Signs Your Chimney Needs Repairs

Signs Your Chimney Needs Repairs

Many homes in the Omaha area have chimneys. If you’re not familiar with chimney health, you may not be able to tell if your chimney is in good working condition or if your chimney needs repairs. Damaged chimneys pose a health hazard to your family, can be a fire hazard, and can compromise the overall safety and warmth of your home. Though you can not always tell if your chimney is damaged by looking at it, there are some red flags you can keep an eye out for. Remember, the best thing you can do for your chimney and other important structures in your home is to get regular inspections by professionals such as those A&A Roof & Exteriors.

Rusted Damper or Firebox

If there are signs of moistures in your fireplace or chimney, it’s a sign that your chimney isn’t operating the way it should. Rust is a big sign of too much moisture and you may see it in the firebox or on the damper. If your damper becomes hard to operate or isn’t sealing properly, it could be a symptom of rust. If you do have a rust problem, it could cause flue tiles to crack, which is a very dangerous situation. A cracked flue can allow too much heat into vulnerable areas and cause a fire in your home.

Spalling Bricks

If water enters the concrete, natural stone, or brick, it damages the surface of the masonry, causing it to flake, peel, or pop out. Salt can also push outward from the inside of the bricks, causing spalling. Spalling looks like falling bits of masonry coming out of the chimney and, if it’s not taken care of, the result is crumbling and eventually total destruction of the chimney.

Damaged Mortar Joints

Damaged mortar joints are not easy to spot as you usually need to view your chimney from a high vantage point to see it. However, if you do discover it, you should immediately schedule repairs. This condition exposes bricks to larger amounts of moisture, causing cracks. These cracks get larger during the freezing and thawing cycle that happens during the colder months and can eventually lead to the collapse of the chimney.

Damaged Wallpaper

Bubbled, discolored, or otherwise damaged wallpaper in the chimney area could be a sign of excess moisture. Any type of excess moisture needs to be looked at and repaired immediately as it is a hazard.

Shaling Flue Tiles

If the liner of the chimney is damaged, thin slices of tile can pile up at the bottom of it. Any cracked of shaling of tiles is a serious condition that could lead to a house fire. If the flue lining of the chimney is not in good shape, it is not safe to use the fireplace. Because this is an issue, many homeowners are switching to stainless steel liners. Keep in mind that it can be easy to spot shaling flue tiles if you know what to look for, but a cracked steel liner is usually only identifiable through a professional inspection.

Cracked Chimney Crown

Spotting a cracked chimney crown is another problem that is difficult for the homeowner to identify on his or her own because you can normally only see it from a rooftop. The condition of your crown is important because it’s the first line of defense against the elements and, when it’s damaged, water can get in and cause larger cracks and allow water into the liner, causing shaling and spalling. While you’re having an inspection, you can also ask your roofing professional to weatherproof the chimney and crown to prevent damage in the future.

The health of your chimney is important to the overall safety of your home. If you see any of the above red flags or if it’s been a few years since you’ve had your chimney inspected, schedule a free inspection with one of the experts at A&A Roofing & Exteriors today.

Can Your Roof Make It Through a Midwest Winter?

Roof in a Midwest Winter

In the Midwest, most homeowners start preparing for winter in October. Even this can sometimes be too late as there have been numerous examples of blizzards before Halloween. One of the big questions we hear from a lot of homeowners is whether or not their roofs can make it through the coldest months of the year. As exterior professionals, the staff at A&A Roofing & Exteriors knows that repairing and replacing roofs in the winter is very difficult and sometimes impossible. That’s why we always advise our customers and potential customers to take care of any roof repairs or replacements before the snow falls.

Are you wondering whether or not your roof can make it through another winter season? Here’s what you need to consider.

Do You Have Leaks?

Leaks are a sure sign that the integrity of your roof has been compromised. To identify them, go from room to room in your home and inspect the ceiling. Are there any discoloration or spots? Any bubbling or sagging? Roof leaks do not always appear as moisture, so it’s important to pay attention to anything out of the ordinary. You should also keep in mind that the spot on your ceiling may not be directly under a leak on your roof. Due to the way roofs and attics are constructed, a leak could be located in a completely different area from where the roof damage is.

Does the Exterior Look Solid?

We very rarely recommend that our customers climb on their roofs, especially if there is any adverse weather. However, most people can get an idea of the condition of their roof by taking a look from the ground and the use of binoculars can help out even more. Try to inspect where chimneys, skylights, walls, or pipes intersect with your roof as these are often the location of problem areas. Look for anything that appears loose as well as holes or obvious cracks. Can you see any shingles that are missing or damaged? If anything catches your eye, it’s time to call in a professional inspector who can climb up and get a closer look.

How Old is Your Roof?

Even if there are no obvious leaks or signs of damage, if your roof is 20 years or older, it makes sense to have an inspection. Asphalt shingles normally begin failing at this age so it’s a good idea to have them inspected around that time. The professionals at A&A always offer free roof inspections, so you don’t have anything to lose by one of our experts examining your roof to make sure it’s sound for wintertime.

Having an inspection gives you peace of mind as well as providing an early warning should you have any issues. If you take care of small problems before winter hits, it could save you from having an emergency during the coldest months of the year and will also help you prepare if you’ll need to install a new roof once the spring rolls around.

It’s not too late to have an inspection and repairs done before winter arrives! Call A&A Roofing & Exteriors now for a free inspection.

How to Stop Further Damage to Your Roof in an Emergency

stop further damage to your roof in an emergency

Has your roof sustained damage from recent extreme weather conditions? No matter how old or new your roof is, it can still be damaged by high winds, hail, or heavy rains, all of which are a part of Nebraska weather. If your roof has been damaged, it’s critical that you take some emergency measures to minimize the damage and ensure the safety of your home and its belongings. Here are six immediate steps to take in an emergency roofing situation.

Step 1: Wait Until the Weather Clears

It may sound like obvious advice, but don’t get up on the roof while it’s still raining, blowing, or when there’s lightning. Even if you have a big leak, there’s no reason to risk your safety. Not only is it not safe to try to inspect your roof during a storm, but it’s also not very effective. You need good weather conditions and plenty of light to properly see the damage, so waiting is a necessity.

Step 2: Do a Visual Inspection

Once the weather has cleared, you can give your roof a good once-over. Of course, a professional inspection from a knowledgeable inspector like those at A&A Roofing & Exteriors is the best option as they know what to look for and how to fix it. However, if you have to wait a few days to get a professional on your roof, you can take a quick look yourself.

Step 3: Control Any Leaks

If you have water seeping into your home from a leak in your roof, you need to control the spread of it to prevent further damage to your roof and the rest of your home. If water is coming into your house, it means it’s damaging the internal structure of it and it’s imperative to control that leak as much as you can until a professional can come fix it.

Step 4: Remove Standing Water

If there is standing water or puddles forming on your roof, you need to get rid of it as soon as possible. If these are allowed to stay on your roof, they could cause further leaks and damage the integrity of your roof and other structures.

Step 5: Look for the Source of the Leak

It might be difficult to determine the source of the leak if you have water coming into your home. Often, the leak is not located anywhere near where you see water inside. However, you can try to look for clues to determine where the leak has originated.

Step 6: Plug the Leak if Possible

If you can identify the source of the leak, use sealants, duct tape, tarps, or whatever you can find to temporarily plug it. Though this is not a long-term solution, it can help to minimize damage until a professional can come and fix the problem.

If you’re uncomfortable trying to identify a leak or patch it yourself, don’t attempt to as you could harm yourself or cause further problems with your roof. Call the professionals at A&A and let us know that you have an emergency situation and we’ll send an inspector out as soon as we can. The best way to treat leaks is to be proactive! Schedule a free inspection of your roof today to find out if any repairs need to be made before more severe weather arrives.