With more and more British homeowners reverting back to using an open fire, the age old craft of chimney sweeping is still alive and well. Chimneys not only need regular sweeping, they also require repairs from time to time, and the chimney sweep is the person to talk to when you have chimney repairs to do. “Where would I find a chimney sweep?” You might ask, well the truth is, an online search is the easiest way to locate such a tradesman, and depending on where you are located, there should be at least one company that carries out chimney cleaning and repairs.
If you thought the chimney sweep was a figure from the past, you’d be right, however, the large number of homes that still use an open fire means there are always chimneys to sweep and repair, and while there won’t be a long list of chimney repairmen with a Google search, it will certainly reveal the whereabouts of the nearest. If you’re looking for a tradesman that can carry out specialist chimney work in Hampshire, you are in luck, as there is a family owned business that both cleans and repairs chimneys of all shapes and sizes.
Common Chimney Repairs
One of the most common issues with a chimney is that the cement or mortar that holds the bricks together needs to be redone, and this can be carried out with a small trowel and a bucket of wet cement. This is known as “tuckpointing” in the trade, and any chimney sweep would be able to assess whether or not the mortar joints need repointing. It is often a wise move to actually waterproof the interior of a chimney, and the chimney sweep would have all the necessary equipment to safely handle this. Water is one of the major causes of property damage, and the chimney can suffer if there are regular heavy downfalls, but with a waterproofing layer, this will protect the inner surface from corrosion.
Replacing the Flashing
The flashing is usually made from lead (but sometimes copper) and installed in overlapping layers to give the join between the chimney and the roof maximum weather protection. While some companies will tell you the flashing can be attached with nails, this practice doesn’t offer a long term solution, and it is better to actually embed the flashing into the wet cement, which ensures it will remain in place, even in the strongest of winds.
When you call your local chimney sweep and ask him to do a regular clean, you can ask him to give the entire chimney a thorough visual inspection, both inside and out, which will bring to light any issues. The chimney is prone to damage and therefore should be looked at by a chimney sweep with a view to finding minor problems.
There’s little that can beat a roaring fire in the living room, and to ensure that your open fire is always in good working order, don’t forget to have the chimney swept and inspected on a regular basis.