. Cast in place liners can also sometimes be used to improve the structural stability of a damaged or aging chimney.

Damage or deterioration due to time and use aren’t the only reasons a chimney may need to be relined. If you have installed a new fireplace insert or switched fuel sources, a new chimney liner may be required. Relining the chimney after a new heating appliance is installed ensures that the flue is the correct size for the fireplace. Likewise, relining also ensures you have the proper liner for your fuel source; the creosote accumulation from a wood burning fire requires a different liner than the acidic condensation of a gas fireplace.

Having your chimney relined can improve the safety and efficiency of your fireplace. For more information on replacing your chimney liner, contact Coopertown Services today!

By Christina Robinson on June 24th, 2016 | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Leave a Comment

Damage Caused To Chimneys From Animals

As the weather outside becomes colder and colder, most people gravitate towards their home’s warm interiors as a way to ward off the winter chill. Unfortunately, animals feel the same way; during the winter, animals are more likely to seek shelter from the weather outside in your chimney structure.

To many birds and mammals, a chimney presents itself as a warm, sheltered, and safe place to escape the winter weather. However, getting stuck in the chimney can be extremely dangerous to animals – as well as extremely damaging to your chimney.

How do animals get in?

Damage Caused To Chimneys From Animals - Memphis TN - Coopertown ServicesThe most common way that animas get into a chimney is if the chimney is uncapped. Uncapped chimneys have nothing to protect the entrance to the flue; this can allow animals – and the elements – to easily get into the chimney structure.

Damaged chimney caps are also more susceptible to animals getting in. Holes, dents, missing screws, or damaged mesh can all create spaces for small animals to get into; likewise, larger mammals like raccoons are often sometimes able to claw or bite weak areas on the chimney cap to create a hole large enough for them to crawl through.

How do animals damage my chimney?

Even tiny animals can create big problems for your chimney system. First, animals can cause or worsen damage to the chimney cap when they attempt to get it. This leaves your chimney system vulnerable to water and debris, as well as other animals entering in the future. Next, the sharp claws and talons of small birds and animals can scratch and chip the slippery chimney tiles in the flue. Damage to the tiles of the chimney liner can expose the surrounding building materials to heat from the fire and may require the chimney to be relined. Animals can also carry in bacteria and bugs; their presence in the chimney can expose your family to disease or affect the air quality in your home.

Unfortunately, many animals that find their way into the chimney cannot get back out, becoming disoriented and distressed in the tight, dark environment. If this occurs, you should never attempt to “smoke out” an animal. Trapped animals – especially any babies present in nests – are often killed before they are able to escape. Likewise, this can also cause debris and nesting materials in the chimney to ignite and create a chimney fire. Instead, use noise to attempt to draw the animals out or call a wildlife removal group.

How do I keep animals out?

The best way to keep animals out of the chimney structure is to have a well-fitting, quality chimney cap installed. Likewise, regular yearly chimney inspections can help ensure that the chimney cap remains in good condition and there are no areas of damage that may allow animals to find their way in.

While they may view it as a safe haven from winter weather, animals can cause serious damage to your chimney structure. If you think you have animals in your chimney – or simply want to make sure they stay out – contact Coopertown Services today at 901-358-7777!

By Christina Robinson on December 7th, 2015 | Tagged with: Tags: , , , , | Leave a Comment

Even Minor Seismic Activity Can Lead to Cracks in Your Chimney

When discussing when to have their chimneys inspected, most homeowners know that they need to have an inspection done if their home has been affected by a major natural disaster such as a tornado, house fire, or earthquake. However, many fail to realize that even minor seismic activity can damage their chimney structures.

Although you may think of California as the only part of the United States to be affected by earthquakes, more and more seismic events are occurring in the rest of the country. With fault lines crisscrossing the country, there is the potential for both major and minor seismic activity in the Midwest.

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Earthquakes in Memphis?

The San Andreas Fault line might be the most famous in the United States, but it is far from being the only fault line in our country. In the Midwest, we are most affected by the New Madrid fault line. This fault line runs from Saint Louis to Memphis, affecting more than 15 million people in an 8 state range.

The New Madrid fault line is most famous for a series of quakes between 1811 and 1812, the most severe of which even caused the Mississippi River to flow backwards. While the fault line has not caused a major quake in more than 200 years, it is responsible for small amounts of seismic activity each year.

“We have about 200 small earthquakes per year that we record,” said Gary Patterson of the University of Memphis Center for Earthquake Research and Information. “Compared to California, you’re getting two to three thousand smaller quakes like that, but for eastern North America, this is a hot spot, the most active seismic area east of the Rockies in the United States.”

According to a 2009 report by the US Geological Survey, Memphis could be particularly vulnerable to any major seismic activity. “Memphis has an aging infrastructure,” the report states, “and many of its large buildings, including unreinforced schools and fire and police stations, would be particularly vulnerable when subjected to severe ground shaking.”

How does seismic activity affect my chimney?

Your chimney structure may be damaged during even a minor earthquake. The shaking of the ground and of your home may cause the masonry to crack or crumble. This leaves your chimney vulnerable to further damage, including detaching from the home or toppling over. To prevent this from happening, homeowners should ensure that their chimneys are adequately braced. Metal straps should be placed to connect the chimney to other structural parts of the home such as the ceiling, floor, and roof joists.

Likewise, having an annual chimney inspection is an important part of detecting any masonry damage caused by seismic activity. Trained technicians will inspect the interior and exterior of your fireplace and chimney structure for signs of damage, including cracks that are dime-sized or larger or areas of masonry that crumble when scraped with a metal tool.

If you suspect that your chimney may have been damaged by minor seismic activity or have significant damage to the masonry of your chimney structure, contact Coopertown Services today. Our expert staff can inspect and evaluate the overall health and safety of your fireplace and chimney system, eliminating potential safety hazards and saving you money on costly future repairs!

The Importance of Replacing your Chimney Cap

When thinking of what a chimney looks like, most people conjure up an image of a tall brick chimney sticking straight up from a roofline. What many fail to consider is what should go on top of that chimney – a chimney cap.

Often forgotten about, chimney caps serve a number of purposes in maintaining the health of your fireplace and chimney system. Despite the fact that some homeowners choose to keep their chimneys uncapped or fail to make necessary cap repairs, below are five reasons why you should replace your chimney cap.

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1. Chimney caps prevent water entry

The primary purpose of chimney caps is also the one that is most helpful for the health and longevity of your chimney and fireplace. Chimney caps prevent water from entering your fireplace system by protecting the top of the flue. By preventing water from damaging the many components of your chimney and fireplace, a chimney cap will extend the life of your fireplace and prevent expensive damage or repairs.

2. Chimney caps prevent animal entry

By covering the top of the flue, small mammals such as squirrels, raccoons, or birds are unable to get into the chimney itself. While animals in a chimney might seem like a minor nuisance, it can quickly escalate into a major problem. Most animals are unable to find their way back out of the chimney once they’ve gotten in, becoming scared, disoriented, and making the telltale frantic scratching noises that indicate their presence. Likewise, fireplaces cannot be used while animals are present as the smoke is toxic to them. Animals should be professionally removed to ensure the safety of both the animals and the family living in the home.

Rather than dealing with the hassle of animal removal, install a chimney cap to prevent the animals from getting in in the first place!

3. Chimney caps prevent debris build up

Just as leaves and branches can clog up gutters, so too can they block chimneys. Without a chimney cap, flues are open to the elements, including having leaves, branches, twigs, trash, or other debris fall into the chimney structure. This debris not only prevents smoke from properly exiting the chimney, but can also create a fire hazard if it were to ignite. A correctly installed and properly maintained chimney cap protects the top of the flue and prevents debris from getting in.

4. Chimney caps prevent downdrafts

If the wind is blowing in a certain direction, uncapped chimneys may experience downdrafts. Downdrafts, or negative pressure, force outside air back into the home. When the fireplace is in use, this can cause smoke to flow back into the home or create an unpleasant, smoky odor. Chimney caps prevent wind from blowing straight down and into the chimney structure.

5. Chimney caps prevent fires

Stray sparks and embers sometimes travel up chimneys. If a chimney is uncapped, these embers may land on the roof or nearby structures and cause an accidental fire. Chimney caps, sometimes called spark arrestors, are made of metal and designed to keep embers off of the roof, preventing house fires.

While they are often forgotten, chimney caps should not be ignored. They play a vital part in maintaining the health of your fireplace and chimney system. If your chimney cap is damaged, needs to be replaced, or your home does not have an existing chimney cap, contact the experts at Cooperstown Services today!

Stop Water Entry into Masonry Structures

Nothing is quite as frustrating – or as costly – for a homeowner as an unidentifiable leak. Worse yet are leaks that continue to return year after year despite putting time and money into preventing them. According to Inspect America, water damage is the number one interior defect found during home inspections. A reoccurring or unfixed moisture problem not only affects the current living conditions in a home, but could affect the future resale value as well. 

Water Damaged Masonry - Memphis TN - Coopertown

With over 30 years of experience fixing leaky chimneys and masonry structures, the experts at Coopertown Services have the tools, expertise, and experience to correctly identify and repair the root cause of a moisture issue, not just cover up the symptoms. In fact, Coopertown Services are so well respected for their ability to correctly and permanently fix leaks in masonry structures that they are often hired by professional roofers, contractors, and builders in the area.

Leaky chimneys

A chimney leak can be caused by a number of different problems. Because of this, it is extremely important to have an expert come inspect your fireplace and chimney structure at the first sign of moisture. Getting the problem fixed early – and correctly – is the number one way to prevent extensive and costly damage. Coopertown Services uses techniques and materials specifically designed for masonry chimney structures. In addition, all repairs are 100% guaranteed to stop the leaks or your money back.

Masonry structures are complex, and leaks can be caused by a number of different problems. One of the best ways to prevent water damage from rain, snow, and ice is by having a waterproof sealant applied to the exterior bricks of the chimney structure. These sealants are specially designed to allow toxic gasses out without letting moisture in. Because of this, only trained technicians using chimney-specific products should attempt waterproofing; incorrect application or the use of the wrong product could cause both gas and moisture to become trapped in the bricks, further damaging the chimney.

Another major area of concern for water damage is the chimney flashing. Flashing, or the protective strip where the chimney meets the roofline, can cause major water damage to roofs, ceilings, and walls if broken or improperly installed. Likewise, improperly sloped shoulders can cause water to pool around the roof and chimney, penetrating the chimney structure. Finally, Coopertown Services can also repair and replace chimney crowns or chimney caps.

Other masonry leaks

While you might not think of a chimney company to repair a gable wall, the expert technicians at Coopertown Services can stop the leaks in much more than just masonry chimneys. From bay windows to well valleys, Coopertown Services can permanently stop the leaks in almost any masonry structure. Using their specially designed products and techniques, they are even able to fix leaks that have been unsuccessfully repaired in the past. As with all their repairs, it is 100% guaranteed to stop the leaks or your money back.

By Christina Robinson on September 30th, 2014 | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Leave a Comment