mortar joint styles

7 Common Mortar Joint Styles & How to Recognize Them

When it comes to brick and masonry work, the devil is in the details. Indeed, small decisions and precise execution are often the differences between professional and amateur brick repair. One great example of this is the formation of mortar joint styles. Mortar joints are the mixtures of mortar and/or grout that rest in between bricks. And if you’ve never worked on a brick structure before, you may not realize that not all mortar joints are the same. In fact, there are seven common different joint styles –– each with their own set of pros and cons. We’ll explain them all here so that you can recognize them for yourself: 

Concave Joint

This is the most common type of mortar joint used in exterior brick walls. Concave joints are, unsurprisingly, shaped with a slightly curved, concave pattern. This allows for maximum water resistance because it prevents rain from accumulating on any flat surfaces. By looking closely, you should be able to see a small depression in the mortar joints between the bricks of an exterior wall. 

V Joint

Unlike a concave joint, which has a rounded center, V joints have a v-shaped appearance. When constructed properly, V joints can also help prevent water damage. However, they are more difficult to form correctly and can enable water accumulation in some instances. 

Flush Joint

Flush joints sit exactly in line with bricks on a wall. Because of this, flush joints are harder to form and maintain (since mortar will naturally squeeze out from under brick) and harder to waterproof. Typically, mortar joints are used in walls that are going to be plastered or painted over anyway, and the decision to use them is often a stylistic one. 

Extruded Joint

Extruded joints are the only type of joint that don’t require tooling equipment. Rather, you can form an extruded joint simply by placing bricks on top of mortar. The mortar will push out and form an extrusion that sits between bricks. This is not to be recommended, though, since the extra surface area practically invites water damage. 

Internal Wall Joints

There’s a big difference between interior and exterior brick walls. While the following joint styles have unique aesthetic qualities, they don’t provide water resistance and are not recommended for external use:

    • Grapevine Joint. Grapevine joints were very popular during America’s colonial period and are now most often used when dealing with antiques or retro-styled brickwork. 
    • Raked Joint. Raked joints are similar to flush joints, but rather than aligning perfectly with the brick, they sit back about 2mm. This gives the joint a depressed look and subsequently makes the bricks “pop.” Not recommended for external use.
    • Struck & Weathered Joints. Both are formed using a sharp angle to create a mortar “slope” in between bricks. Struck joints slant downwards and should not be used in exterior walls. Weathered joints slant up and can sometimes be used in exteriors. 

Conclusion

Precisely forming a mortar joint style requires persistence, patience, and the appropriate tools. Thankfully, the professionals at Brickworks Property Restoration have the experience and the equipment to tackle any brick or masonry job –– no matter how big, small, straightforward, or complex. Contact us here at (586) 330-4843 for more information. We’re happy to take on domestic and commercial projects!


brick walls

4 Ways Water Comes Through Your Brick Walls & How To Combat It

Believe it or not, water is a major catalyst for foundation damage and brick deterioration. Even homes that are relatively new can be compromised by the presence of water within crawlspaces, basements, or brick walls. The silver lining here is that there are steps homeowners can take to ensure their brick homes and walls don’t suffer from water damage. Here, we’ll explain four common ways that water comes through brick and what you can do to combat them: 

#1 Excessive Power-Washing

Power-washing a brick exterior is okay from time to time. However, power-washing frequently can lead to chips, cracks, and breaks within brick walls. 

The solution: Only power-wash your home when necessary and call a professional for brick cleaning help and advice. 

#2 Improper Drainage System

Waterproofing a home is essential to ensuring that it never experiences significant foundation damage. Unfortunately, homes with improper or poorly installed drainage systems are susceptible to water damage. This is especially true for homes that are built at the bottom of a hill or on a downward slant. 

The solution: Regularly check your drains and and have your pipes inspected. Waterproof your basement from both the interior and the exterior. If the problem persists, install a new drainage system to direct water away from your home. 

#3 Rain

A single rainy day isn’t going to compromise a brick structure. However, years upon years of rain –– and wind, and sleet, and snow –– can be enough to erode bricks and damage the mortar in between them. 

The solution: While you can’t stop it from raining, you can take measures to protect your brick walls from rain. Always use a breathable sealant to treat brick surfaces. Painting on bricks or using a non-breathable sealant can trap water under the surface and lead to more damage. Also, make sure to tuck point on an as-needed basis. Spot tuckpointing from time to time can end up saving you a lot of money (and hassle) down the line. 

#4 Freeze-Thawing

In cold areas –– like Michigan –– water can freeze on the outside of brick walls. When that ice thaws, though, its expansion can cause imperfections and cracks to appear in between bricks. You could consider freeze-thawing to be an accelerated form of water damage. 

The solution: Regardless of whether a homeowner lives in a cold climate or not, they should apply a breathable brick sealant to protect their walls from water damage. To specifically protect your home against freeze-thawing, make it a point to fix any small cracks or imperfections that appear as soon as possible in the spring. Calling on a professional to amend a few minor issues could help you avoid paying for more significant repairs later. 

Conclusion

Want to ensure that you never face a massive brick wall or foundation issue? Then schedule regular inspections for your home from a brick repair company. At Brickworks, we have years of experience helping people just like you protect their most vital investment –– their homes. From tuckpointing to foundation repair, we have the skills and the resources to provide you and your family with home-repair solutions. Call us today at (586) 330-4843 for more information.


masonry restoration contractor

7 Questions to Ask Your Masonry Restoration Contractor

Not everyone is an expert in bricklaying, tuckpointing, or foundation repair. And that’s okay. As a homeowner, you don’t have to understand everything there is to know about masonry repairs. What you do need to know, though, is how to find a masonry restoration contractor you can trust. Fortunately, these seven questions will help you locate a professional who can help you with your brick, mortar, or stone repairs. Check them out here: 

What Are Your Credentials?

The first thing that any homeowner should do before hiring a masonry pro is question their credentials. It’s very easy for untrustworthy professionals to make big claims about their ability; you can’t fake national accreditations, however. Ask if they belong to organizations like the National Chimney Sweep Guild, if they’re certified by Heat Shield, or if they’ve been approved by groups like the Better Business Bureau or Basement Health Association. Ensure that you’re dealing with a real pro before you go any further.  

How Experienced Are You?

It’s important to find a masonry contractor who has lots of experience working with a variety of projects. What’s more, masonry contractors should, ideally, be familiar with the area. This way, they’ll have first-hand knowledge of the local soil and weather patterns, which can have a big impact on masonry work. Enquire also about recent jobs they’ve completed and ask for references. 

What is Your Specialty?

Some construction professionals specialize in commercial projects; others focus particularly on stone restoration. If you have a specific project in mind, make sure to find a company that addresses your unique needs. 

What Materials Will You Use? 

Different projects require different types of mortar and different tools. So ask any contractor you’re hiring how they’ll go about the job and what materials they plan on using. 

How Long Will it Take? 

The key here is to solicit an honest answer. Major foundation repair projects, for instance, can take a long time to complete. As such, beware of contractors who project overly-optimistic completion dates. It’s better to hire a professional who will tackle the task at hand on schedule than to bring in a company that constantly moves the goalposts and changes their timetable. 

How Much Will it Cost/What’s the Payment Schedule? 

No one wants to over-pay for brickwork or masonry repairs. That’s why it’s a good idea to compare prices of different contractors before you make a final decision. In addition, ask about the payment schedule. Some companies require larger upfront payments. You should also find out if you'll be able to defer payment until after the project is completed. 

Will You Clean up When the Project is Finished? 

Though this should be obvious, it’s still worth asking. Just because a contractor has “completed” a project, doesn’t necessarily mean they won’t leave you with a mess to clean up after. 

The Bottom Line

At Brickworks, we’re happy to answer any questions new clients may have about us and our process. Why? Because we only employ dedicated professionals, we only use the best materials, and we have years of experience to our name. Still unsure? Then just check out any of our 800+ 5-star reviews. You can contact us here for more information, or to get started with a project today call us at (586) 330-4845.


chimney flashing repair

The Chimney Flashing Repair Process: What We Do

Leaks within a chimney may not be immediately obvious. In fact, without regular inspections, homeowners may not notice chimney leaks until they cause bigger issues like wood rot and/or roof damage. Left long enough, chimney leaks can affect the structure of the entire fireplace system. What's more, broken or worn chimney flashing often allows chimney leakage to occur. Here, we’ll explain everything you need to know about chimney flashing, chimney flashing repair, and what you can do to protect your home from water damage. 

What is Chimney Flashing?

Chimney flashing consists of two sheets of metal that are placed at the base where a chimney intersects with the roof. These sheets are layered –– one placed in an L-shape over the chimney and connecting roof area –– with the other placed over the L-shape sheet to cover mortar joints and shingles. The primary function of chimney flashing is to prevent moisture from entering at the vulnerable point where the chimney connects to the roof.  Also, professionals may use copper, lead, or steel chimney flashing. 

Signs of a Leaky Chimney

In many instances, a compromised chimney flashing will lead to leaking within the chimney. A few subtle signs of a leaking chimney include: 

  • Condensation in the firebox
  • Water dropping in the chimney
  • Moisture stains on the walls connected to the chimney
  • Musty chimney odors. 

If you perceive any of these issues, schedule a chimney inspection ASAP. 

Repairing Chimney Flashing

Repairing and/or replacing chimney flashing can be an intricate process. And it’s important that professionals install chimney flashing correctly–– otherwise your home could be vulnerable to further water damage. At Brickworks, we follow this process to repair and replace chimney flashing: 

  • Inspect the caulking around the chimney flashing. Occasionally, chimney leakage can be stopped completely just by re-caulking the area between the flashing and the chimney stack.
  • Remove old chimney flashing. Take away all of the old metal, wood, and mortar connected to the chimney stack. 
  • Measure the area for accuracy. 
  • Use purified and soldered metal (to protect against oxidation). 
  • Tuckpoint the area around the chimney stack where the flashing will be installed. 
  • Install the flashing one sheet at a time. 
  • Install a chimney cricket –– if needed. (Typically only for houses with chimneys located on the downslope of a roof.)

How to Prevent Chimney Leaks

In addition to faulty chimney flashing, other factors can cause chimney leaks. Worn mortar joints, spalling bricks, and broken chimney caps may all allow for moisture to enter your home through your chimney. That’s why we recommend all homeowners with chimneys schedule inspections twice a year. Keeping tabs on any small issues with your chimney now could eliminate the need for big home-repair payments later.  

Final Thoughts

At Brickworks, we have years of experience working with homeowners and businesses in the Detroit metro area. Our team is professional, thorough, and we only use the highest quality materials when we take on a project. If you’re concerned about a leaky chimney –– or if you’re overdue for an inspection –– give us a call today at (586) 330-4920, and we’ll schedule an appointment time that works for you.


Tips And Tricks To Removing Efflorescence On Brick

One of the many appeals of a brick home is the classic appearance brick exteriors have. A brick house isn’t just a structurally sound building –– it also has a lot of aesthetic charm too. Unfortunately, certain stains and issues can arise that can tarnish the timeless look of a brick home. A very common type of brick stain is known as efflorescence. Efflorescence is salt deposit left on brick surfaces as a result of exposure to water. Don’t be fooled though –– even homes far away from salt-water bodies can be subjected to efflorescence. Fortunately, today we’re going to provide useful tips for preventing, identifying, and removing efflorescence on brick surfaces.

What Causes Efflorescence? 

The short answer to this question is water. Because brick is porous, it is susceptible to water damage. When there is a surfeit of water in the soil around brick structures, water and water soluble salts can enter the microscopic gaps within bricks. Eventually, these salts will make their way to a brick surface and be left as a deposit after water evaporates. 

Is Efflorescence a Serious Problem? 

Efflorescence on its own won’t cause significant damage to a brick structure –– even if it is an eyesore. Yet, the mere presence of efflorescence could indicate an issue with drainage around a brick home. And, if ignored, water damage over time could lead to serious issues like foundation problems. 

What Does Efflorescence Look Like? 

Efflorescence appears as a white, chalky substance on the surface of bricks. (Unsurprisingly, it looks like salt.) It may feel loose at first, but it will harden over time. 

How Can You Prevent Efflorescence? 

Ideally, homeowners should seek to prevent efflorescence and other brick stains from forming in the first place. There are several ways to reduce the risk of efflorescence forming on your home. 

First, install or repair your drainage system. If water collects on or near the base of your home, efflorescence could be the least of your worries down the line. 

Second, ensure that your foundation doesn’t rest flush on top of soil. Failing to amend this issue will allow moisture and water soluble salts to infiltrate the structure directly. 

Third, apply a brick sealant to protect your exteriors. Note, make sure that you’re using a sealant that allows bricks to “breathe” and that doesn’t trap water particles underneath. Such sealants could actually make the problem worse. 

Removing Efflorescence

Time is a big factor for those looking to remove efflorescence on their own. If you’re able to spot efflorescence soon after it forms, you may be able to remove it by power washing your brick exterior. (Word to the wise: excessive power washing in and of itself isn’t great for brick walls, so use this approach sparingly.) 

If, however, the efflorescence has hardened, you probably won’t be able to remove it with just water. In this instance, homeowners can remove efflorescence stains using a muriatic acid solution and by scrubbing thoroughly. Remember, you should always use safety goggles and gloves when using cleaning materials like these. 

The Bottom Line

The best approach to removing efflorescence is to contact the Brickworks team for assistance. Not only will we be able to treat and remove the stains efficiently and effectively, but we’ll also examine your home to ensure you’re not facing any serious water damage issues. A check-up now could save you thousands down the line. Call us today at (586) 330-4920 if you’ve experienced efflorescence or similar stains –– we’re ready to help protect your home!


chimney crown repair

Chimney Crown Repair: What You Need To Know

Chimney crowns are, perhaps, the area of a chimney most susceptible to external damage. Chimney crowns are located at the top of the chimney. They sit on top of the brick structure, and they’re sometimes made from leftover mortar that was used to build the chimney in the first place. Because chimney crowns face high levels of exposure to winds, rain, sunlight, (etc.) they may deteriorate faster than other parts of a chimney. Here, we’ll explain everything you need about chimney crown repair –– from spotting damage to preventing issues from ever occurring in the first place:

Chimney Crown Damage

Chimney crowns are most often damaged over time by the elements. Indeed, many chimney crowns will begin to develop cracks as they age, and, if ignored long enough, they may begin to crumble bit by bit. It’s important for homeowners to inspect their chimney regularly. Spotting and treating chimney crown cracks early on can help homeowners save thousands of dollars on repairs.

Sealing Chimney Crowns

The most effective way to repair most chimney crowns is to seal the surface. If the structure isn’t completely compromised, it’s possible to apply a sealant to caulk cracks and prevent further degradation. In addition, some homeowners may elect to seal their chimney crowns as a short-term solution during the winter. This isn’t to be recommended, though.

Chimney Crown Repairs

Chimney crowns that are too damaged to fix with a quick sealing will require more extensive repairs or total replacement. Just how long a given chimney crown will last can be difficult to predict. For one, varying climates will affect brick-and-mortar structures differently. In general, though, the wetter the area, the worse brick structures fare. Second, the material used to create the chimney crown will also have an influence on its durability. Sometimes contractors will use cheap mortar to form a chimney crown in order to complete a project quickly. When this is the case, chimney crowns won’t last very long. Depending on the extent of the damage, a chimney crown repair or replacement could cost anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars.

Chimney Maintenance Best Practices

A busted chimney crown can cause a myriad of issues. Cracks or holes in the crown can allow moisture to enter the chimney interior, and thus, quicken the erosion of the structure. In addition, crumbling chimney crowns won’t allow for proper ventilation, and they may also fail to properly contain chimney fires. Because chimney crowns are required to ensure proper chimney safety, we recommend that all homeowners get their chimneys inspected at least once a year. This way, a professional will be able to detect any potential problems and deal with them before they get out of hand.

The Bottom Line

Contacting a professional to take a look at your chimney crown won’t just give you peace of mind –– it’s likely to save you a good amount of money too. At Brickworks, we specialize in all aspects of chimney repair and maintenance, and we’re happy to help you complete your next masonry project. Contact us here for more information or to schedule a chimney inspection today!


masonry mortar

The Ultimate Guide to Masonry Mortar

Masonry mortar is an adhesive substance comprised of cement, sand, and lime. Masons use mortar for a variety of different projects and in a variety of ways, but it often acts as the “glue” that holds structures together. So while mortar is still very much used in the brick-laying process, it has other applications as well. In addition, there are different types of mortar that are made up of unique materials and mix ratios. And certain home-improvement projects require specific mortars. Here, we’ll break down everything you need to know about masonry mortar:

Different Types of Masonry Mortar

In general, there are four (sometimes five) different types of masonry mortar mixes. They are: N, M, O, and S. (K is a specialized mortar mix, typically used in restoring old buildings that have a weaker structural composition.) Mortar mixes N and O are the two mortar mixes that are most often used in DIY restoration projects.

N Mortar Mix

N mortar mix is the “general application” mix. It’s designed for above grade usage and is suitable for both indoor and outdoor applications. This is also the mortar used in soft-stone masonry projects.

O Mortar Mix

Type O mortar mix is, comparatively, the weakest type of mortar mix available. As such, homeowners should not use type O mix for any for any projects involving a building’s foundation or load-bearing walls. Rather, type O mix is perfect for smaller undertakings like tuckpointing or repointing a brick exterior. (For more information on the process of tuckpointing, check out our blog here.)

M & S Mortar

Both M and S mortar mix are used for below grade, heavy load-bearing projects. These undertakings include foundation repair, chimney repair, restoring load-bearing walls, strengthening patios, laying driveways, and repairing sewers. Type S and type M mixes are significantly stronger than type N and O, and homeowners will rarely use them in for DIY repairs.

Mortar vs Grout vs Concrete

Mortar is similar to other construction materials such as grout and concrete. Grout is composed of cement, sand, and water –– just like mortar –– but doesn’t contain any lime. As a result, grout is thinner and doesn’t have the adhesive properties of mortar. Professionals may use grout to patch holes in tiles, for instance.

Similarly, concrete is also composed of cement and sand, but instead of lime, it contains gravel. Concrete is used for a number of different projects and acts as a building block for structures like patios or driveways.

Mortar Costs and Best Practices

Masonry mortar may cost anywhere from $2-$3 per square feet. That might not sound like a lot, but considering the amount of mortar needed for foundation repairs, for instance, the total cost may end up exceeding a thousand dollars. For smaller home repairs such as tuckpointing, it is possible to purchase, mix, and apply mortar on your own. However, it’s recommended to consult with a professional before you do so. Even seemingly “simple” home improvement projects can go awry quickly and end up costing you a hefty amount in the long run.



Final Thoughts

At Brickworks, we have years of experience tackling an array of home-improvement projects. We’re masonry experts, and we’ll help you fix any issue you’re dealing with. Contact us today for more information or if you’re in need of an inspection!


foundation repair tips

5 Foundation Repair Tips from the Pros

Dealing with foundation damage can be a nightmare for any homeowner. Indeed, foundation damage will often prove to be costly, time-consuming, and stressful. Unfortunately, there’s no great trick for restoring a foundation that requires serious repairs. At a certain point, fixing a home’s foundation will necessitate plenty of man-hours and a significant chunk of money. Don’t fret, though –– it’s not all bad news. Today we’re going to share five of our favorite tips to prevent foundation issues, identify them, and mitigate your costs and risks associated with foundation repair. Check them out here:

Manage Your Drainage System

Water causes almost all cases of foundation damage. Note, even homes in areas that don’t receive excessive rain or are typically at risk for flooding can still be affected by water if they have a poor drainage system. With that in mind, it’s crucial for all homeowners to regularly check their gutters and schedule plumbing inspections regularly. In addition, it’s a smart idea to try and keep moisture levels consistent around your home. “Watering” your home’s foundation during a dry period can prevent the soil from shifting under your house. Lastly, avoid planting large trees close to your home. Their roots can affect soil makeup and compromise your foundation.

Fix “Little Problems” ASAP

It’s easy to overlook “small” issues around your house. Perhaps you’ve noticed a few cracks in your basement walls. Or maybe one of your windows gets stuck from time to time. The reality is, though, these little problems can be indicative of much bigger foundation trouble. If you spot any potential signs of foundation damage, call a professional immediately. It’s much cheaper and simpler to get a few cracks filled than to wait and potentially face full-scale foundation damage.

Partner with a Trusted Property Restoration Company

For many people, their home is the most important investment they’ll ever make. As such, it only makes sense to partner with a trusted property restoration business when foundation issues arise. Make sure to do your homework when selecting a foundation repair company. The last thing you want is further foundation damage in a few years due to shoddy workmanship.

Schedule Regular Inspections

Once you’ve found a home-improvement professional that you trust, make it a point to schedule regular inspections with them. These inspections are a cost-effective way to protect your home for years to come!

Talk to Your Insurance

Sometimes, homeowners don’t have any choice but to pay for expenses related to foundation repair out of their own pockets. Yet, occasionally, insurance companies will pay for some or all of the repairs. If, for instance, your home incurs foundation damage as a result of a flood or natural disaster, your insurance may be able to help you out. Remember, it never hurts to call them and ask!

Final Thoughts

No homeowner ever wants to deal with foundation issues. Yet, it’s important to realize that ignoring the problem won’t fix it. Rather, the sooner you identify an issue and act on it, the better off you’ll be in the future. If you’re concerned about your home’s foundation, then contact the professionals at Brickworks. We have years of industry experience, and we’re ready to take on any project –– no matter the size. Call us here at (586) 330-4920.


foundation waterproofing

Foundation Waterproofing: 5 Facts All Homeowners Should Know

Few things can negatively affect a home’s value faster than water damage. Even small leaks in the basement or foundation of a house can force homeowners to pay a significant amount for repairs. Thankfully, foundation waterproofing can protect your home from water damage and other issues associated with excess moisture. Here, we’ll list five facts all homeowners should know about waterproofing their basement and explain why this is an investment worth making now –– not later:

Record Rainfalls Threaten Homes

2018 was the third wettest year in the US since record-keeping began in the 1890s. Across the board, the US experienced almost five inches more precipitation than 20th-century averages. While that may not sound like much, record levels of precipitation and flooding are a threat to more homes than ever before. This means that some homes that historically haven’t been affected by heavy rains and floods may now be at risk for severe water damage.

Good Waterproofing is Comprehensive

Obviously, no homeowner wants to experience standing water in their basement. However, water pooling around the outside of your home –– or under it –– can also lead to substantial foundation issues. The lesson here is that the best waterproofing methods address all aspects of water control, including drainage and sewage systems.

Brick and Concrete are NOT Naturally Waterproof

Brick and concrete fixtures are incredibly strong and durable, but they are susceptible to water damage. Just because you’ve invested in a concrete foundation, it doesn’t mean you can afford to overlook potential signs of water damage. Which leads us to our next point . . .

How to Identify Foundation-Water Issues

Some signs of water affecting a home’s foundation are easy-to-spot, while others can be much more subtle. Nevertheless, everyone who owns a home should be aware of certain signs that could indicate significant water damage. They are:

  • Standing water in basement
  • Mold or musty smells
  • Curved or bowed walls
  • Rusted metal pipes
  • Stained walls
  • Cracks in walls (especially in basement)

In addition, a number of factors can increase a home’s risk for developing water damage. If, for instance, your home is built on a slope that directs rainfall toward your house, then ensuring proper drainage is going to be difficult. Furthermore, intense periods of draught can change the makeup of the soil underneath your home and can make your foundation vulnerable to water damage when rain does return. It’s wise to check your drainage system and your gutters regularly. Doing so will allow you to predict and prevent major water damage from occurring.

Waterproofing is a Smart Investment

Even if you don’t have plans to renovate or “finish” your basement, water within your home can lead to a host of issues from an insecure foundation to disgusting mold and smells pervading your house. Rather than rolling the dice with your home, it makes much more sense to waterproof your foundation as soon as possible.  

A Final Word

At Brickworks, we have years of experience dealing with foundation repair issues of all sizes. We only employ licensed professionals and we only use the best tools available on the market to ensure that we complete your project effectively and efficiently. Call us today at (586) 330-4843 if you’re concerned about water damage in your foundation. Remember, the longer you wait, the worse the problem could become!


Chimney Cover

How to Choose The Right Chimney Cover

A chimney cover –– also known as a chimney cap –– is a small metal attachment that fits on the top of a chimney flue. Chimney covers serve multiple purposes. For one, they help prevent fires by containing sparks, debris, and flames that may rise out of a chimney. In addition, many improve a chimney’s ventilation and prevent downdrafts. They also keep out pests and birds and stop them from creating nests in your chimney, which can obstruct airflow. Lastly, chimney covers help mitigate against snow, ice, and rain entering your chimney and affecting the brick structure within.

Clearly, chimney covers are important. But how can you find the right chimney cover for your home? Below, we’ll explain everything you need to know about purchasing chimney caps and help you make a smart decision without any hassle:

Flue Shape & Size

Most chimney caps resemble a small metal box, but they do come in different shapes and sizes. The reason for this is that chimney flues can be round, ovular, squared off, or rectangular. And different chimney caps are designed to fit into different flues. Before you purchase a chimney cap, it’s important to first inspect your flue and determine its shape and size. Take a precise measurement of the flue –– otherwise you could end up buying a chimney cap that doesn’t fit at all!

Types of Chimney Covers

All chimney covers are made of some form of metal –– typically steel, aluminum, or copper. In broad terms, copper chimney caps tend to be the most durable, (but the most expensive); aluminum caps are cheap, but can be prone to bending; and stainless steel caps are generally the most balanced option of the three.

Chimney Cap Installation

Chimney cap installation may be extremely straightforward or rather tricky, depending on the cap and the flue. Some caps require screws or bolts to be placed into either the flue or the crown (the small area around the flue at the top of the chimney). Conversely, other chimney caps simply “slip on” within a chimney flue. Often, the size, quality, and specifications of a chimney cap will determine how complicated installation proves.

Chimney Cover Prices

As we’ve explained above, chimney covers come in all shapes and sizes, are made of various materials, and require different levels of installation. Perhaps unsurprisingly, chimney cover prices vary wildly as a result. For instance, you can get some very inexpensive chimney caps for as low as $120. On the other end of the spectrum, specialized chimney caps can go for as high as $2,000. What type of chimney cover you eventually decide to buy should reflect what you want from it. Do you want one that’s extremely durable or are you comfortable replacing it in a few years? Do you want one that matches your home’s exterior design or is that not a priority? It’s important to answer these questions first before you break out your checkbook.

A Word from The Pros

Researching, buying, and installing a chimney cover all on your own can be a daunting task. Thankfully, when you contact the professionals at Brickworks, we’ll be happy to help you find the perfect chimney cap for your home. We have years of experience working with homeowners to find brick and masonry solutions, and we handle all varieties of chimney repair, maintenance, and service. Contact our team here at (586) 330-4843 to learn more!