Even for the most experienced homeowners, chimneys are always trouble to work with, not so much on how to use it, but more on maintaining it. The problems that can show up in a chimney generally occur in extremely hard-to-reach areas, and, unfortunately, ignoring the chimney can bring about serious consequences. As such, if you are purchasing a home that has a chimney, here are the things you need to do to ensure your chimney is cared for properly.


  1. Find out what type of chimney you have


The first thing you need to do whenever buying a home with a chimney is to learn what kind of chimney it has. Remember, not all chimneys are the same, which means the maintenance program you are going to have for the type of chimney you have will differ. That said, there are three main types of chimneys out there: single-walled metal, masonry, and pre-fabricated metal. Find out which one applies to your chimney, then do the necessary research to learn more about it.


  1. Check the flue once in a while


The flue on any chimney is responsible for keeping your home ventilated. It is a pipe fixture inside your chimney liner that diverts smoke and other gases out of the building. Over time, the flue can get blocked, and there are ways to tell that this is happening in your chimney. For instance, if you feel like using the chimney makes your home smokey, the flue needs some work. Have a professional check the flue if this is the case.


  1. Pay attention to any telltale signs on the brick


The bricks, along with the mortar, used on chimneys are generally meant to resist high temperatures. However, these bricks will deteriorate over time. Signs of old brick and mortar include cracking and crumbling. If you discover any of these signs on your chimney, you will need the help of professionals to chisel them out and fix them.


  1. Consider purchasing a chimney liner and cap


A chimney liner and a cap can do multiple things. For liners, it can protect your home from heat and fire produced by the fireplace by acting as an extra barrier. As for the cap, it protects the top part of your chimney, keeping it free from any unwanted materials from entering the chimney. If your chimney has only one or the other, or neither of the two, do have them planned to be installed. It will extend your chimney’s lifetime and lead to better overall comfort inside your home.




With all of that out of the way, we hope you are much more confident in tackling your chimney. To summarize, you need to know what chimney you are working with and set plans to have it maintained every so often. This is vital to ensure your chimney performs at its best, providing your home with a safe source of heat to keep everyone warm, especially during the winter season. With that said, if you find that your chimney needs some serious repair, hire professionals to do the job for you. They are equipped with the latest knowledge and tools to ensure a safe and efficient repair job to get your chimney back to its former glory.


Red Robin Masonry is a professional contractor offering services from brick repair to chimneys to ensure the perfect home for you to live in and enjoy life. If you need chimney repair services in Toronto, request a quote from us today!




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There is nothing more alarming than having water damage in your basement. As it sits below ground level at the lowest part of your house, it is easily and quickly subject to water exposure. 

This water problem can be caused by a handful of reasons, such as flooding, impaired drainage, appliance failure, and even water leaks. When left neglected, it can cause damages to your property and compromise its structural integrity. Hence, keeping water out of your basement is a must.

That said, here’s our practical guide on how to protect your basement from water exposure:


  1. Clean your gutter and extend your downspout

Your gutters and downspouts play a crucial role in protecting your home against water damage. While your gutters properly drain rainwater away from your house, the downspouts connected to them direct this water to a drain or ground level. 

That said, clean and clear your gutters regularly. That way, they won’t have accumulated debris and get clogged with rainwater to avoid any potential leaks. As for your downspouts, it helps to extend them further away from your home to protect your basement!


  1. Slope the ground away from your foundation 

The ground next to your foundation needs to be properly paid attention to. Having a levelled ground is a big red flag—much more if it is more elevated than your basement. When it rains, the water will run to your property, down to your basement!

That said, be sure that the ground slopes away from your house foundation. This is to ensure that the rainwater gets diverted away from your home. Make sure that the “crown” around your house must be sloped at least six inches in all directions.


  1. Seal the holes, gaps, and any openings in your basement

It’s easy for water leaks to get into your basement via any openings, whether through your plumbing pipes or even concrete walls. For this reason, be sure to seal any gaps or holes in your basement structures using polyurethane caulk or hydraulic cement. 

If the water stems from the flooring itself, you must fix the groundwater problem, as sealing the openings won’t help. For the best results, hire a professional plumber or contractor to do the job for you!


  1. Install waterproof basement walls

It’s best to construct or remodel your basement with waterproof walls. To do this, you must apply your interior walls with waterproofing solutions. Some effective solutions include concrete coatings, silicate-based concrete sealers, waterproofing paint, or plastic sheets or panels. 

On the other hand, you may consider waterproofing the exterior walls as well to fix any gaps in the foundation. However, this can be a bit costly and require a professional contractor for the excavation and installation.



At this point, you now know how to protect your basement from water exposure. All it takes is to clear your gutter and extend your downspout, slope the ground away from your foundation, seal the holes, gaps, and openings, and have waterproof interior and exterior walls. 

While at it, be sure to hire a highly reliable masonry service to reconstruct your basement structures such that they are all waterproof. Ultimately, protecting your basement from the water will make a difference in maintaining your residential property’s overall structural integrity!

We’re one of the best masonry companies in Toronto, providing services such as tuckpointing, chimneys and fireplaces, parging, brick repair, concrete and foundation, and stone water. If you need waterproofing services to protect your basement from water, get in touch with us or request a quote today!


Many people were not ready for the winter season because it came earlier than originally anticipated. Although most homes have heating systems that help combat the cold, a great many households still heavily rely on their fireplaces to provide heat and warmth throughout the home. 

Winters have become increasingly colder in the past years. The key to keeping the cold out of the house is the proper maintenance of your fireplace. Here are a few tips to ensure that your fireplace continues to do its job at keeping your home warm and cozy.


5 Fireplace And Chimney Care Tips To Avoid Winter Problems

If your home is reliant on your fireplace for warmth and comfort during the cold winter months, it is important that you keep your chimney and fireplace in good working condition. 


1 – Check Your Chimney Cap

Summertime is the best time of the year to inspect your chimney cap for damage. However, if it is already past fall and you have not had it inspected, it is never too late to do it. The care of your chimney and fireplace should start with the top of your chimney. There are more chances that this part of the chimney will have sustained more damage than the fireplace or the chimney itself, so it is wise to check on it before any other part. Check to see if any birds have built any nests on your chimney cap, or if it has sustained any water damage, and fix these problems before you light a fire below.


2 – Keep Your Firebox Clean

It will come as no surprise that the firebox is one of the dirtiest parts of the chimney. Although the chimney cap should be the part that you check first, the firebox should be the part that you clean the most. There will be remnants of previous fires left in the firebox, including any chemical debris from anything other than wood that you put into the fire. It is essential that you clean your firebox after every fire to ensure that it doesn’t get too dirty.


3 – Make Sure Your Chimney Liner Isn’t Worn Out

Chimney liners may become a fire hazard if they develop cracks and holes over time. Having regular checks on your chimney liner will help avoid chimney fires as well as let you know when it is time to replace it. Homeowners often are unaware of damages to their chimney liner, so having a professional check your chimney before lighting a fire in your fireplace is crucial to the safety of your home.


4 – Watch Out For The Effects Of Winter

There are effects of winter that can specifically affect your chimney. For example, the Stack Effect and the constant freezing and thawing can do a number on its components. The Stack Effect refers to how uneven temperatures and air pressure work inside your chimney. It may cause a backdraft of smoke or cold air to enter your home if you aren’t careful. 



Before you start decorating your home for the holidays, it is important to do a thorough check on your chimney first. Check for damage on its inner lining and on the chimney cap before the winter season begins. If you do not know how to get started on this, there are companies that are purely dedicated to fixing masonry issues and maintaining these parts of your home.

At Red Robin Masonry, we understand that investment but also the stresses that come along with maintaining it. It’s often hard to find a tradesperson or contractor you can trust. If you are looking for masonry services in Toronto, give us a call, and we will see how we can best help you.

During the colder seasons, one of the most memorable moments is curling up by the fireplace with a warm drink and a warm blanket while being surrounded by the whole family. That fond memory during your childhood is genuinely unforgettable, thanks to the fireplace that made it happen! For your house to make more great winter memories indoors, you should ensure that your chimney is well-maintained and can outlast the season. 

Unfortunately, not all homeowners think the same. Some are not familiar with the importance of hiring someone to ensure that their chimneys are still functioning throughout the year. After all, what’s the worst that could happen? A lot more than you might imagine, that’s for sure!

This article will explore the importance of chimney maintenance and all the questions surrounding it.


The Threat Caused by Your Chimney

Chimneys are not used all the time, and there is no special requirement needed before you start a fire with it. That makes it difficult to believe that these also require the same maintenance as other parts of the house. This misunderstanding, unfortunately, makes it quite common to fall behind on fireplace maintenance. However, forgetting to do it regularly will make your house a fire hazard!

Heating equipment accounts for the most reported home fires, with failure to clean chimneys as the leading factor contributing to these cases. 

Here is what you do not know happens inside a chimney that is not in use: your chimney innocently gathers all the smoke, gases, and other fire residues over time. These residues—called the creosote—are highly flammable! Brief exposure to a specific heat can instantly cause a chimney fire out of it. What is worse is that the longer you make the creosote stay in your chimney, the harder it is to remove and clean up. 

The chimney is also prone to carbon monoxide poisoning. Breathing in the noxious fumes may not immediately cause sickness, but it can definitely be detrimental to your health in the long run. 

If you want to avoid these from happening, consider scheduling annual maintenance from a  reliable contractor.


Proper Chimney Maintenance: What to Expect

Like the other parts of your home, a regular annual inspection for your chimney is necessary. Conducting one every year will help you learn the condition of your fireplace and if repairs or issues need to be addressed immediately.


Here is what you should expect when undergoing chimney maintenance:

    • Step 1: Inspectors will do a basic visual inspection of the entire fireplace. They will go through each part and make sure that they are in good condition. They usually use common tools like flashlights, screwdrivers, and pliers. They search for wear and tear and any indication of chimney problems.

    • Step 2: During this part, they are more likely to sweep your chimney to help them see the insides better. They use special equipment to inspect the hard to reach parts of the chimney thoroughly.
    • Step 3 (Conditional): This part of the maintenance is only crucial if demolition is required to rebuild parts of the chimney. It also uses some camera tools to reveal the chimney’s hidden details that can’t be seen with the naked eye. This part may also affect other parts of your home, so ensure to get a reliable professional to conduct these for you.



There is not much to expect during chimney maintenance, but it already has a huge impact on one’s home safety and security. If your home has a fireplace, make sure to schedule annual maintenance and check-up. That small act will guarantee the safety of your home during the winter.  

If you are looking for chimney repair services in Mississauga, Red Robin Masonry is here to do it for you! We will make sure that your chimney is running smoothly at times when you need it the most. Contact us today to book an appointment!

Wintertime is fast approaching, and you may be concerned about your masonry work. It may be because you realized that you need a chimney for access to a reliable fireplace or that you may also need stone walls to keep intruders away from your property. Whatever your reason is, you must know the facts to ensure that all the resources you will invest in your masonry projects will be put to fair use. Fortunately, for you, we have just the information you need! 

In this article, we will share all the essential information you need to know about doing any mason-related projects for your property. First, we will address whether or not you can do these projects without any issues. Then, we will talk about the types of viable projects to do during the winter. Take this as an opportunity to invest in your household and keep your family safe and happy! 

The Truth About Doing Masonry During the Winter

The general rule of thumb for masons during the winter season is to rest because it’s mostly impractical to do any services since snow and harsh breezes can easily affect work quality. However, these are also misconceptions. The truth is you can still do masonry during the winter, though you need to have professional expertise and tools to ensure utmost success. 

Many masons are discouraged from doing projects during the colder months because of its drawbacks on mortar mixing—an essential process in the industry. Ideally, you want to mix mortar with anti-freeze material, usually undertaken during warmer temperatures, at above zero degrees Fahrenheit, to prevent white bleed marks and corrosion from happening.

However, there are some experienced masons who know how to mortar mix even during the winter. The key is to make small batches in a heated space, like your garage or indoors with your heating cranked up. This process does require more assistance than usual, as masons do need their appendices to bring them the mortar mix by batch to work on the project.

As such, your masonry project can continue during the winter months, but you need to be willing to adapt. On top of that, you may also have to wait for the warmer months to ensure that your masonry is treated with the utmost care and attention. The point here is that you must know what types of projects can be done and consult with your local masonry company to make well-informed decisions. 

Possible Masonry Projects for the Winter  

Consider the following winter projects for your property and consult further with professional masons. That way, these experts can advise whether or not the current weather conditions and materials at hand can lead to the success of your project: 

  • Fireplace remodelling: Masons can enhance your home’s heating capabilities by working on your fireplace, but the indoor space must be warm, and there must be ample space for mortar mixing and bricklaying. 
  • Masonry inspecting: There is a period during late winter when you can request your local mason to check the surfaces, as long as properly exposed and the weather conditions are ideal for estimates regarding remedial work. Booking inspections enable you to fast track your masonry project and prepare all the key resources needed.
  • Retro-fitting brick or block in-fills for wall and door openings: This masonry service can easily be accomplished during the colder months since masons only need to install metal beams to support the upper building’s foundations. That way, the project can easily be completed by making openings within blocks or bricks.


Masonry during the winter months can be challenging, but now you know that there are ways around it. Fortunately, you now have a better understanding to ensure each project’s successful completion. You just need to consult with your local mason to provide you with the best solutions. 

Are you looking for professional masonry services in Toronto for your property? We at Red Robin Masonry can provide you with that. We are your experienced team of contractors, equipped to help you maintain your space in any season! Contact us today to get your masonry done for your convenience!