A wood burning fireplace is something that many homeowners dream of having. The good news is that fireplaces are common in many older and historic homes. The bad news is that much of the time these fireplaces are not in good shape and are unable to be used safely. The chimney in particular can need a lot of attention when bringing it back to functionality. Here are three things homeowners should look into if they are planning on restoring their fireplace and chimney.
Chimney Sweep And Inspection
The first thing that should be done when starting the process of restoring an old chimney is a thorough sweep and inspection. A sweep will clean the chimney of debris and creosote buildup that can make it difficult to discern the actual condition of the chimney. It's far easier to determine which repairs are needed whenever the chimney is clean. An inspection done by a professional will also help determine what repairs are needed. A standard inspection costs between $100 and $250 while a sweep usually runs between $125 and $250.
Many old chimneys either have liners that are cracked and broken or have no liners at all. Chimney flues that aren't lined are a fire hazard and are completely unsafe for use. One of the first repairs that homeowners should look into is the chimney liner. These liners can be made of metal, tile, or concrete and work to contain smoke and to prevent fire. In most cases, the chimney lining will need to be replaced in an older home. Relining a chimney costs between $2,500 and $5,000 on average. Stainless steel is the most common material to be used. For those who choose tiles, installation can be difficult and requires and experienced professional.
The Crown And Cracks
When looking at an old chimney, any damage to the crown and any cracks in the chimney must be addressed immediately. Crown rebuilds and a complete rebuild of the chimney shaft itself may be required if the chimney is in bad enough shape. The cost to repair the crown of the chimney ranges on average from $150 to $350 while most cracks cost between $175 and $3,000 to repair. A full rebuild of a chimney all the way down to the fireplace can easily cost upwards of $10,000.
When restoring an old chimney there are a few things that homeowners should look into. The first is an inspection and a chimney sweep, such as by HIGHPOINT CHIMNEY SERVICES, LLC. This will allow them to identify any issues that may make the chimney unsafe for use. A close look at the chimney liner is also needed. More often than not in older homes it's either damaged or completely absent. It's also important to repair any cracks to the crown or down the chimney. In some cases crown and chimney rebuilds are necessary.