Chimney Maintenance in Braintree, Massachusetts

While each chimney is unique, there are two main types of chimneys; masonry/traditional chimneys and factory-built/metal chimneys. Eurosweep Chimney Service in Braintree, Massachusetts offers repair and installation services for both. To better understand what makes each of these unique, here are some facts and benefits of each style you can use to better understand your model or to decide which would be best for your home.

Masonry Chimneys

Masonry chimneys are the style most people think of when they picture a chimney. Built with stone, concrete blocks, brick, or mortar, this style has a classic look that appeals to many homeowners.

These chimneys are almost always constructed on-site and most often when the home itself is being built.

Aside from their traditional appearance, a significant advantage of masonry chimneys is that they tend to last longer than their alternative. If properly cared for, they can last for generations.

The materials used to build masonry chimneys are tough, able to withstand years of fires and continue to keep up with even the most active fire-builders.

While both styles add value to your home, masonry chimneys are often more valuable because they were built with the home and difficult to replicate.

Factory-built Chimneys

Many homeowners like the range of choices they have when they are installing a factory-built or metal chimney. Because they are choosing to install a chimney rather than buying a home with a masonry one already built, they are able to make several decisions to influence their chimney's appearance and usability.

Because they are produced by manufacturers, metal chimneys are regulated and tested for safety issues that masonry chimneys are not. With any safety or user questions or concerns, a homeowner can easily turn to the manufacturer for answers.

Not only can you choose the appearance of your factory-built chimney, but also the size and location.

Metal chimneys have several different parts to them; therefore, if something is wrong with your chimney you may have an easier solution to your problem than if you had a masonry chimney.

Regardless of style, all chimneys need routine maintenance & repair in order to ensure they are safe and ready to use. Still have questions? Feel free to contact us with any inquiries about your chimney!

Recognizing the Signs of Damage

Solid Fuel Systems

Characteristics of Solid Fuel Systems
  • Potential for large creosote deposits produced by:
    • Type of fuel
    • Slow burn rates on “airtight” stoves
  • Potential for high flue temperatures:
    • Caused by:
      • Fuel Type
      • Overfiring
    • Resulting in:
      • Thermoshock damage
      • Heat transfer to combustibles
      • Deadly chimney fires
  • These characteristics of solid fuel systems can often cause severe chimney liner damage, creating the need to reline.
What to look for in Solid Fuel Systems
    • Evidence of a chimney fire (usually liner damage will be present)
    • Fluffy creosote
    • Strong creosote odor from heavy embedded third-degree creosote
    • Cracked flue tiles
    • Broken flue tiles (missing pieces)
    • Creosote stains leaching through brick or block joints
    • Tile deterioration due to heat: ‘burned up tile'
    • Charred framing materials in the attic area or out of the way places
    • Misaligned flue tiles
    • Missing or loose mortar joints

Gas-Fired Systems

Characteristics of Gas-Fired Systems
  • Today's higher efficiency gas appliances may produce excessive moisture
  • Low cycle rates further aggravate the moisture problem
  • Moisture will cause freeze-thaw scenario, creating chimney damage
  • Moisture combines with acidic by-products, creating acids which eat away mortar joints and tile
  • Fumes and gases, which are pulled into the venting system, can produce destructive acids when mixed with water. Examples are bleaches, paint thinners, detergents, carpeting, etc.
What to look for in Gas-Fired Systems
  • Cracked flue liners
  • Broken flue tiles (missing pieces)
  • Misaligned flue tiles
  • Missing or loose mortar joints
  • Peeling wallpaper (around the chimney area)
  • Blistering Paint (around the chimney area)
  • Flaking plaster (around the chimney area)
  • Ceiling Stains
  • Damp patches (around the chimney area)
  • Mold
  • White stains (efflorescence) on brick
  • Eroded mortar joints
  • Spalled or missing brick
  • Sand or tile chips present in breaching or clean-out
  • Carbon Monoxide presence

Oil-Fired Systems

Characteristics of Oil-Fired Systems
  • Sulfur is a burn by-product of oil
  • Soot production is often associated with oil burning
  • Moisture and soot-laden sulfur combine to produce a mild sulfuric acid which eats away mortar joints and flue tile
  • Other acids from bleaches, paint thinners, detergents, etc., which are pulled into the vent system can also cause flue destruction
What to look for in Oil-Fired Systems
  • Evidence of a chimney fire
  • Cracked flue tiles
  • Broken flue tiles (missing pieces)
  • Misaligned flue tiles
  • Missing or loose mortar joints
  • Silt in chimney
  • Soot floating in house
  • Soot coming from the barometric damper
  • Odor
  • Flaking plaster
  • Damp patches
  • White Stains (efflorescence) on brick
  • Eroding mortar joints
  • Deteriorating bricks