Scaffolding is a necessity for most outdoor construction projects and chimney repairs. However, most chimney companies are not certified to set up and use scaffolding. Instead, these companies contract out scaffolding set up and take down. This can create time delays and additional expenses to your chimney repair project.
At Jack Pixley Sweeps, we have the training and certifications to properly set up and take down scaffolding. While this might seem like a minor distinction, it can save our customers thousands of dollars and time on repair projects.
The importance of being a certified scaffolding pro
Scaffolding looks deceptively simple. Because it is a vital part of construction projects and chimney repairs, scaffolding setup should only be done by the professionals. Correct scaffolding setup is an important part of ensuring the safety of technicians and the structural stability of the repairs.
The crew at Jack Pixley Sweeps have been trained to setup both ground and roof scaffolding. This allows us to set up scaffolding for a wide variety of chimney repair and construction projects. With training from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), our scaffolding always meets safety standards. This protects our crew and your family during the repair or reconstruction process.
The scaffolding set up process
At Jack Pixley Sweeps, we are proud to offer scaffolding set up to our customers. Because every home and repair is different, so is each set up. Depending on the type of repairs you need, the location of the damage, the pitch of the roof, and the height of the chimney, this can all affect the kind of scaffolding construction you need.
Scaffolding set up usually takes an average of two to four hours. During this time, the scaffolding is “tied off”to the home every 20 feet. While scaffolding can usually be anchored to the chimney itself, it may need to be tied off onto the home using anchor bolts. The anchoring process allows additional height to be added to the scaffolding.
Trust the pros at Jack Pixley Sweeps
There are a number of benefits of having professional scaffolding set up done by Jack Pixley Sweeps. First and foremost, we are able to reduce the cost of your chimney repairs – sometimes by as much as $2000 – as the need to find a scaffolding subcontractor is eliminated. Because our crews set up, maintain, and tear down our own scaffolding, we do not need to delay repairs. This also gives our customers additional peace of mind that the only people on their job site are Jack Pixley Sweeps employees!
Scaffolding is an important part of the safety and structural stability of chimney repair projects. Working with trained and certified scaffolding professionals ensure that masons and repair technicians – as well as your family – remain safe throughout the whole repair process. For more information on our professional scaffolding services, contact Jack Pixley Sweeps today!
Spring has finally arrived; with increasingly warm temperatures outside, most homeowners have already stopped using their fireplaces for the season. However, it is important not to neglect your fireplace until the first cold snap of fall. Instead, have chimney repairs addressed now to ensure your fireplace will be ready to use next season.
What causes chimney damage?
The bricks and mortar used in chimney construction are one of the strongest and most durable building materials in the world. This makes them uniquely suited for use in chimney construction; in addition to exposure to the elements, chimneys must be able to withstand the heat and byproducts of combustion created while the fireplace is in use.
Despite their durability, there are a number of ways fireplaces can become damaged.
Common Causes of Chimney Damage
Water can be an extremely damaging force to your chimney system. Exterior masonry can crack, spall, or crumble due to long term water damage, especially when compounded with freezing temperatures in the freeze thaw cycle. Likewise, delicate interior fireplace components such as the damper or refractory bricks of the firebox are easily damaged by even small chimney leaks and water entry.
All homes settle over time; if a fireplace system is not built on a strong foundation, this settling can cause structural damage. Cracks within the firebox, large cracks in the chimney structure, or even tilting chimneys can all be caused by settling.
- Other causes
There is no one cause of chimney damage. Chimney damage can even be caused by reroofing, painting the masonry, climbing plants, or even power washing the bricks and mortar. A chimney inspection by a certified chimney sweep is often the best way to discover chimney damage.
When should I have my chimney repaired?
If your chimney has been damaged in any way, it is important to address potential repairs as soon as possible. Delaying or putting off repairs can cause chimney damage to worsen, even to the point of affecting the safety and structural stability of the chimney.
Because it is an off season for fireplace use, spring is an excellent time to have chimney repairs completed. The following are three reasons to address your chimney repairs now.
- Fireplace use is not affected. Warm outside temperatures in the spring mean the fireplace is rarely used. Having repairs done during the spring and summer keep you from missing out on using your fireplace when you most need it.
- Shorter wait time. Fall is the busiest season for chimney sweeps as homeowners scramble to get their fireplaces repaired and ready to use. By having your chimney repairs addressed now you are more likely to avoid a long wait before your appointment – as well as be able to schedule an appointment time that is convenient for your schedule.
- Fewer delays. Some chimney repairs cannot be done when the weather is too cold; by having repairs done during the spring you can help avoid weather related delays.
If your chimney needs repairs, don’t delay; contact Jack Pixley Sweeps today to have your chimney repairs addressed as soon as possible this spring.
While water in the fireplace can be easily cleaned up, it should never be ignored. Chimney leaks, even minor ones, can cause serious damage throughout your fireplace system.
Signs of a Chimney Leak
While chimney leaks are often discovered by the presence of water in the firebox, there are a number of other signs that water entry may be affecting your chimney. The following are just a few of the signs of a chimney leak.
- Moisture, dampness, or water in the firebox
- Rust on the damper
- Masonry spalling
- Sounds of dripping inside the chimney
What Causes a Chimney Leak?
Because chimneys are complex structures there are a number of ways that water can get into the chimney system. The following are three of the most common areas where water can enter your chimney.
- Chimney cap. A chimney cap is a metal top with mesh sides that protects the top of the flue from animal, debris, and water entry. A damaged, sized or incorrectly installed chimney cap allows water into the unprotected chimney.
- Chimney crown. Made of stone or cement, the chimney crown is a slab that covers and seals the top of the chimney. Because of their location, chimney crowns are prone to overexposure to the elements; chips and cracks from repeated exposure can create chimney leaks.
- Chimney flashing. Flashing is when metal strips and other waterproofing materials are layered on the joint between the roofline and the chimney. This watertight seal can be damaged by weather, overexposure, improper installation, or even roof repairs. Leaky flashing can damage not just the chimney, but also nearby walls, ceilings, and building materials.
Repairing a Leaky Chimney
Before repairing a leaky chimney, the source of the water entry must be identified. Identifying and repairing the source of a leak before repairing the damage ensures that the leak will not return in the future. A chimney inspection is often the best way to identify the source of a leak as well as evaluate the damage a leak has caused.
Once the source of the leak has been identified, the damaged caused by the leak can be repaired; repairing a leaky chimney as soon as possible prevents serious masonry or structural damage from occurring. There are a few of the ways your chimney can be repaired after a chimney leak. One option is to replace damaged bricks and mortar through tuckpointing. Another option is to install a new chimney cap.
Preventing Future Chimney Leaks
One way to protect your chimney against future leaks is by having the masonry waterproofed. In the waterproofing process, a water repellent specifically designed for masonry is applied to the bricks and mortar of your chimney. Our SaverSystems products help prevent leaks by repelling water from the masonry and can used to stop additional water damage from occurring.
A leaky chimney is more than just a minor inconvenience. You should repair leaks as soon as possible to prevent dangerous chimney damage from occurring. For more information on preventing or repairing chimney leaks, contact Jack Pixley Sweeps today.
During the hot spring and summer months, most homeowners pay little attention to their chimneys. However, now is the best time to have your chimney maintenance and repairs done, especially if your chimney is in need of masonry repairs.
During the winter, fireplaces and chimneys endure months of heavy use and abuse. Coupled with exposure to freezing temperatures and other winter conditions, most chimney systems are in need of maintenance at the end of the season.
If your chimney or fireplace needs masonry repairs, now is the perfect time to have them done!
How masonry gets damaged
There are a number of ways that your chimney’s masonry may be damaged. Below are some of the most common causes of masonry damage.
Water: Moisture is one of the most damaging forces to your chimney and fireplace. While bricks and mortar are designed to stand up against water, repetitive damage from rain or leaks can cause masonry to crack or spall. The masonry in the firebox is particularly susceptible to water damage from chimney leaks; these bricks are designed to withstand high heats, not exposure to water.
Settling: All homes settle over time. However, if your fireplace was not built on a proper foundation this can cause it to crack or shift. Masonry damage from settling is often seen as cracks in the firebox or tilting or uneven chimneys. Chimneys that have been damaged by settling should be repaired as soon as possible to ensure they are stable and safe.
Other damage: While masonry is sturdy, it can be easily damaged if not correctly cared for. One cause of masonry damage that homeowners often forget about is power washing. Attempting to clean your chimney with a power washer can leave your bricks chipped, cracked, spalled, and in need of repair. Similarly, non-breathable sealants or paints that are not designed for use on masonry can actually further damage your chimney instead of protecting it.
Why have your masonry repaired now
Masonry damaged should ideally be repaired as soon as it is found. If you have existing or ongoing masonry damage, however, the summer is a great time of year to have your masonry repaired. Below are three reasons to have your masonry repaired before the fall.
1. Less fireplace use: As the temperatures outside climb, most homeowners are less likely to want to use their fireplaces. Because of this, you would not be inconvenienced or unable to use your fireplace when wanted when having it repaired now as to in the summer.
2. Fewer weather delays: Masonry repairs during the fall are often delayed by weather issues. Likewise, some masonry repairs cannot be performed in cooler temperatures, making them difficult – if not impossible – to complete in the fall or winter.
3. Less wait time: The fall is the most popular time of year for chimney maintenance and repairs. Because of this, it can be extremely difficult to get an appointment at a convenient time. Having your masonry repaired in the summer allows you to schedule the appointment when you want it rather than waiting weeks for an available time.
If you have masonry repairs that need to get done, don’t wait until fall. Let our expert masons take care of your chimney so it is ready to use when the temperatures drop. Call Jack Pixley Sweeps at 763-422-0481 today to schedule your masonry appointment!
According to the CSIA, problems with your chimney’s flue liner can pose serious risks to your home and family, as it’s no longer able to perform its primary function: to safely contain and usher the deadly byproducts of combustion up and out of your home.
Give Jack Pixley Sweeps a call at 763-422-0481 to schedule an inspection to ensure that your flue liner is properly carrying out its intended job!