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Old Smokey's Fireplace & Chimney's Blog

What Causes Chimneys to Crack?

Have you noticed cracks in the masonry of your chimney? If you have, you may wonder what causes your masonry to crack as well as how it can be fixed.  At Old Smokey’s we want you to know that cracking brickwork and mortar can be a serious issue that may have a number of different causes. However, by keeping a watchful eye on your chimney and catching cracking issues early, you may be able to save your chimney from a more serious, and costly, repair.

Improper Construction

What Causes Chimneys to Crack - Fort Wayne IN - Old Smokey'sYou may not see it, but your chimney system contracts and expands as it heats up and cools down. When you start a fire in your fireplace, it heats up your chimney flue, causing it to expand. If there isn’t proper clearance between the flue and the inside of the chimney wall, the expanding flue will start pressing into the brick causing it to crack.

Moisture

Moisture can also cause masonry to crack. It can seep into the tiny pores in your brick and mortar where small amounts of water can settle. If it gets cold enough to freeze, the water will expand enough to weaken and even crack masonry. This is why it is important to protect your chimney from moisture with sealants and a chimney cap.

Settlement

Having a good, solid foundation is important for any construction project. The same rings true for constructing a chimney system. If the footing for your chimney starts settling, it can cause your chimney to lean, which can lead to masonry cracking.

Nature

A good portion of your chimney is outside of your home. This means that it is exposed to a lot of naturally caused stress. Exposure to wind, hail, and other blowing debris gradually stresses your chimney, causing cracked masonry.

What can I do?

Depending on the location and severity of masonry cracks, a chimney mason may suggest different solutions to fix the issue. The best thing you can do to remedy a cracking chimney is to have it inspected by a Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) certified chimney technician. Cracking can be a sign of a larger problem, so if you notice a crack, don’t hesitate to call us at 260-424-0009 or schedule an appointment online. At Old Smokey’s our certified masonry experts can give you proper guidance regarding your cracking masonry and fix any issues you may have.

Add a New Fireplace or Insert to Your Home this Holiday Season

The holidays are a time for fellowship with your family and friends. Wouldn’t you love to be able to share this time of the year cozying up with your loved around the warmth of a roaring fire on a cold holiday night? At Old Smokey’s, we think that fireplaces and the holidays go hand in hand. Where else are you going to hang your stockings? That’s why we want you to know that you still have time to install a fireplace or insert before the holiday seasons.

FireplacesAdd a New Fireplace or Insert Image - Fort Wayne IN - Old Smokey's Fireplace

Installing a wood, gas, or pellet fireplace has never been easier and more practical. We offer the industry’s best fireplaces that come in a wide variety of designs. Since our fireplaces are an enclosed system, they offer much better heating efficiency than open-hearth fireplaces. Additionally,  inserts burn cleaner with lower maintenance.

Inserts

If you already have a fireplace, but it isn’t functional or you don’t want to deal with all the maintenance associated with an open fireplace system, a fireplace insert may be for you. A fireplace insert is an appliance that is inserted into your current fireplace. It consists of a firebox which is surrounded by a steel shell. The shell helps to direct heat into the room instead of into the masonry making them up to 80 percent efficient which is much more efficient than the 5 to 10 percent efficiency of open hearth fireplaces.

There are a few things that you will need to consider when purchasing a fireplace or insert. One of the most important things you will have to consider is the type of fuel you want to burn. You generally have three fuels to choose from: gas, wood, and pellet. Gas fireplaces and inserts are generally easier to run because they can be turned on with the flip of a switch. They also burn clean and efficiently. Newer models of wood fireplaces and inserts are very efficient and use a renewable fuel (wood). They also add a warmth and ambiance that is hard to beat. Pellet fireplaces and inserts use compressed sawdust in place of wood as a fuel. Some people prefer pellets to wood because they provide the warmth of wood logs, without all the chopping and wood stacking.

With all the design and fuel options available for fireplaces and inserts, it can be a little overwhelming. At Old Smokey’s we can help walk you through the process of choosing a new fireplace or insert. Call us at 800-876-6539 to schedule an appointment today and we’ll have you celebrating a warm and cozy holiday season.

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