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Warm nights with cozy fires are only possible if you have your chimney in the best condition. However, this is not always the case. Even the sturdiest of chimneys may encounter issues from time to time.

If you are worried about chimney leaks and other damages, you should check out this guide. Here are the signs and causes to watch out for to avoid water leaks in your chimney.

Signs That Your Chimney Is Leaking

Many homeowners are unsure if their chimney is leaking, especially if it has yet to cause any major problems. Here are the main signs of water leaks in your chimney that indicate it is in need of a thorough inspection:

1. Bad Odors

The smell of mildew and mould is a common sign that there is water damage in your chimney. This bad smell can be very unpleasant and foul, but it is usually not a sign of a serious leak. The smell of mildew and mould often appears in places that are difficult to clean and keep dry.

2. Crumbling Bricks

Bricks are a typical chimney construction material, and it is easy to tell if they have been damaged by water. Crumbling bricks or stones can be a sign that water leaks in your chimney have weakened the structure of the chimney and the bricks. If you are dealing with crumbling bricks and stones, your chimney may need to be replaced entirely.

3. Watermarks on the House

Another telltale sign that your chimney is leaking is watermarks on the walls or the ceiling of your house. These marks may look like round spots with a darker colour, or they may be long streaks. Watermarks are caused by water leaks and are usually accompanied by a bad smell.

4. Sound or Vibration Oddities

If your chimney is leaking, it is likely that you will feel or hear the problem. Listen for any strange sounds coming from your chimney, including constant thumping or rattling. Your chimney may also vibrate or make unusual knocking sounds. If you hear any odd sounds coming from your chimney, you may have a water leak.

5. Missing Chimney Cap

If you notice that your chimney cap has disappeared, it could be a sign of a major problem. When you take a look at your chimney cap, you should have one that fits tightly on the chimney. A missing cap is a sure sign that a water leak has damaged the chimney cap.

Causes of Chimney Leaks

Sometimes it can be hard to figure out exactly why your chimney is leaking. It is easier to identify the problem when you know what caused it, especially when it comes to chimney leaks. Some causes of water leaks in your chimney include:

1. Mortar Joint Deterioration

Just like any other building material, the mortar that connects bricks together can deteriorate over time. One of the most common reasons for mortar joint deterioration is water leaks and water damage. If the water damage is severe enough, the mortar may crumble and deteriorate and may even cause the entire structure to collapse.

2. Improper Building

Badly constructed chimneys are another common reason for water leaks in your chimney. The chimney may not be the right size or the right shape, which can make it easier for water to leak in.

3. Bad Chimney Placement

Some chimneys are placed in locations where they can be damaged easily. If your chimney is near a tree, it may get damaged by falling branches, as well as in a heavy snowstorm, which can cause it to collapse.

Final Thoughts

If you think your chimney is in need of repairs, you should consider getting it checked out by a professional. If the damage is severe, you may need to replace your entire chimney, which can be a very costly but crucial repair.

For first-rate chimney rebuild in Toronto, trust only Red Robin Masonry. We offer a range of services, including brickwork, chimney work, stonework, and more! Contact us today to request a service.

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Spring brings a slew of new and exciting opportunities. Others are looking forward to the start of the baseball season, while others are just looking forward to spending more time outside without the burden of a thick winter coat.

Whatever your plans for the holiday season, one thing is sure: if you have a fireplace, it’s time to perform some seasonal maintenance!

Let’s begin with a disclaimer before we get started. There are many things you can do to improve the beauty and health of your fireplace, but none of them can substitute for expert maintenance from a trained and licensed specialist. It’s best to invest in any necessary masonry services, repairs, or sweeping services.

Cleaning Up Your Firebox

Do you have a wood-burning fireplace in your home? That means that your firebox will be full of ash by the end of the winter. While an inch or so of ash is helpful throughout the burning season (to help feed future fires), it’s always ideal to remove all of it before calling it a day.

Because ash is acidic, it may quickly corrode your fireplace grate if left exposed for an extended period. You also don’t want your fireplace exposed to moisture, which ash is infamous for attracting. Water is the number one enemy of masonry, and it can demolish whatever structure it comes into contact with.

Waiting at least 24 hours after the last fire has been extinguished is an excellent place to start. This reduces the chance of getting burned. Lay down some tarps or old sheets to keep your furniture and floors from being messed up when the time is up. A facemask and safety goggles will also be necessary for your safety.

A metal scoop and an airtight bucket are the following two items you’ll need. Because embers may survive in your ash pile for days, these two items are a need.

Note that the ashes should never be vacuumed. If any embers or sparks are left behind, you might be creating an enormous fire risk by doing this seemingly quick and easy cleanup.

The bucket should never be kept indoors, in a garage, a shed, or on your deck or porch. The container might catch fire, so be careful! Toss it out, use it in your garden, preserve it for stains, or do anything you choose with the ash after being convinced it’s safe to handle.

Clear Up Your Glass Door

If your fireplace’s glass doors are covered in soot stains, ash, and grime, you may clean this with newspaper, water, and some leftover ash. Just wet a ball of newspaper, dab it in cooled-down ashes, and wipe away.

Give the Stone a Wash

Some people want to end strong by wiping off their bricks, stonework, or marble. This may be a terrific way to keep your system looking younger and fresher. However, if even the most thorough washing doesn’t seem to help, it may be time to consider a fireplace a remodel.

The Importance of an Inspection

Annual inspections are the most effective approach to ensuring that your system remains safe and secure.

If hidden damage is not treated, it will worsen. Any additional creosote deposits will break down your chimney components and possibly cause some unpleasant scents once the A/C is turned on.


Removing ashes and soot and basic cleaning should be a routine annual activity if you own a fireplace. However, if you have any reason to believe that blockage, cracks, or warping have compromised your fireplace, you should hire chimney repair services to inspect and repair it.

Are you looking for chimney repair services in Thornhill, ON? Red Robin Masonry is Toronto’s most trusted masonry company. Request a quote today!

A flagstone is a type of cut in a flat stone, normally rectangular or square. It is used to line patios and walkways and could be made of limestone, sandstone, or shale.

The Features of a Flagstone

The flagstone is a great choice when it comes to patios and walkways. This is because they have a rough-textured surface, making them safe to walk on when wet.

Another reason why people like these stones is their aesthetics. Although it is commonly seen as squares or rectangles, they can also be cut into irregular shapes, making a fun pattern. Depending on where you place them, they can also come in various colours, which could easily spice up your lawn or your backyard.

Working with a flagstone can be a little tricky. They are usually porous, which makes it important to seal them properly. Additionally, these stones are heavier than clay or concrete tiles, making them tough to install. You may need some professional help to ensure that it is made easier for you.

What Are the Benefits of Using Flagstone?

Flagstone has several benefits. They are tougher than the surrounding surfaces, ensuring they are safe to walk on in the winter. They are also known to withstand the elements better, making them easy to maintain and clean. These rocks are also heat reflective, which means they don’t trap heat in your patio.

However, one of the most important benefits of using a flagstone is that they are eco-friendly. These are cut from natural stones, meaning that less energy is used when you install them. They are also eco-friendly because they are made from natural building materials.

What Are the Disadvantages of Using Flagstone?

They are hard to install due to their weight. This can pose problems if you try to build it on your own. Another disadvantage of using a flagstone is that they are porous, which means they can be a breeding ground for microbes, such as algae and moss.

However, these disadvantages are easily solved. You can hire a professional to help you install the stones, and you just need to be aware of how to care for the stones to ensure that they stay clean.

How Do I Care for Flagstones?

When caring for your flagstone, there are certain things you need to remember. These are listed below.

1. Seal It Properly

To ensure that the water does not gather on the stone’s surface, it is important to ensure that it is adequately sealed. This will ensure that the stone stays clean and prevents algae or moss from growing.

2. Clean It Regularly

There are two ways to clean your flagstone. The first is to sweep it. This works for leaves and dust gathered on the stone. However, if you notice mould and fungi growing on your stone, you need to apply bleach or muriatic acid and brush it off. Make sure to rinse your stone thoroughly afterwards to avoid damaging it.

3. Repair Them When Needed

Depending on how often you use your patio, it may need repair. This is especially true for older ones. This requires you to open and clean the crack, fill it with a new mortar, and chisel off any leftover bits.


A flagstone is an excellent alternative to paving your patio or walkway. Unlike most materials in a home improvement store, this rock is very versatile and comes in different shapes and sizes. Although it can be challenging to install, it is well worth the effort.

If you wish to get flagstones installed in Toronto, you can hire us at Red Robin Masonry. We offer masonry services in Toronto, including brickwork, chimney work, stonework, and more. Hire us today!

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Intelligent landscape design is essential for creating an outdoor sanctuary, whether you have a small courtyard in the city or a sprawling rural estate. This involves selecting plants, trees, and other landscaping objects that please your aesthetic senses and serve a practical purpose in making your garden or backyard space easy to use, attractive, productive, and relaxing.

A few strategically placed plants, stones, and trees may turn your property into a personal haven. By designing a well-proportioned area with a decent flow, you’ll have a space where you can relax and entertain guests. If you’d like some tips on making your garden more appealing, you should read through this article.

Here are four creative ideas for landscaping that beautify your home.

1. Add Edible Plants

Don’t limit your landscaping to only ornamental plants, many edible plants are beautiful and provide a tasty treat for your family. Plant a row of heirloom tomatoes along your back fence, or fill a few pots with lettuce, spinach, and other fast-growing greens that you can harvest during the spring and summer. If you want something more exotic, try growing some watermelons and squashes or plant some apple, pear and cherry trees.

2. Create a Water Feature

Water features like small ponds, fountains, and reflecting pools have long been used in gardens to add interest, life, and visual appeal. A small waterfall cascading into a rocky pool or a bubbling fountain adds a sense of tranquillity and is a great way to create a peaceful environment in your backyard.

They also benefit from attracting birds and butterflies to your property. This is a solid choice to complement your home’s exteriors through natural visual elements.

3. Install a Fence

If you have a large, open yard, a fence can provide much-needed privacy. A metal or wooden fence is a great way to divide up the space into manageable sections, give you a place to grow a few climbing plants, and help you keep small children and pets from straying too far.

A fence need not be high and forbidding. A lattice or wooden slat fence can be beautiful and an excellent place for climbing plants to grow. Additionally, you can plant some vines along a low wall to soften the barrier’s features.

4. Consider Hardscaping

If you want to create a functional and beautiful space, you might want to consider integrating some hardscaping into your design.

While beautiful landscaping plants and trees will add immeasurable charm to your property, hardscaping, such as driveways, patios and decks, can add functionality and convenience. For example, a driveway provides a place to park your car. It also serves as a barrier to prevent erosion and is the perfect place to add some of those decorative plants like small ornamental fruit trees, ground covers, and flowers.


A little creativity and imagination go a long way toward transforming an ordinary property into a beautiful private retreat. Putting these creative ideas for landscaping your home into practice takes a little effort, but the process of making the decision is fun and can add to the enjoyment of your property.

However, if you have a hard time working on this, especially hardscaping, you’d like to entrust it to the professionals. A company you can trust for stonework in Toronto is Red Robin Masonry! Our services include brickwork, chimney work, parging, stonework, and more! Contact us now!