Chimney stacks are one of the most vulnerable elements of any roof, and often cause difficult to tackle water ingress issues.
In addition to preventing persistent and difficult to trace leaks and even structural damage (nobody wants a collapsing chimney!), looking after the chimney render is also important from the safety point of view. Delaminating sections of crumbling render can slide off or even fall to the ground level, damaging property (e.g. cars) at the ground level, and risk injury or even death to pedestrians below.
And of course, a damaged chimney can lead directly to roof damage caused by loose debris, water run-off and trapping. Maintaining the render on the chimneystack in good condition, together with suitable flashing and making sure that the haunchings and chimney pots are in a good state of repair, is a key part of responsible roof maintenance.
“Pointing” means simply replacing or repairing the mortar joints between masonry. While bricks and especially stone are extremely durable, and can last hundreds of years, the material used in the joints between them is more vulnerable to the elements and forces and requires regular maintenance.
Water from rain and snow, changes in temperature (from below-freezing in the winder to heat of the summer, or even higher in the case of some chimneys) and chemical corrosion from polluted atmosphere all contribute to the damage to the mortar.
Regular inspection and repointing can go a long way towards avoiding water ingress, damage to the masonry itself, and structural damage to the building. And it makes the masonry look much better too, preventing moss and other vegetation growth in the gaps at the same time.
In many cases, the chimney is nothing more than a liability. With blocked or removed fireplaces and centrally heated homes, a chimney means simply extra maintenance. Without maintenance, problems with insulation, leaks, and even structural damage or injury can occur.
Full chimney demolition including a chimney breast requires a skilled, professional approach (and building regs sign-off) to avoid potentially disastrous consequences. Removing the above-roof part of the chimney is relatively less risky a procedure, but still a big job that needs to be done well to ensure the resulting roof is structurally sound and watertight.
Natural stone is an extremely durable building material (we have all seen castles and other buildings, some of them well over 1000 years old!) but even this can deteriorate, especially when exposed to harsh weather and modern air pollution. A complete replacement is often not necessary, and repair might be possible using Lithomex, a mortar that has been specially developed for repairing and restoring of stonework.
Lithomex is made from natural hydraulic lime, finely graded aggregates, and pigments. These are all blended to create a special mortar that matches the appearance and texture of the surrounding natural stone as closely as possible. It can be shaped and moulded and is thus suitable for repairing even quite intricate designs as well as simpler defects in stonework and masonry. The results, when repairs are done correctly, are resistant to weather and durable.
They were professional, punctual, friendly and did the work to a good standard. Would definitely recommend!
HI SOLUTION have given us excellent service for several years.
Some of the best levels of service I have received, friendly and attentive.
You were recommended by a trusted friend & it was a pleasure from beginning to end.
They completed a week long job on our property which we were very happy with.
Excellent service, always prompt on time, surveyed the roof and photo graphed for quote and happy to guarantee work.
They promptly came and carried out an overall inspection of the roof and identified the cause of the leak and a couple of other issues.
Artur is a pleasure to deal with, considerate and accommodating, and he responds quickly to enquiries
The work was competitively priced and finished to a high standard.
You are always able to do the repairs in one or two visits only, going to the extra mile without adding unnecessary work.
Excellent! Professional! Pleasant! Efficient Tradesmen Not afraid of a days work, pictures taken before and after.
The work was done so efficiently and professionally that my neighbours were pleased to have him return and tackle a bigger job of roof and gutter repair.
The same way we would deal with all other jobs we do: we choose high-quality materials best suited to the job at hand, we ensure professional workmanship, and we make sure the chimney is prepared properly for the work. For example we select the right type of mortar or sealant that is compatible with the type of masonry used in the chimney, we take our time and attend to detail, and we clean debris before we start work. On their side, customers can prolong the life of any repairs by regular inspections and maintenance, and catching any problems early.
There are several signs to look out for, including: crumbling mortar between the bricks that might be falling out; visible signs of damage to the chimney, such as cracked, chipped or loose bricks; water ingress inside, including water stains or dampness on the walls or ceilings near the chimney. And if your chimney is old, it may be in need of repointing, even if there are no visible signs of damage.
Yes, fitting a chimney cap or a cowl is a good way to prevent rain and animals from entering the chimney. A chimney cap is a metal cover that fits over the top of the chimney pot, while a cowl is a similar cover with a spinning mechanism that prevents wind from blowing smoke back down the chimney. Ceramic caps can also be used on chimneys that are not actively utilised for fireplaces or stoves.
A regular roofer should be able to fix some chimney related issues, including damaged flashings, installation of chimney caps, repairing or replacing chimney pots, repairs to haunching, and similar. More extensive repairs, such as repointing, replacing stonework, removing and replacing render, or chimney removals, require specialised masonry skills, tools and ideally, experience working with chimneys. HiSolution has those skills and deals with dozens of chimneys every year, both on tenements and single-family houses.