Tips for Restoring Your Historic Chimney

If your home’s fireplace has an old historic chimney then it’s likely there are many essential repairs needed. Numerous potential challenges can arise, however. It helps to understand that various changes have occurred from one era in history to the next, and those differences have often meant that significant alterations were made to the chimney system.

A professional chimney sweep can make accurate assessments about the current condition of your chimney. This will allow you to pursue the historic chimney restoration project based on the possibilities that exist. The remaining solution is sometimes to choose a modern, efficient heating appliance in the place of a historically accurate chimney restoration. Many models are available that can help to ensure that fireplace aesthetics are in keeping with the period style in your historic home.

chimney flue liner, wilton ctNo Chimney Flue

An issue common to historic homes is that the chimneys weren’t built with protective liners. By the 1940s, it was determined that chimney flue liners are essential to safety. Not all chimney sweeps have methods for lining a historic chimney because, for various reasons, the products they use may not work. There are times when alterations that were made in a home through the years have rendered it impossible for historic chimneys to be restored.

For instance, when central heating was a new phenomenon, chimney systems and fireplaces were retrofitted to help achieve central heating. This process often involved drastic alterations such as making holes in the bricks for running pipes.

Chimney Masonry Repair

If a modern chimney liner system will work for your historic chimney, chimney masonry repair may be all that remains for it to be functional. Crumbling mortar needs to be addressed as quickly as possible. If a procedure called “tuckpointing” can be performed, it will save you money as opposed to a complete rebuild of the chimney system that becomes necessary if moisture intrusion has occurred.

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During the tuckpointing process, old mortar is scraped out and new mortar is added. The procedure requires skill because the chimney sweep ensures that the color of the newly-applied mortar matches the existing mortar. Chimneys get renewed structural strength once a tuckpointing procedure is completed.

Fireplace Insert

The original style of your fireplace can likely be maintained even if you greatly increase the efficiency of the appliance with the installation of a fireplace insert. Fireplace inserts are custom-built to be placed in an existing unit. Various fuel types are available. A masonry wood-burning fireplace can usually be changed to use gas or propane if desired.

Visit Yankee Doodle to Shop Fireplace Inserts

At Yankee Doodle, we invite you to visit our destination showroom where many heating appliances are on display and in operation. Among the displays are fireplace inserts in a range of styles. Yankee Doodle offers fireplace models specifically designed to accommodate the restoration of historic chimneys and fireplaces. Visit our Wilton CT store or call today at 203-544-8111.