Our Company Blog

Masonry Damage And Your Chimney

At Lords Chimney we want you to be able to enjoy countless evening in front of your cozy hearth… Unfortunately, many homeowners go to light a fire, only to face an endless line of problems!

A major reason you may be experiencing inefficiency in your fireplace is due to masonry damage. There are lots of ways your brickwork can suffer, but here are some of the more common issues.

Brick Spalling

Brick spalling is when the bricks in your chimney deteriorate enough that they start to fall out. Water damage is the main culprit behind this type of damage. When your brick and mortar are able to absorb moisture, you wind up facing a long list of issues throughout time. The water freezes when temps drop, causing everything to expand. Once things thaw out in spring and summer, the brick settles and creates a lot of pressure on your chimney as a whole.

If bad weather, excess moisture, and other forms of wear and tear have taken a toll on your brickwork, the staff at Lords Chimney can help! We are able to replace the bricks with pieces that blend with your current chimney model. They will fit in securely, so you can kiss structural issues good-bye! We also provide waterproofing options, so your masonry stays protected all year long.

Mortar Deterioration

Water damage also leads to crumbling mortar. The more it breaks down, the easier it is for water to get in, thus triggering a vicious cycle! Water is very bad for the mortar in your chimney and can lead to time-consuming and costly damages.

Let us repair your mortar joints with our tuckpointing service! We can fix you up right, leaving you with a strong chimney that will easily stand firm no matter the weather outside. Once we are finished, your chimney will look like new and work great. Why wait? Call on the staff at Lords Chimney today.

Cracks & Leaking

Another common problem fireplace owners face is leaks. Once your masonry is damaged, you are much more susceptible to leaks, which then cause more issues down the line. Leaks lead to discoloration, rust, mold, nasty odors, and stains throughout your interior walls and ceilings. Don’t let an easy fix grow into a huge problem. Call us in right away!

More Issues

On top of these, you could easily face countless other issues with your masonry. Clogs, deterioration, discoloration, rust and rotting are just some of the many reasons why you should have your chimney looked at as soon as possible! Address these issues right away, then take preventative action to stop more problems from occurring in the future. If something goes unresolved for too long, you may even face a settlement or collapse!

Keep your home and family out of harm’s way and call us in now before it is too late. We look forward to making your chimney great!

We Fix Leaky Chimneys!

Whether it’s a musty or moldy smell, a soft drip-drip sound coming from the chimney, or a puddle of water at the bottom of the firebox, a leaky chimney is a problem that cannot be ignored. Left unrepaired, even minor chimney leaks can create major damage throughout your fireplace system.

Thankfully, leaky chimneys don’t have to be a chronic problem. Identifying the source of the water entry and fixing your leaky chimney as soon as possible can prevent serious water damage to your fireplace system or home.

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What causes chimney leaks?

Chimneys are built to stand strong against the elements; however, there are still a number of points where water can work its way into the chimney system. The following are some of the most common causes of chimney leaks.

Chimney cap: The chimney cap protects the top of the chimney and keeps moisture, animals, and debris from falling into the chimney. A damaged chimney cap can allow water into the flue, causing damage throughout the fireplace and chimney structure.

Chimney crown: Often confused with the chimney cap, the chimney crown is a mortar slab that seals the top of the chimney. Chimney crowns should have small overhangs as well as be built with slightly sloped edges to prevent water from pooling on the top. Chimney crowns can deteriorate over time due to prolonged exposure to the elements; this creates cracks that allow moisture into the chimney.

Flashing: Flashing is the watertight metal strips that seals the joint between the chimney and the roof. Over time, flashing can lose its seal due to overexposure to the elements; flashing can also be damaged by storms or animals.

Masonry damage: Without regular maintenance, bricks and mortar can begin to deteriorate over time. The freeze thaw process – which causes water in bricks to freeze and expand – is the most common cause of water damage to masonry.

Fixing a leaky chimney

When it comes to fixing a leaky chimney, the most important step is to find and repair the cause of the chimney leak. Repairing the water damage without first removing the cause of the chimney leak will only lead to recurrent water problems. By uncovering the root cause of the chimney leak, you can rest assured that the water damage will not return once the necessary repairs have been made.

For chimneys with damaged masonry, tuckpointing may be used to repair or replace damaged bricks and mortar. During the tuckpointing process, small areas of damaged masonry are carefully removed before the new bricks and mortar are put in; this can help strengthen the chimney structure and help avoid the costs of rebuilding the entire chimney.

Another great way to prevent chimney leaks and water damage is by having your chimney waterproofed. Professionally waterproofing a chimney can seal and protect the masonry from water damage while still allowing the bricks to retain their semi-porous nature.

If you have a leaky chimney, trust the experts at Lords Chimney to repair it. Contact us today to schedule an appointment so we can help resolve your chimney leaks!

Why Ivy is Damaging Your Chimney

Climbing vines such as ivy or wisteria have been used for years as a way to cover up unsightly exteriors or add a touch of whimsy to a home. While these vines may add curb appeal, they can also cause serious damage to your home’s exterior, especially if they are growing on or around your masonry chimney.

Why ivy is bad for chimneys

Many homeowners believe that ivy is no different from any plant growing in the garden. Unfortunately, while it can be a charming addition to the exterior of a home, it is can also cause significant damage. Below are three of the most common ways that ivy and climbing vines are bad for chimneys.

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1. Ivy causes cracks

Climbing vines such as ivy do not grow vertically on their own; they need a structure to hold onto in order to climb. When this happens on your chimney, the roots and tendrils of the ivy snake their way into the bricks and mortar in order to continue climbing. This can create cracks and holes in the masonry; at the plant continues to grow, so too does the size of the damage.

Even chimney chases covered by siding or shingles can be affected. Just like with masonry, ivy on a chimney chase can also cause cracks and holes to form. Likewise, on these building materials tendrils from climbing vines can cause staining and discoloration that is difficult to remove without damaging the siding itself.

2. Ivy traps moisture

Ivy’s lush, green foliage can create a cover of shade that is difficult for the sun to penetrate. Because of this, water from rain, snow, morning dew, and even sprinklers can become trapped against the masonry. Over time, the combination of water and the holes and cracks created by the ivy’s roots can cause significant cracking and spalling.

In addition to damaging the masonry, trapped moisture can also encourage the growth of mold or mildew. Exterior mold and mildew growth can cause odor both inside and outside your home, as well as affecting your home’s air quality. This can be particularly harmful to those with breathing condition such as asthma or allergies.

3. Ivy invites insects

The same leafy coverage that prevents water from evaporating also provides the perfect home for all kinds of insects. Protection from predators and an abundant food source are just two of the reasons why climbing vines such as ivy can easily become host to insect infestations. Termites in particular have been known to take up residence in ivy; the network of branches, roots, and leaves often give these insects direct access to wood siding or trim around your home.

While ivy might add character or curb appeal to your home, it can also cause significant damage to the exterior. Chimneys, whether they are made of masonry or covered with a chimney chase, are particular susceptible to damage from climbing vines. If your home has ivy growing on the chimney structure, contact Lords Chimney today to learn more about removing the ivy and repairing the damage it may have caused.

All About Houston

At Lords Chimney Services, we pride ourselves on providing our customers in the Houston area with outstanding chimney and fireplace services. Over the past decade, we have helped our friends and neighbors in Houston make their homes more healthy and safe through fireplace maintenance. Likewise, because we are a local company we understand the unique maintenance issues that are often seen in our area.

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About Houston

We are proud to say that we love the city of Houston! A bustling – and growing – metropolis that is home to a diverse international community, Houston is the largest city in the state as well as the fourth largest city in the nation. The city is recognized as a worldwide leader in the energy industry in both oil and natural gas, and is also the proud home of Johnson Space Center.

Apart from the bustling economy, Houston has plenty to offer both residents and visitors alike. The Houston Theater District is home to six performance halls and nine arts organizations, including permanent opera, ballet, music, and theater companies. The city has a professional team in every league except for the NHL, including the Houston Astros, Texans, Dynamos, and Rockets. In addition, several college and universities such as the University of Houston and Rice University add to the city’s vibrant culture.

About Lords Chimney

Over the last decade, we have proudly built and grown our business in Houston. We offer our customers a number of high quality fireplace, chimney, and dryer vent services and are proud to work in the same neighborhoods and areas that we live.

We provide our customers with a wide range of chimney and fireplace services; we can service and repair everything from the bottom of the firebox to the top of the flue. This includes the sales and installation of a number of high quality fireplace inserts and accessories. In addition, we also clean and install dryer vents.

Why choose us

At Lords Chimney, we are dedicated to providing our friends and neighbors in the Houston area with quality, mess-free services for their chimneys, fireplaces, and dryer vents. There are a number of things that set us apart from our competitors:

  • Our certifications: All of our fireplace and chimney services are performed by Chimney Safety Institute of America certified chimney sweeps. With a CSIA certified sweep, you can rest assured that you are getting a highly trained and qualified professional. This also means that our technicians are more than able to uncover the most common causes for chimney issues and answer any questions you may have.
  • Our professionalism: We go above and beyond to treat your home with care and respect. This includes placing protective tarps and wearing protective footwear to keep your home clean. Likewise, Lords Chimney is also fully insured – including auto insurance – on the off chance that anything should happen on the job.
  • Our integrity: We have made a promise to be upfront and honest with all of our clients. For our customers, this means never doing any work without prior approval and providing you with an accurate estimate beforehand.

If you live in the Houston area, look no further Lords Chimney for all your chimney, fireplace, and dryer vent needs. We love this city and are proud to play a small role in keeping its residents safe. Contact us today to for all of your chimney and heating appliance needs!

We Fix Fireplaces!

Chimney sweepings and inspections are an important part of chimney maintenance. However, they are just one of the many services we can offer our customers!

Many of our customers are surprised to find that, after discovering an issue during an inspection, we can repair the damage we discovered. We can offer our customers much more than just cleanings. Our wide range of chimney, masonry, and vent services allows us to better serve our customers and meet all of their chimney and fireplace needs.

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Fireplace rebuilding and restoration

If your fireplace or chimney is worn down after years of use, we can help restore it to its former glory. Our fireplace restoration services can fix every part of your chimney, from the chimney cap at the top all the way to the firebox at the bottom.

We offer a wide variety of masonry services including tuckpointing, crown rebuilding and repair, and firebox rebuilding and repair. Our highly skilled masons will get the job done with high levels of service and craftsmanship, creating a repair that will last for years to come.

Prefabricated fireplaces and chimneys

In addition to our range of repairs for masonry chimneys, we also repair prefabricated chimneys and fireplaces. Our staff can help ensure that your prefabricated fireplace maintains Underwriter’s Laboratory tested parts so that it can maintain its UL safety listing.

Animal entry

When animals find a way into a chimney, it can be extremely frustrating for the homeowners and potentially deadly for the animals themselves. At Lord’s Chimney, we are experts at safely removing animals along with their nesting materials. We can also prevent the animals from coming back by repairing or replacing a faulty chimney cap, which is most often the site of animal entry.

Gas fireplaces and inserts

For homeowners looking to make the transition from wood to gas as their fuel source, we sell and install a wide variety of high quality gas inserts and logs. Gas fireplaces offer homeowners the look and feel of a wood burning fire with the added convenience of being able to start a fire with the push of a button.

Dryer services

In addition to our chimney services, we can also clean and install dryer vents. Even if you regularly clean your lint trap, lint can still accumulate in your dryer vents and hoses over time. This lint is extremely flammable and can be accidentally ignited by the heat from your dryer. Clogged dryer vents cause thousands of house fires each year, leading to millions of dollars in property damage.

Having your dryer vents cleaned is the best way to prevent these kinds of house fires from starting. Clean dryer vents can also help your dryer run more efficiently, wasting less energy and resulting in dryer clothes after each load. In addition to cleaning dryer vents, we are also experts at dryer vent installation and rerouting.

We can do it all!

At Lord’s Chimney, we have been proudly providing the greater Houston area with chimney, fireplace, masonry, and vent services for the past decade. If you are experiencing chimney issues, rest assured that the same company you trust to clean your chimney can also repair it. Contact us today and let us tell you all the ways we can fix your fireplace!