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Chimney Repair

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This was a rough winter for Boston, which means it was a rough winter for Boston chimneys. Many homes on Boston’s North Shore are more than 20 or 30 years old; that means their chimneys are also aging. Freezing and thawing—and we had plenty of that this winter—leads to cracks in the chimney. Further, if your chimney is the flue for your heating system and your home is old enough to have had a coal-burning furnace, the chimney may not be sized correctly for oil or gas heat, which could also lead to cracking.

The most common signs of a chimney in trouble are cracked mortar inside or out, a rusted damper or firebox, flaking or peeling masonry or brick (this is called “spalling”), white staining (called “efflorescence”), damage to the inside wall or ceiling nearest the chimney or damage to the crown of the chimney.

Most chimney liners these days are stainless steel; but if you have an older, tile lining, then you should take action fast if tiles begin to flake, peal or crack. A damaged liner is a fire hazard. In Massachusetts, installation of a new chimney liner requires a Construction Supervisor license from the state.

According to the Massachusetts Office of Consumer Affairs, “Chimney cleaning is not considered home improvement, but all related work—such as installation or repair of a chimney cap, installation of a solid-fuel device, liner repair, and mortar replacement—require a home improvement contractor (HIC) registration and a construction supervisor license (CSL).” WORKS by JesseDeBenedictis is fully licensed by the state of Massachusetts (# CSL 91245 and HIC # 178604).

Regular inspections are the best way to prevent long term, expensive damage to your chimney. The National Fire Protection Association recommends yearly inspections and servicing.

If you decide to make repairs yourself, make sure you have the proper tools, materials (for example, weather-resistant mortar) and safety procedures (for example, scaffolding and respiratory protection). You also need time: it can take a few months for mortar to gain its full strength so on the North Shore repairing mortar is a project better planned for spring and summer, not fall. And remember: some repairs are much better left to licensed professionals, to keep both you and your home safe and compliant with the law.

WORKS has helped homeowners throughout the North Shore with chimney repairs, outside and in. Contact us today.


#chimney #inspection #Repair #HIC #homeimprovementcontractor #mortar #ConstructionSupervisorLicense #CSL

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