Does your home have a chimney and fireplace that you never use? Or maybe you’ve converted your fireplace to gas and no longer require the chimney for ventilation? Traditional wood burning fireplaces and chimneys can be difficult to maintain and often go unused when gas and electric options are so readily available in a variety of styles.
If you’ve decided to nix your wood burning fireplace and you have concerns about the safety and maintenance of it, you may want to consider removing it altogether. An unused and unmaintained chimney can be susceptible to leaks, animal entry and reduced energy efficiency. Of course, solving this problem isn’t as simple as slapping a cover on it, so here’s what you need to know about what goes into removing a fireplace or chimney from your home.
Have Your Chimney Professionally Inspected
Even though you’re having it removed, your chimney should still be inspected by a professional to ensure there are no cracks in the mortar inside the walls of your home as well as any structural damage or water penetration. Based on what they find, they can give their expert opinion on how to move forward with removal and if any internal repairs are needed first.
Make a Construction Plan
Depending on how much of the chimney you want removed – the entire column through to the hearth inside or just the chimney stack above the roofline – a construction plan will need to be made with a licensed contractor. If you’re converting the current fireplace to a gas or electric insert, you may only need to remove the chimney stack from the roofline up, but it’s something you should take the time to discuss with your contractor.
If you are wanting to close up the opening where the fireplace currently exists, it will require additional interior work such as light framing and drywall repairs. If the chimney is located in a shared wall, the construction will be a bit more complicated as demolition and repair work may be needed on both sides.
Use a Professional Roofing Company
Once it is time for the chimney stack opening to be covered up on your home’s roof, make sure a licensed, experienced roofing company is used for the roof repair portion of the project. They will ensure that the chimney is properly capped off using the method that makes the most sense for its location, material and the style of your home. Once the opening is capped, they will install roof sheathing and a roofing material that blends in with the rest of your existing roof.
Getting the right match and blending the new materials in an inconspicuous way takes talent and experience, so ask your roofing contractor if this is something they’ve done before and if they can give you any examples of their work.
Andrews Roofing Can Help
If you’re considering removing a chimney and/or fireplace from your home in the Hampton Roads region, contact Andrews Roofing. We have decades of experience in roofing repairs and materials and we can help you make a plan that will improve the look of your home and your enjoyment of it.