Fireplace Repairs and Chimney Caps in South Florida
Most of the fireplace repairs needed for Florida fireplaces are for the chimney cap. Chimney caps are the raised hoods that cover the opening at the top of the chimney flue. The purpose of the chimney cap is to keep out rain and animals. Factory built fireplaces usually have two caps, one for the fireplace flue and another for the outer walls of the chimney, or the chase box built around a factory built fireplace and/or prefabricated chimney, which covers the entire structure. Some of you will just have pipes (metal chimney) coming out of your roof and others will have a structure usually 3' X 5-6' unless the chimney is on an exterior wall, in which case it may run up the whole wall of the house That is your chimney's outer shell, masonry/brich chimney or chase box with various finishing materials.
Chimney Chase Top in Broward County, Palm Beach and Miami-Dade
On top of the chase box is a chimney cover, known as a chimney top or chase cap (chimney flashing, washpan). This must NOT cover the opening (hole) of the chimney as that would cause smoke to back up into the home.
You can usually see a metal band that wraps around the top about 3". It is made of metal, usually galvanized steel which is prone to rusting, sometimes perforation. Some chimney covers and caps can be fashioned out of copper, aluminum or stainless steel.
Most of my business over the years has been replacing the chimney chase covers or caps that have either rotted out or been blown off in a hurricane. Often the top is very rusty and since you don't see the top you do not notice it. The rusty chimney top is a common problem.
Brick and Masonry Chimney Repairs, Waterproofing
Masonry chimneys are often vulnerable to moisture related issues in South Florida fireplaces. Many need chimney waterproofing. Exterior chimney boxes (chase box) in factory built fireplace systems often have moisture issues. Most of the time they do not. Where you burn the logs is called a firebox. There have been several homes in the older neighborhoods where new fireboxes were needed. Don't burn a fire without inspecting your fireplace, flue, damper and chimney first. If there is any deterioration to the masonry or metal components of your chimney, such as missing mortar between the bricks, loose bricks or deteriorated cement or brickwork in need of chimney pointing or cement work, I can repair most masonry and metal chimney problems. In the worst case, I can assess your needs for a chimney builder or chimney mason, as I am a chimney service and repair business in South Florida.
Fireplace Damper Service, Parts, Repairs and Flue Top Damper Replacements
Damper problems, lack of them (older neighborhoods), rotted ones (older neighborhoods), hard to open and close can sometimes be talked through on the phone. So if you have some questions grab a flashlight and call me. I can sometimes repair your damper or locate replacement parts, others we can install a new chimney top fireplace damper with a mechanism in the fireplace firebox to open and close the top of the chimney.
Chimney Fans and Chimney Draft Problems Solved
Short chimneys and chimneys with wind induced or pressure related downdraft problems, as well as many restaurant chimneys suffer from poor draft and smoke. If your wood burning fireplace or coal fired pizza oven smokes, it should be inspected and cleaned if necessary. Sometimes the introduction of adequate air for combustion may improve the draft and eliminate the smoke. Other times raising the chimney might help. If needed, a rotating chimney top assisted by wind or even an electrical chimney fan at the top of the flue does the trick.