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Old Smokey's Fireplace & Chimney's Blog

Let a Professional Repoint Your Chimney

Ballet dancers perform en pointe, on the tip of the toe. It involves strength and precision. The result is professional excellence that exudes grace and perfection. In fact, the only-professionals-should-repoint-img-fort-wayne-in-ols-smokeys-fireplace-chimneyterm “en pointe” has come to mean something that hits the mark, that meets its challenges.

Chimneys sometimes require repairs of precision to keep your masonry strong. As with an en pointe ballet performance, the result is grace and beauty — and in this case, efficiency, too.

In the world of chimneys, we don’t have en pointe performances, but we do have repointing. Repointing involves the removal of eroding mortar joints and replacing them with smooth, new mortar. It’s one of our most common chimney jobs. It’s a tedious task, but it allows Old Smokey’s to make good use of our expert knowledge of masonry history, materials, techniques and tools.

This is not a do-it-yourself project. Repointing is not for amateurs. It’s a job best left for professionals to do, and do right.

The need for repointing may arise from any one of several causes. Weather, time, and moisture all exert their toll on masonry. But original poor construction is also a factor in many cases.

That’s why you’ll want experienced and expert professionals from Old Smokey’s.

Old Smokey’s has a robust portfolio of repointing experience. Trust veteran professionals to make the right choice of materials and their proper application. Repointing requires care and precision. Come to Old Smokey’s for masonry excellence.

A seemingly simple but important aspect of repointing is the matching of compatible types of masonry materials. Without professional insight and knowledge, shoddy workmanship would force a homeowner to pay for a do-over. If the repointing is not done right with the right compatible materials melding old and new, it will have to be done again.

Old Smokey’s takes pride in doing a job right the first time. That includes repointing.

We are proud of the artisans who make up our team. For 20-plus years, Old Smokey’s has delivered excellence to homeowners in northern Indiana, northern Ohio and mid-Michigan. Folks from Elkhart in the west to Ypsilanti in the east, from Lansing in the north to Defiance and Fort Wayne in the south know Old Smokey’s.

Let Old Smokey’s Fireplace & Chimney take a careful, close look at the brickwork on your chimney. We’ll give you an honest appraisal — and recommend repair, repointing, restoration, or rebuild (but only if you really need it).

Old Smokey’s frequently encounters poorly designed or executed chimney construction that causes unforeseen problems. Have us take a close look, if you are not sure of the quality of your chimney construction. Let us determine how much repointing or other work is needed. Have Old Smokey’s experts walk you through repair options geared toward renewed life for your chimney.

Call us at 260-424-0009 or 800-876-6539 or click here now to schedule an appointment. Repoint to stay en pointe with chimney care.

Slowly or Swiftly, Respect the Chimney Swift

What can we say about “swifts”? For starters, the author Jonathan Swift is famous for “Gulliver’s Travels” and other works. Letter carriers are famously celebrated for “the swift completion of theirSlowly or Swiftly, Respect the Chimney Swift IMG- Fort Wayne IN- Old Smokey's Fireplace and Chimney appointed rounds.” And, speaking further of “swifts,” chimney swifts are entitled to special protection that we can all pay heed to. Chimney swifts. That’s where Old Smokey’s comes in. We can help you protect this migratory bird.

As their name implies, chimney swifts like chimneys. It wasn’t always that way, not exactly. Ages ago, these cigar-shaped birds nested in hollow trees in ancient forests. But these trees gave way to cleared land used for farming, and the birds found favor with stone and mortared brick chimneys that resembled, for the birds at least, the trees they had formerly nested in.

Maybe your chimney is a potential nest for chimney swifts. Maybe your chimney is the scene of a potential classic conflict: humans vs. nature. But it’s a conflict we can resolve. Old Smokey’s can help.

No one wants to take nesting habitat away from chimney swifts. We want to accommodate them the best we can.

Many of today’s chimneys use small metal flue pipes rather than clay liners. These metal flues can sometimes be dangerous for animals, who cannot grip the slippery metal and may even fall into the fireplace.

As for chimney swifts, their nests are small, cup-shaped structures made of twigs and glued to the chimney wall with saliva. These nests should be removed after the birds have left in the fall. This does the swifts a favor, both by removing bird parasites and the nest structure itself, which might be used by returning swifts, but could be unstable enough to collapse during the nesting period. According to biologists, chimney swifts tend to return to the same nesting site year after year, if it’s available.

Chimney swifts are protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. Professional chimney sweeps understand this and how to deal with chimney swifts. Our sweeps are professionally trained, and they know the correct protocols and practices regarding swifts.

A careful inspection by a qualified professional is a common-sense approach to chimney swifts. Instead of relying on guesswork or possibly erroneous conclusions, rely on Old Smokey’s pros to discern your chimney’s situation related to our friends the chimney swifts.

Regarding care toward chimney swifts, many recommend a delay of the annual cleaning until after young have left the nest. Ask your Old Smokey’s chimney sweep to come back in the fall if swifts are in occupancy earlier in the season. Anyone who knowingly destroys birds or nests that might contain eggs or young can be fined or penalized.

One common fix involves a simple solution: chimneys lined with metal should be capped, to prevent birds from entering and becoming trapped.

Our 30+ years of experience speaks volumes about the trust we’ve built throughout northeast Indiana, northwest Ohio, and midsouth Michigan. Call 260-424-0009 or 800-876-6539, or schedule an appointment online. We’ll be happy to talk swifts — chimney swifts, that is.

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