Q&A / 

DEAR TIM: Our house has an usual chimney made with irregular stones. The existing cap is in poor shape and I'm worried about damage. Each contractor I talk with has a different solution and none of them are even similar. What's the best way to install a cap on a masonry chimney, no matter if […]

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Quick Column Summary: Problems with new house construction Correcting an off-center window Wood-burning stove exhaust stack not properly installed Checking to see if the contractor is on the run DEAR TIM: I'm having a house built and I've got some problems. It's still in the rough stage with just the rough framing pretty much complete […]

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Quick Column Summary: Chimney repair for the ages Protect your chimney with a crown Chimney liners Prevent cracks with wire mesh DEAR TIM: My chimney is constructed with concrete block and has a thin stucco coating. I know the top of the chimney is not right and some of the blocks are falling apart. There […]

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Chimney caps should be checked for leaks. A chimney cap can be the cause of a damp attic. If there are cracks in the cement cap, water can get into the inner layers of the chimney masonry. The bricks, stones or block around the chimney may also be a source for the leaks.

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Problem solving is the nature of our world. Researchers and scientists create things, methods or new products only to find that a secondary problem develops as a result of the initial solution! This happened with the newer high efficiency furnaces. These furnaces deliver 90 percent or more combustion heat to your home, compared to old coal furnaces which only delivered about 50 percent. Here are some things to keep in mind for hot water heater venting into old chimneys.

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Many old homes in the United States have aged masonry chimneys with gas furnaces that use the chimney as a vent. Replacing such appliances will leave you with an oversized chimney and draft problems. With stainless steel alloy chimney liners, you can solve this problem. The following tips when talking to companies will count if you're making this adjustment.

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To prevent problems resulting from chimney construction and fireplace design, check out the following resources. Because firebox design is critical to the success of the fireplace, consult the fireplace sizing chart before building.

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