Chimneys & Masonry

If you’re thinking of repointing, rebuilding, remodeling or adding a new chimney, fireplace, brick exterior or outdoor living space, call the experts at AAA Timberline to assist you with updating your home, conducting a chimney inspection or completing chimney repairs in Buffalo, NY.

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Chimney Damage & Water Leak Repairs

Whether your chimney, flashing or area around your chimney is leaking, or your chimney has suffered from ice damage, freeze and thaw damage, is missing mortar or is missing bricks, call the experts at AAA Timberline. We are the prompt, professional chimney repair service and masonry work for homeowners in Buffalo and across Western New York.

Masonry & Chimney Repair

In Buffalo, rain seems to never stop pouring and snow never seems to stop falling. And no matter how this moisture arrives, it accumulates on the brick ledges and top of your chimney. No matter what, water will find every nook and cranny it can in your poor chimney, and this harsh weather can eventually wear away at your chimney.

The brick, block, mortar and concrete that make up your chimney deteriorate over time, allowing moisture to penetrate into the small cracks and holes in the construction. Once water gets into these cracks and holes, it freezes, expands and will eventually destroy the chimney.

Western New York gives us four beautiful seasons, but brings them with a tremendous amount of freeze/thaw cycles in the colder months.

You depend on your chimney to be the conduit that removes deadly gases from your home every day. And the fact is that chimneys are typically one of the most taken-for-granted parts of any home. However, even these trusted pillars of the home aren’t impervious to the elements, and eventually will need to be repaired or maintained. That’s when you can call AAA Timberline for all your concrete

Repointing

Deteriorated and cracked mortar joints expose gaps that are entry spots for water. The repair performed to correct these gaps is known as “repointing” or “tuck pointing.”

Our technicians will repoint your chimney by grinding away the loose and crumbling mortar joints and replace them with new waterproof mortar, while at the same time replacing any damaged bricks to prevent water entry.

Sometimes repointing in combination with rebuilding a chimney is the correct repair for a water leak problem.

Our technicians have the training and experience to recommend the repair that is best in solving your chimney and/or fireplace problem.

Waterproofing Chase Covers, Caps & Screens

Once the water leak is corrected, our technicians will recommend that a waterproofing agent be applied to the brick surface to help preserve the repairs. Rain, snow, ice and sun just beat up your home’s brick and mortar over time. A waterproofing treatment can help keep the impact of the elements at bay.

In addition, chimney chase covers are probably the most inexpensive preventive measure that a homeowner can invest in to prevent water penetration and chimney damage.

Another common issue is animal intrusion. The innocence of a bird or squirrel building a nest in your chimney can be less innocent when it causes poisonous gases to back up into your home. A high quality stainless steel chimney cap & screen assembly will prevent that from happening. 

Maintenance & Chimney Inspection

The chimney is the most overlooked structure appliance in every any home.

Annual chimney inspections as recommended by the Chimney Safety Institute of America will provide piece of mind and help protect your home from expensive water damage to roofs, attics, ceilings and many other areas prone to water entry. Schedule your chimney inspection in the fall before starting your fireplace or furnace and rest easy, knowing that your chimney is safe, sound and secure.

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F.A.Q.

Get answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about chimney repair and masonry work from AAA Timberline. 

Do you perform chimney and masonry repairs?

YES! We repair fireboxes, replace lost or damaged damper blades, or install top mount dampers if a replacement blade is not available. We also repair crowns, replace rusted chase covers, install chimney caps, and apply water repellent treatment to chimneys. If you are having problems with your chimney, we can most likely find a workable solution. 

Why does my chimney smell, especially during the spring and summer?

The culprit that smells up your home through your chimney is creosote. Creosote is a natural byproduct of burning fuel, especially wood. When the weather is humid and warm, the creosote odor gets stronger. Of course, chimney cleaning will resolve much of the smelly chimney problem, but not always completely. Odor neutralizing agents like baking soda or kitty litter put into the fireplace can help, but many times a deodorizing agent needs to be spread into the chimney.

Sometimes ventilation fans can be installed to reduce these problems. The fact that you have these odors may also indicate that your venting system is drawing too much air down the chimney (downdraft) or that your damper may be defective. There are also several structural defects that can show up as a smelly chimney, so as always we advise a thorough inspection to determine the root cause.

Do I really need a chimney cap?

Your chimney cap closes the door on excess water entering your chimney and the damage that it causes. It also keeps out birds, squirrels, raccoons and other critters that may think your chimney looks like a good summer home. Leaves and other debris that storms and high winds can also blow into your chimney, but are blocked by a cap.

Blockages that occur from these causes are often the fuel for dangerous chimney fires. The chimney cap (or guard) protects the home from pests and debris, and reduces the risk that sparks or airborne embers will land on your roof and cause a fire hazard.

Why is water is leaking into and around my fireplace, or staining the ceilings?

Water is the major enemy of your fireplace system. It can seep in many places, cracking and corroding joints, mortar and brick. Excess condensation caused by improper operating flue systems adds water to your chimney. Cracks can let water in, un-capped chimneys invite water damage and defective flashing can allow roof leaks.

At the first sign of water, have an inspection! You will end up saving money and put an end to any potentially unsafe conditions. Many times if the problem is caught early enough, the cost to repair is much less than a future cost to replace.

My fireplace smokes – can anything be done about that?

Smoke coming into your home is certainly not enjoyable and indicates a problem with a poor draw up and out of the chimney. Smoke may also escape through leaks in your liner into other areas of the house. If you smell smoke in other rooms, your problem is likely with your liner. Remember, your liner must be the correct size for the fireplace, stove or furnace that your are venting. If it is not, the gases and smoke will not all escape the home. If your damper is not working properly or is closed you will also get smoke back drafting into the home.

Many of today’s homes are built very tight, so the air that is taken out of the room during burning can’t be replaced. Outside air needs to be introduced in order to remedy the imbalance and allow the smoke to be drafted out of the chimney. If your smoking problem goes away when you crack open a window, this may be your problem. If you have smoke in your home when you use your fireplace, it is not a safe situation.

What is that whitish discoloration on the outside of my chimney?

This deposit is called efflorescence. When gases leak out through a defective liner and onto your brick interior wall they deposit salts on the surface of the masonry. Water then dissolves and transports these salts through the joints and mortar to the exterior of the chimney where you see the white deposits. So these are the telltale signs of leaks in your liner and water problems in your chimney system. Repairs should be made immediately to prevent further deterioration of your chimney.