Chimney & Fireplace Repairs:
We’re San Antonio and Austin’s Trusted Team for It All
If you own a fireplace in San Antonio, Austin, or somewhere nearby, we want to be the team you trust for repairs and maintenance. We invest in certifications, training, and industry memberships, empowering us to go into each job with all of the knowledge we need to set you up right. We’re also known for our professionalism and high levels of integrity, so you can rest easier knowing we’ll always put your needs first.
Ready to get started? We’ve been serving this area for years, and we’re confident we can restore and repair your system, so that it operates well for you for the long haul. Give us a call now to get started.
Our Repair Services Are Comprehensive
What do our certified and insured sweeps offer in terms of chimney repair and restoration work?
Chimney Cap Installation
- keeping rain and water from entering your chimney
- preventing downdrafts from entering your home
- blocking animals from making a home in your flue
- keeping flying debris out of your chimney
- blocking stray sparks from landing on your home
- protecting your interior system from threats and potential damage
- keeping your liner in the best shape possible
A chimney cap is a proper rain hood that we custom-fabricate for your chimney. Our chimney caps can be made of 24-gauge powder coated steel, stainless steel, galvalume, or copper. A proper chimney cap should keep the chimney fire safe, prevent water leakage, exclude all wildlife, and – most importantly – add to the aesthetic value of the home.
Chimney caps are affordable and quick to install, but this installation job should always be completed by a professional to ensure a correct fit and proper seal. Otherwise, both the cap and your chimney could end up experiencing damage. All our chimney caps come with a limited lifetime warranty.
Chimney Crown Repair
The chimney crown sits at the top of your flue, helping the chimney cap keep rain and bad weather at bay, so your masonry doesn’t suffer as a result. Your chimney crown should be designed with a downward slope, so that it can effectively direct rainwater out and away from the sides of your masonry chimney.
But a downward slope isn’t the only qualification for a reliable crown. It needs to be built right and from reliable materials too. We know exactly how to approach a crown repair job to guarantee you the long-lasting results you’re hoping for.
Leaky Chimney Repairs
Water can be highly damaging to your home and chimney in a number of ways. It encourages clogs, rust, wood rot, masonry decay, mortar joint deterioration, crown damage, and a whole lot more. And once it starts breaking things down, putting a stop to it can be a challenge.
If you have any type of water damage or any leaks present throughout your chimney or fireplace, call us in for repairs right away. Then, once everything is fixed up and ready to go, we can implement preventive maintenance – like chimney cap installation, crown repairs, waterproofing, and more – to ensure you don’t face damage again any time soon.
If your chimney masonry is looking drab, discolored, and broken down, this not only affects home aesthetics… it can put your household at risk too. We offer a long list of masonry repairs, like tuckpointing, brick replacement, and more, and afterward we can waterproof it to ensure it doesn’t face damage again anytime soon.
Fireboxes could be considered the unsung heroes of a chimney’s setup or anatomy. These take on the brunt of your fires’ heat and, because of this, need to be constructed appropriately and regularly maintained. If your firebox is showing any signs of cracking or deterioration, having an expert out to evaluate the area is a must.
There are three big jobs the chimney liner has:
1. Chimney liners promote efficient functioning. Chimney liners that are sized and fitted correctly ensure the smoke and fumes produced by your fireplace can safely and efficiently exit the home. Ill-fitted, broken-down liners lead to deterioration and can invite hazards.
2. Chimney liners keep your masonry in good shape. Your fires produce many acidic fumes that can cause your brick and mortar to break down – and if this starts happening, you’ll note inefficiency and an increased risk of gas leaks and fire hazards. Masonry repairs can be timely and costly to address, so taking preventive measures to avoid them is always the better route.
3. Chimney liners protect your home. If your masonry is crumbling and there are no barriers keeping the smoke and heat in your chimney contained, it won’t be long before either your woodwork ignites or the people in your home start inhaling hazardous gases. Liners play a significant role in safer fireplace operations.
We use HeatShield® products and methods, that we are trained and certified on, to restore liners throughout Boerne, New Braunfels, Seguin, Schertz, Spring Branch, Helotes, and more.
Smoky Fireplace Troubleshooting
There are a number of reasons why you might be experiencing smoke back-up in your home. Some common issues include poor draft, buildup in the flue, issues with negative air pressure in the home, improper chimney height, or even a flue that’s too cold (although, that’s less common here in the San Antonio and Austin areas).
Approaching smoky chimney issues is something that needs to be done on a case-by-case basis, which is why trusting a company that offers personalized service is a must. We’ll work hard to investigate the issue, so we can address which specific issues are ailing your system – then implement the best services to resolve them.
New Construction & Rebuilds
Is your chimney past the point of requiring a few simple repairs and replacement parts? Sometimes, the more economical option is to simply rebuild the chimney, rather than invest in a series of costly repair jobs. Now, this may seem like a daunting or intimidating task, but if you work with our techs, we guarantee to get things done efficiently and in accordance with your schedule and budget.
Or, if you’re starting from scratch completely, we can help with that too. Tell us what you’re envisioning, and we’ll work our magic to bring your dream fireplace setup to life.
We Also Offer Fireplace Replacements
Looking to replace your current system with a wood stove, factory-built fireplace, direct vent fireplace, or something else?
Like a rebuild, this ordeal can feel like a task that’s too overwhelming to take on, but our techs can make the process smooth, streamlined, and as stress-free as possible.
Reach out now to start discussing your options, timelines, and budget. We’re certain that we can figure out a path forward that makes sense for you.
How Do I Know When Chimney Repairs Are Necessary?
First things first, the best way to ensure repairs are spotted, then promptly addressed, is by booking annual chimney inspections. While some issues are obvious and easy to point out, many chimney issues are hidden with your flue walls where only an expert eye is able to spy them.
That said, there are things you can watch for as a homeowner. We recommend keeping an eye out for the following:
- Loose or missing brickwork
- Crumbling or missing mortar joints
- Discoloration throughout your brick or mortar
- Excessive smoke while using the fireplace
- Smoke escaping through cracks or holes in the masonry
- Unusual smells coming from the fireplace
- Moisture inside of your home – specifically near the chimney
- Obvious gaps, holes, or cracking in the masonry
If you note any of the things above, don’t wait to get an expert on the job. Stop putting your fireplace to use and reach out to one of our experienced techs right away.
Will Insurance Cover Chimney Repairs?
If there’s one thing that we’ve made clear thus far, it’s that investing in chimney repairs promptly and regularly is an imperative part of keeping your fireplace functioning well and your home safer all around. But what if repair work simply isn’t in the budget?
Well, sometimes, your home insurance will cover chimney repairs, and if you’re not sure if yours is covered, it’s definitely worth looking into. In many cases, your system will have adequate coverage if an outside event – like a wind storm, chimney fire, tornado, or other natural disaster – caused damage, so that repairs can be addressed before more home damage occurs. These are known as “sudden occurrences.”
What’s a sudden occurrence?
Most insurance policies will not cover the normal wear and tear most chimneys experience, like water damage, issues connected with poor installation, clogs, or anything to do with lack of maintenance or neglect.
But… they should cover sudden or accidental occurrences, which essentially means an event that’s unexpected has happened (that you couldn’t have prepared for) and caused damage.
Who should I talk to about my insurance claim?
When it comes time to file your claim, be sure to talk to an experienced, CSIA-certified chimney sweep. They’ll know the ins and outs of the process and will have experience helping homeowners cover all the bases for meeting an insurance company’s requirements.
You’ll also need to talk with your insurance agent to ensure you’re getting every document necessary to get the money you deserve.
One thing is for certain – documentation is key. No matter what insurance you have or what your agent is saying, document everything from start to finish – like the date the damage occurred, the name of the techs helping you, when they completed the evaluation, what they said about your damage, etc.
What Should I Know About Leaky Chimney Damage?
One important thing chimney owners need to be aware of is how damaging water and excess moisture can be to their chimney. In fact, water has been deemed as your system’s “worst enemy” by experts all throughout the nation, as well as by the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA).
What makes water such a big threat to your fireplace and chimney?
- Masonry Decay:
When it comes to water damage, your masonry – namely your bricks and mortar – are one of the biggest sufferers. Bricks will fall apart and go missing, while your mortar will weaken, crumble, and leave your system vulnerable.
- Rust: Your chimney has numerous metal components (like your flashing, chimney cap, chase cover, damper, etc.) that are important for keeping your system safer. Unfortunately, if not protected or installed correctly, these can quickly rust and break down.
- Rotted Woodwork: Any adjacent woodwork to your chimney can easily become warped and rotted if exposed to water. This is usually the result of faulty flashing, which can open a clear pathway for water to reach the areas of your home nearest your chimney.
- Staining/Discoloration: Water can cause staining throughout your brickwork and on your home’s interior walls and ceilings. If you notice any green, brown, black, or even white spots on your chimney exterior, then water is reaching areas that it shouldn’t be – and some professional help is in order.
- Mold/Mildew Growth: Mold thrives in areas that are damp and dark, and a chimney that has moisture meets both of those requirements. Mold in your flue can lead to poor indoor air quality, clogs, inefficiency, and more, and it’s notoriously hard to remove.
- Liner Deterioration: Chimney liners are essential for safer and more efficient fireplace functioning. Unfortunately, leaks and water damage can break a liner down, inhibiting it from doing its job. A chimney cap is essential for protecting your liner from outside moisture.
- Clogs/Obstructions: Moisture in your flue encourages buildup and clogs, which then affects airflow, efficiency, and how safely your system can operate.
The good news is that the team here at Wolfman Chimney has ways to combat all of these potential threats. We’ll start by addressing any issues you’re experiencing (like fixing leaky flashing, sweeping out any clogs, replacing your chimney cap, tuckpointing your mortar joints, etc.), then implement services and products that will prevent them from recurring again down the line.
Ask us about your options today. We’re here and happy to help you out.
How Can I Keep My Fireplace Operating More Efficiently?
Struggling with your system not pouring enough heat into your living space? This can be really frustrating, especially if you’re trying to enjoy some warmth on a cooler day. Another common problem is not getting fires to burn long and strong in a wood-burning system. Weak flames don’t do much for keeping your space cozy – and they don’t provide a great ambiance either.
So, what can you do to keep things running smoother and more efficiently?
Upgrade Your Appliance
One option is to upgrade your system to one that has a stronger reputation for heating. Open wood fireplaces, for example, are notorious for losing heat up the chimney. No matter what you do, heat loss is inevitable. By putting a gas insert into this space, though, you’ll notice a lot more heat output – and a lot less maintenance too.
There’s also the option of switching to a wood-fueled insert, if you’re not wanting to switch fuel types. Regardless of your fuel preferences, we’re certain we can find a new appliance that would better meet your heating needs.
Burn Only Seasoned Firewood
If you operate a wood-burning system, burning only seasoned firewood is a must. That means no wrapping paper at Christmas time should be thrown in, no paper plates during large family get-togethers, and no untreated wood either.
What is seasoned wood?
Seasoned wood is wood that has been cut, split, and dried out for at least 6 months. It should have a moisture content somewhere between 15% and 25%, so that your fires don’t have to burn through excess moisture before really getting going. This not only results in less heat and weaker flames, but could mean more acidic fumes in your flue too – which results in more creosote buildup.
Book Regular Maintenance
Scheduling annual inspections and regular chimney cleanings with a certified and fully insured chimney sweep is another must for maintaining high levels of fireplace efficiency. No matter what type of system you have or what type of fuel you burn in it, annual chimney inspections are imperative.
Why? Because then your sweep can spot any buildup, damages, or other threats that may be putting your system and home at risk. And it most definitely won’t perform as well until any issues are complete.
Along with this, be sure you don’t put off repairs if your sweep says some are in order. Chimney damages will only worsen with time, meaning minor issues can turn into big (and expensive) problems fast. The sooner you get professional care, the more money you’ll save in the long run.
Know Your Fireplace
While trusting an expert for chimney maintenance is important, knowing how your system works and how to operate it correctly is imperative for both efficiency and safety. For instance, you wouldn’t want to consult a pro about a smoky fireplace when the only issue was a closed damper.
Make sure you’re well-versed in how to best operate your system and what tools you need to ensure optimum efficiency.
Do you have questions? Please reach out to us! As CSIA-certified sweeps, we’re dedicated to ensuring the home and business owners we serve are staying as safe and as satisfied as possible when running their fireplace, stove, or insert. Please give us a call with any concerns or inquiries, so we can offer appropriate guidance and counsel.
When Should I Book My Repairs?
Now, if you’re in the height of your burning season, scheduling your chimney repairs as soon as possible is clearly the right route to take. But if it’s maintenance that could potentially be put off a bit, is there an ideal time for having chimney repairs done?
You bet – the off-season. Most fireplace owners run their systems more during the fall and winter months when things cool down a bit and the holidays are in full swing. This means our schedule books fill up fast that time of year and blocking off spots can turn into a bit of a hassle – especially for homeowners who already have full calendars. Scheduling in the spring or summer months is the preferred route because we’ll have more time to book you during a time that’s most convenient for your schedule.
But that’s not all there is to it – booking repairs early in the year also gives us ample time to get them done. Let’s say we book you for an inspection in early fall. Great! You can get it completed quickly, then get to putting your system to use. …unless we spot damages that need to be addressed.
In that case, we’d need to block off even more time to complete repairs. And since fall and winter is a busy season, finding chunks of time to get it done may be challenging. All of this results in you being forced to push back the start of your season for possibly weeks.
Once cooler or rainy weather comes around, we want you to be able to light your fireplace up with ease and peace of mind. By getting repairs done on the early side, you guarantee just that.
What Should Chimney Repairs Cost?
If you need chimney repairs, it’s always nice to know what to expect in terms of cost before diving into it. Unfortunately, it’s not always so cut and dried – which means we don’t like to give out an estimate before we have an accurate assessment of your unique situation.
Think of it like this. Your friend calls you up and asks, “I just saw this car for sale for $15,000… is that a good price?” Would you answer yes or no without asking any further questions? Probably not.
It’s the same with your chimney. We’d need to know the age of the unit, the fuel type, how extensive the damage is, and more. For instance, a chimney crown repair could consist of filling in some cracks or it could be that a full rebuild is needed. The same with liners – do you need a totally new liner or would a HeatShield® method work? And if HeatShield® is an option, which of the three methods would be best?
You see – there’s just not a clearcut set of guidelines we can give you right off the bat. What you can do is reach out to us and give us some more information about your unique situation, needs, and setup. That way, we can move forward with all of the info we need, then offer you the most accurate estimate possible.
Avoid Chimney Damages By Working With Our Experts Now
Damaged chimneys can be a real threat to your home, not only by increasing the risk of a potential house fire, but by affecting air quality too. If smoke and other fumes have easy access to the rest of your household, dangerous gases could be inhaled causing serious illnesses. (As a side note, indoor air quality will have negative impacts on your HVAC system, too, increasing the risk of damage or premature breakdowns.)
To top it all off, a damaged chimney is more at risk of tilting or collapsing, which can also cause significant damage to your home.
In the end, maintaining your chimney by keeping it swept, repaired, and regularly inspected is a necessary task – and one we’re here to help you with. If you notice any signs that suggest your system needs attention, or wish to schedule your annual chimney cleaning, don’t wait to reach out now. Give us a call at 830-620-9130 or book online with the best chimney sweeps in your area, today.