Only brick and stonemasons that know building code and chimney physics should be allowed to repair a chimney. We not only have a state license but we have two certifications for chimney repair. We offer minor repair work like replacing the top of your chimney or a complete rebuild – whatever is needed.
Video of Chimney Repairs
The owner of this home said he had trouble finding a chimney builder that would replace this 50+ year old chimney with the same style as the existing. We were very pleased to take-on this fancy brickwork and it turned out very nice.
Soft Lime Brick Covered With Stucco
Every time we see a brick and stucco chimney in a state of failure this advanced, we know that the brick under the stucco have very likely exceeded their useful life expectancy. The best approach that we have found is to plan a complete rebuild from the beginning.
It is not wise to stucco brick and mortar chimneys to the top.
Why Is Safety Important When Taking Out The Old?
Chimney After the rebuild the owner had an attractive, functional chimney and no collateral damage from the repair job. Please note: We didn’t deliberately try to make the before pictures appear tacky. The original digital photo’s were lost and we had to scan from a printed copy off the contract. Also, the owner had us install a matching rain hood on the other open flue, but they were back-ordered at our supplier so the picture was taken without it installed. We strongly recommend rain hoods!
NY Bluestone and Chilton Stone
This chimney is a beautiful combination of NY Bluestone and Chilton stone. On this job we removed the existing concrete cap (or what was left of it) and the top few course of stone. We relayed the stone in new mortar and installed a new stone top. We also full pointed the remainder of the chimney to the roofline. We caulked the flashing perimeter; the owner opted to reject our recommendation to replace the flashing.
Question from homeowner:
Why you should repair your chimney the right way, the first time, with Dayco General
Wow…in this case the current homeowner is stuck with a chimney that wouldn’t have had to be rebuilt in their lifetime sitting on I completely compromised base.
It will now be a more costly operation to safely remove the upper chimney and replace the entire structure to the ground than it would have been if that work had been undertaken at the time this “repair” was initiated.
This is an extreme example of a situation that we actually see quite frequently. For whatever reason, a contractor didn’t replace the entire chimney when the entire chimney should have been replaced. It’s usually a function of cost/benefit. A $4,000.00 chimney repair is a lot less than a $12,000.00 chimney repair!
We’ve found that if the property owner has short-term goals, are going to be putting the property on the market or we’re dealing with a “house flipper”, then we almost invariably see them opt for the minimum repair.
This kind of practice is common in our culture, but in the majority of cases with this approach, we are meeting with the new owner who eventually and unexpectedly discovered the need for rather large repairs.
Sometimes the answer is more basic, an owner may have had a damaging leak and the funds for a more strategic and long-term repair simply were not available.
On the other hand, it’s also a standard and typical repair to replace only the top of a chimney. It’s a judgement call and the property owner needs good advice here! Not every chimney needs to be completely replaced when only the upper areas are having problems.
When you’ve torn down a few thousand chimneys over many years as we have, your eye is continually being trained to see things that give clues to how long a chimney might last below a “top repair job”.
Sometimes people take our advice when it comes to long range goals and sometimes they decline it, but as long as a repair is safe and sufficient and meets code, we endeavor to please the customer.
Question from homeowner:
Why Does Smoke Come Down Our Chimney?
We’re wondering if you could take a look at our chimney for problems with venting. I can tell you that we’ve had several opinions on how to fix it and you were referred by __ who told us that you’d be able to figure it out.
Here’s the issue in a nutshell: we have a 1989 home with a wood burning fireplace on the main level that we don’t use much at all but when we do use it we experience intermittent problems with smoke backing up into the living room even if a small fire is going. Sometimes it has worked fine but lately it seems to not vent smoke very well.
[…it was last used] this past new year’s eve, but it was a disaster. Murphy’s law in full swing here as it always seems to decide to act up when we have company!
We’ve had a contractor out here who suggested that we install a power vent on the top of the chimney. Another guy told us this was not a good idea and that we should make out chimney taller…
Smoke May Come Down Your Chimney Because…
We don’t like power vents because they’re expensive to install and they have to be maintained, which can be pretty difficult on some chimneys. Besides cost/maintenance, wood burning chimneys should not need power vents as they have been engineered to vent without them.
There are literally dozens of causations leading to trouble of the nature you’re describing. But because of something you said when you were describing the problem; we’d like you to try a couple things before you go any further with this.
If the fireplace used to work, but doesn’t work now, then we’d suggest having the interior linings of the chimney scoped to check for structural problems or animal activity such as nesting. If you have never done this before, then you should definitely consider doing this on an annual basis.
It’s doubtful that you’d need to extend the height of a chimney that’s been in operation since 1989. You’d mentioned that the problem presents when you have company over. It sounds like the home could be starved for “make up air” (or recovery air) during a fire in the fireplace as evidenced by the “back puffing” of smoke.
When you have people over, appliances that pull air out of the house tend to see increased and simultaneous (clustered) use such as bathroom fans, range hoods and gas hot water heater. With things like these working at the same time there will be a demand for oxygen causing negative air pressure inside the home. If you happen to be burning wood in a fireplace at the same time, that fire is going to demand combustion air and it will pull that air (and smoke) through the path of least resistance (in this case your chimney) until the demand subsides.
If you have a scope inspection of your chimney and get a green light (no structural problems), then we recommend that you give the following a try: On a day when it’s not very windy, light a fire, then turn on bathroom fans. Does that cause the back puffing problem? If not, then also turn on your range hood, then run your hot water until the flame ignites in the water heater. If the smoke starts to come into the room instead of up the chimney, try opening a window in that room. If opening the window instantly reverses the direction of the smoke, then you’ve diagnosed the problem as insufficient makeup air!
If this problem only occurs when your house is really active, like when company are over, then cracking a window during those times might be a satisfactory solution and you’ll need to do nothing more.
Our estimates show you exactly what chimney repair or rebuilding options we propose.
We use photo-diagrams to detail every aspect of the work we’ll do, with specifics regarding materials used and procedures.
A high level of expertise
Having spent over $5,000 for our people to learn about chimney physics and engineering, our certifications include Master Cement Finisher & Master of Masonry, (Minneapolis registry, #M127), and two certifications from the Ahrens School of Masonry Restoration and Chimney repair. We are certified by The Chimney Safety Institute of America.
We offer a full range of chimney repair services including complete rebuilds, rebuilding from the roof up, chimney liner replacement, tuckpointing, installing flue top dampers, and minor repairs.
Attention to detail
The little things we do make a big difference. For example, we use a comprehensive guide to match our mortar colors to the existing mortar on your chimney.
And To prevent water leaks:
- We inspect the flashing around your chimney to make sure it’s code compliant. If it’s not, we strip down all remnants of the old flashing down to the roofing underlayment and then do a proper “build-back” with a complete, three-part system that is guaranteed not to leak.
- We put a drip ledge on your chimney cap so that water doesn’t run straight down the side.
For increased protection against chimney fires:
- We always use fire-resistant refractory mortar when installing clay tile flue liners.
- We isolate chimney flues from the cap so that they have room to expand without creating cracks that could lead to chimney fires.
To extend the life of your chimney:
- We build your chimney cap out of specially modified concrete. This makes our caps far superior to the concrete chimney caps that are typically installed.
- As a result of our continuing education in the latest concrete techniques, we also use a special additive to further strengthen our concrete caps.
“The repairs look great, Dave. You have some genuine craftsmen on your team. … We thought the cost very reasonable, as well.”
–Wayne Lakso, Minneapolis
“We had a stone chimney where the stone top had deteriorated. It was a complicated fix, and the Dayco crew did an amazing job. They did all the stone cutting themselves, and it looks beautiful.”
–Penny Winslow, Edina
To get an estimate that includes photo-diagrams of your existing structures, clearly explained details on the options we propose, and a list of references with phone numbers, call us at 952‐449‐8643 or 612‐685‐1243.