Restoration • Repair • Inspection • Sweep
Our expert fireplace repair and restoration team carefully considers the unique design and condition of your chimney to give you a product that will keep your fireplace venting safer, cleaner and more efficiently into the future.
Chimneys are constructed of a variety of masonry materials including brick, mortar, stone, concrete, & stucco. These materials are affected by water and moisture and need maintenance and repair as they deteriorate over time.
The Standard of Care for chimneys, fireplaces, and venting systems is yearly inspection for soundness, freedom from deposits, and correct clearances. This includes cleaning, maintenance, and repairs if necessary.
We love restoring chimneys to make them safer, cleaner, and more efficient! Here is some of our work in a neighborhood near you.
The Philadelphia area is blessed with a rich architectural history with many original structures still in use today. Many of the chimneys and fireplaces, however, are not suitable for use as they stand because of inherent design defects. The pragmatic use of substandard materials and the lack of industry codes and standards during construction make many of these venting systems hazardous. Even when built well- with suitable materials and proper design- these systems naturally deteriorate over time. In particular, acid rain in the Philadelphia area wreaks havoc on exterior masonry surfaces. Further deterioration occurs to the interior of the chimney from the presence of the products of combustion created during the use of your home heating appliance. Other typical hazards found in older homes are combustible materials built into the flue itself and wood flooring directly under the fireplace- both of which are common sources of unwanted fires. A chimney that can no longer perform its intended function- to contain and transfer the products of combustion, must be repaired or rebuilt. Chimney Cricket specializes in historical chimney restoration.
Both the National Fire Protection Association and local building codes in PA require all chimneys be inspected and maintained annually. Ordinary use and typical wear and tear can clog up a flue with noxious soot, creosote, and debris. Even an unused flue can grow mildew, deteriorate from the process of weathering, or become home to local wildlife. Sweeping your chimney flue is a crucial part of home maintenance that ensures that your chimney flue is not blocked and does not accumulate harmful creosote. Creosote is toxic and can create a fire hazard if not regularly swept out. Sooty odors in the home can also indicate the need for a sweep. It is also important for your chimney to be inspected and swept when installing a new boiler or when other changes to your heating systems are made. Through sweeping and various levels of inspection Chimney Cricket can identify problem areas in your chimney and work with you to design a solution that protects both your home and your family and ensures your chimney and flues are doing their job properly for many years to come.
Roofs tend not to leak unless you put holes in them. The most common hole you put into a roof is for your chimney. The roof and chimney junction needs proper flashing to prevent water penetration into the home. Masonry chimneys act as big sponges; they absorb water and then must dry out. The water your chimney takes on may evaporate to the outdoors or, because of defects, it may draw water to the interior of the home. Over time exposure to water will accelerate the breakdown of mortar, soften bricks, rot wood, and can cause mold growth leading to expensive repairs. The crown of the chimney is designed to shed water. Often, however, a crown was never installed or the original crown has been severely crumbled by acid rain and Pennsylvania’s freeze-thaw cycles. Chimney flues should also have rain caps installed to prevent water entry directly through the flue and wire mesh to keep out wildlife. The masons at Chimney Cricket can restore the integrity of your chimney through small repairs or a complete rebuild when necessary. We also carry a full line of waterproofing applications and caps to suit any chimney size or design.