chimney repair services in Thornhill

Chimney tuckpointing and sweeping are often talked about as being important, but people can overlook chimney flashing. Chimney flashing is actually a very important part of taking care of your chimney and should be a high priority for all homeowners. The following blog post will cover all the nitty-gritty about chimney flashing and why it is such an important part of keeping your home safe.

What is Chimney Flashing? (And Why Is It Important?)

Chimney flashing is a type of metal that is used to protect the chimney from water damage. It is often installed around the chimney to cover the mortar joints and prevent water from penetrating inside the chimney. Metal flashing is designed to withstand fire, extreme heat, and water damage. However, it can easily be damaged or dislodged over time, which can allow water to get inside your chimney.

If water gets inside your chimney, it may cause masonry damage to the chimney itself, which can lead to a dangerous fire hazard. If masonry damage occurs, you will need to look at chimney repair or replacement, which can be an expensive proposition.

How do you Know When Your Flashing is Leaking?

1 – Damage to the Roof and Attic

If you notice that your roof or attic is leaking and you are not sure where the leak is coming from, it is likely coming from your chimney. A good way to confirm this is to check the weather stripping on the top of your chimney. Using a sharp tool, poke at the weather stripping to determine if it is loose. Water will move from one place to another based on the level of pressure. If it is loose and you have not noticed any leaks before, it is likely that the weather stripping is not working.

Leaks in the roof or the attic can add up to a lot of water each year, which will damage the structure of your home. Excessive moisture can be a breeding ground for mould and mildew, which is harmful to your health and can also add up to a lot of damage. To prevent roof leaks, make sure to hire a professional to do maintenance on your roof.

2 – Mold and Mildew

If you notice mould or mildew in your home, it is likely that water is seeping in through a leaking chimney. This moisture can cause a lot of damage to your home, including mould and mildew growth, which can be very harmful to your health. If you have a leak in your chimney, it is important to take care of it immediately to prevent structural damage or health issues.

3 – Black soot around the Chimney

If you notice black soot around your chimney, it could be due to a cracked or loose top plate. To determine if your top plate is loose, place a small bead of caulking around the top of the chimney, and then use something heavy to press down on it. If it squeezes out, your top plate is loose and needs to be tightened.


Keeping your chimney clean, dry, and well-maintained can prevent a lot of damage and health issues. If you know that your chimney has not been looked at in a while, it is important to schedule a chimney inspection to catch any problems before they develop. Sometimes, these problems can be fixed quickly and easily, but if they are not addressed, the damage can pile up and get to the point where you need to replace parts of your chimney.

If you need chimney repair services in Thornhill, come to Red Robin Masonry. Red Robin Masonry is Toronto’s most trusted masonry company. Our masonry services include brickwork, chimney work, parging, stonework and much more!

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Chimney Woes: Signs of Chimney Damage and What You Should Do

The original Mary Poppins movie has desensitized the precarious lives of chimney sweepers. As kids, we watched Dick van Dyke sing happily in the film and thought that such a job was easy. Although cleaning chimneys nowadays are no longer as hazardous as before, it is still dangerous. 

If chimneys are so dangerous, why not simply remove them? However, you will miss the advantages that it can offer. Before engaging in chimney removal services, you should continue reading the article.

This blog will enumerate the causes of chimney damage and fires. Hopefully, this knowledge will help prevent such a catastrophe without removing your beautiful chimney. 

Faulty Chimney Construction

The chimney is a significant investment for your home. It can either increase or decrease the value of your home, depending on its design and function. It would spell trouble if it were not correctly constructed, so you need a seasoned masonry company to build it.


As a homeowner, you need to make sure that you choose a company that has been in operation for a long time. It will ensure that the chimney is built using suitable materials.


If your property already has an existing chimney, the following should be your clue that you need chimney repair services:


  • Narrow or shallow footing
  • Loose soil beneath the footing
  • Wrong size or height for the fireplace
  • Low-quality bricks and mortar
  • Improperly installed chimney liner
  • Unfinished smoke chamber


Leaky Chimney

The fireplace is a beautiful addition to any home. It gives the comfort of a cozy fire during winter. Minus the log fire can help prevent the spread of smoke and toxic gases such as carbon monoxide.  


A chimney is supposed to channel these gases outside. A leaky chimney will cause a loss of heat and the infiltration of dangerous pollutants. If you have a chimney with cracks, check the metal liner on the interior. The liner is supposed to prevent the leakage of heat and toxic gases.  


If you notice a damaged metal liner, you need to contact a qualified chimney repair expert as soon as possible. Of course, the worst-case scenario is a chimney fire. It can burn down the house and ruin the investment you made for your home. You need to engage in chimney repair services as soon as possible if you notice any signs stated earlier.  


Addressing Chimney Damage


If you have a badly damaged chimney, you need to seek the services of a seasoned mason. It will help you address the issues and save the chimney from further damage. Cleaning and repairing a damaged chimney is expensive. However, it is more costly when a house burns down.  


When you choose an experienced company, you can ensure that your chimney will be fixed properly. The repairs usually involve two significant steps: cleaning and fixing. These steps can go hand in hand or separately, depending on the damage.



Early detection is the key to chimney damage and fire prevention. If you notice any signs mentioned above, do not hesitate to call for chimney repair services. A reputable company will inspect the chimney and recommend solutions. 

If you need to fix your chimney, you should call Red Robin Masonry. We offer quality chimney repair services to Toronto residents. Do not waste another minute! Call us now to prevent any catastrophe.

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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!

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Winter chimney repair is tricky. The mortar compounds that hold bricks together don’t set up in cold weather as well as in warm weather. If your chimney has significant brick damage and needs partial or complete rebuilding, you’ll need a lot of mortar.

Another challenge with repairing chimneys during the cold months is that frozen moisture within the masonry makes it challenging to diagnose the extent of water damage. It’s easier for technicians to assess damage after the normal freeze-thaw winter cycle is over. However, there are solutions you can make before the season ends.

So, how can you overcome such challenges and pursue chimney repairs during colder seasons? Here are four major ways to effectively repair your chimney in winter:

Use Temporary Fixes

The first strategy is to provide a temporary fix to keep the rain and cold out and then complete the repairs in spring. During the cold months, apply chimney caps to keep water out. Also, use a chimney shoe to prevent wind from pushing water into the flue.

You can fill gaps between the chimney and roof using metal flashing to keep the cold out. If you live in a tornado or hurricane-prone area, you may wish to consider a temporary plywood roof over the chimney if there is any chance of high winds during the cold months.

Another option is to use a plastic canopy that fits over the top of your chimney during the cold months. It’s sturdy enough to keep the rain out. You can also pull it down to keep the moisture out once spring arrives, and then you can remove it for the summer.

Hire Chimney Repair Companies With Insulated Trucks

Much of the issue with chimney repair is the environmental conditions and the difficulty they provide. However, there’s still a workaround if you need emergency major repairs during Winter.

You can hire a chimney repair company with insulated trucks with heaters to keep the temperature inside the truck and the technician’s work area warm. When working in such conditions, the work area is safer, and the work becomes easier to do.

Inject Thawing Compound Into Mortar

The first way to get around mortar compound issues is to use a thawing compound instead. The product is specifically designed to thaw frozen mortar and brick. It’s pumped into the wall area where the repair is being done, and then it’s set with a mortar gun.

This is the preferred way to repair chimneys during the frigid winter months because it has the least mortar. The thawing compound performs well in a wide range of temperatures. This compound also has a watertight sealant on the inside of the brick. This will prevent water infiltration into the brick for a long time.

Cold weather mortars are made to be used in below-freezing temperatures. The mortar is made for use up to minus 20 degrees, so it’s the perfect product for a winter chimney repair job.

Make Sure You’re Using the Right Tools

Chimneys have many different parts, each of which serves a specific purpose. To safely and effectively execute a chimney repair, it’s vital to use the right tools. A wide chisel is used to mortar up a crack, while a close chisel is used to re-point a broken joint. The proper hammer taps the two parts together.

There’s no reason for unnecessary risks when repairing a chimney during the winter. If you want your chimney in winter-ready condition, you should use the right tools and know-how to use them and how best to maintain them.


The key to successfully repairing your chimney in winter is not to let the conditions around you get in the way of doing good work. Even though snow and ice are part of the job, you can still make it through the winter season without taking unnecessary risks.

Don’t be discouraged by frigid weather. You can protect yourself and your chimney with proper tools and a little bit of experience.

For chimney repair services in Toronto, Red Robin Masonry is the most reputable masonry company in Toronto. If you want to build a brick wall, a chimney or a fireplace, parge, stonework, and more, we can help you. Call us today!

Look Out for These Chimney Repair Warning Signs

While a chimney is a strong and safe structure, it’s worth noting that everything ages inside your home. This means that repairs are due now and then as problems arise due to usage. With that said, a damaged chimney should be repaired as soon as possible.

Read on to discover the chimney repair warning signs you should be looking out for.

The White Stains and Efflorescence 

Efflorescence is a white stain on a chimney. Cleaning the stain does not address the issue of moisture, which contributes to the white residue. Efflorescence in masonry indicates a high level of moisture. If left unattended, the chimney will most likely deteriorate prematurely, causing a variety of other issues.

The Rust and Corrosion

Rusting on your firebox or damper indicates that there is too much moisture in your chimney. While the damper may not appear to be rusted, it may be rusted if it does not seal or function properly.

If there is enough moisture in your chimney to cause rusting, you may also experience serious damage, such as cracked flue tiles. Using a special camera, inspect the flue lining to ensure that the chimney system is not compromised, which could result in a house fire.

The Aging Mortar Joints 

Repair damaged mortar joints between the masonry of the chimney as soon as possible. The masonry will deteriorate over time due to mortar deterioration, exposing it to increased moisture. During cold weather, excess moisture can freeze inside masonry cracks. Cracking in bricks, rocks, and cement can be exacerbated by moisture. The deteriorated mortar could cause the entire chimney to collapse.

The Shaling

If you notice small pieces of chimney tile accumulating in the fireplace, the flue is most likely damaged. The flue lining is critical to a fireplace and chimney’s safety. As a result, an annual chimney inspection is essential. Professional chimney sweeps can inspect your flue lining for any hidden problems. For example, if the tiles are cracked but not crumbling, a chimney system breach is unlikely to be visible.

The Spalling

The presence of masonry fragments at the structure’s base indicates spalling outside of the chimney. Masonry can peel, pop, or flake when exposed to moisture. Replacing damaged masonry keeps the chimney from collapsing and crumbling further.

The Wallpaper Damage 

Damaged wallpaper near your chimney can also be an indication of damage. Moisture in the chimney usually wreaks havoc on the wallpaper. Before using the fireplace, make any necessary repairs to the chimney or flue.

The Chimney Crown Damage

Inspecting the chimney crown, like inspecting damaged mortar joints, will necessitate climbing to the roof. The crown protects the chimney from bad weather. Water may seep into the crown, causing the cracks to expand. Water can seep in between the chimney and the flue lining, causing spalling and shaling.


A damaged chimney can cause a myriad of problems for your home, such as a fire. This may also risk the health and safety of your family. So, be a responsible homeowner and maintain your space or have damages repaired as early as you detect a warning sign. This way, you can get peace of mind and improve your home life quality!

For the best chimney repair services in Toronto, Red Robin Masonry offers first-class tools, industry expertise, and well-trained professionals. Request your FREE quote today!

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Bricks and mortar on the exterior of a well-built stone chimney will progressively succumb to weather-related damage as it ages. Not only do older masonry chimneys deteriorate with age, but even newer masonry chimneys can be damaged if they are not adequately cared for and maintained. Unfortunately, spalling is linked to all symptoms and signs of chimney deterioration.

What Exactly Is Spalling?

Spalling is a process that occurs when the surface layer of a material erodes or is peeled away from the underlying material. Spalling is typically seen in brick and masonry buildings where a significant amount of mortar has been chemically linked to the brick and is then detached from the brick.

What Are the Significant Causes of Spalling During Winter?

Masonry comes into direct contact with the elements of nature, and even severe winter weather can cause damage to masonry surfaces and mortar.

These severe weather conditions affect moisture and temperature levels. For example, temperature fluctuations can cause freeze and thaw cycles on various construction materials. Another major cause of spalling is frost heaving, also known as frost spalling or frost shattering.

Frost spalling is the process where frost expands ice in the masonry. The expansion and contraction caused by tiny ice crystals separate the masonry from the mortar. These ice crystals cause the masonry to move within the cannon and expose the masonry and its thermal insulation.

What Are the Other Effects of Frost Spalling?

Frost shattering can cause bricks to crack and break apart or cause mortar to crack and separate. Frost shattering can be very dangerous as it can cause falling bricks and pieces of mortar and spalling, which can cause serious harm to people and property.

Not only does frost spalling cause masonry surfaces to erode and spall, but the water vapour within the ice crystals can also pass the masonry surface and the thermal insulation, which can cause the insulation to deteriorate and the masonry to freeze and crack.

As the masonry cracks, the thermal insulation can be broken apart by water vapour and moisture, compromising the insulation. That means that the home will lose heat, which can cause a higher heating bill.

How Can Spalling Be Repaired?

Spalling can be repaired using the appropriate masonry patching material. The damaged area of the chimney is smoothed, and the mortar is reset to match the original surface. To remedy this, you can search for chimney repairs near you.

Spalling can also be repaired using a chimney crown. A chimney crown is essentially a metal flashing installed at the top of the chimney to protect it from the elements.

Is It Possible to Work on Masonry in the Winter?

Generally, it is not recommended to work on a masonry structure during the winter months. This is because the temperature and moisture variations can cause additional damage to the chimney.

However, if a new structure is repaired, there is no damage to contend with due to the spalling process. In this case, it may be possible to make the repairs during the winter, as long as it is not too cold or too windy.


The structure may be falling apart before your very eyes, and you may not even be aware of it. If the damage is not repaired, there is a potential for the chimney to collapse, which could cause significant damage and injury to people in your home and the surrounding area.

The longer you wait to repair spalling and restoration on your masonry chimney, the higher the cost will be. While some spalling can be repaired quickly and with a low price, the longer you wait, the more significant the damage will become.

Red Robin Masonry is Toronto’s most reputable masonry company. Our masonry services include brickwork, chimney work, parging, stonework, and more. If you are looking for reliable chimney repair services in Toronto, contact our team today!

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Your chimney is an exhaust system that prevents heat, moisture, and smells from entering your home. Because of this, it sometimes gets sooty and must be cleaned regularly.

Here are some of the important reasons you should keep your chimney clean:

  • Safety

A dirty chimney full of soot can be a serious fire hazard. The fire may not have enough oxygen to keep burning as it gets full. That’s why your chimney will start to smoulder and could catch fire. The fire could burn from your chimney and spread to your house, causing damage and possibly injuring people.

  • Soot

Soot is a byproduct of combustion and is made up of solid particles of carbon. When the soot is allowed to build up, it will restrict airflow and cause a backdraft.

A backdraft, or smoke explosion, is caused when the chimney cannot pull the smoke up, and it builds up inside, causing a sudden and complete reversal of the airflow. This can be extremely dangerous and lead to injury or death.

  • Creosote

Creosote is rust that forms when moisture mixes with the carbon inside the chimney. It can spread to nearby surfaces, damaging and even destroying them.

  • Poor Performance

A dirty chimney will not work as well. It will not be able to pull the smoke up or expel it well. It will be hard for the smoke to get out. This will mean that your fire will be smouldering, which can cause a fire.

How Often Should You Have Your Chimney Cleaned?

Once a year. It is recommended to have annual maintenance that includes cleaning and inspection.

Can You Clean Your Chimney Yourself?

Of course, you can! There are many do-it-yourself kits in the market that you can use. But remember, they do not usually include a full inspection, so you will not know if your chimney has some cracks or problems. It is always better to have a professional do it.

There are many things that can go wrong when you clean your chimney yourself. You can get hurt, your house can get damaged, or you can even start a fire. So always be careful, especially when dealing with gas or fire.

How Do You Clean the Inside of a Chimney?

You need to clean the inside of the chimney to remove the soot, which is made up of the solid particles of carbon.

It is recommended to use a chimney brush for inside cleaning. You can use a smaller brush for the flue and a larger brush for the inside of the chimney.

You can use a sturdy brush, such as a wire brush, stiff-bristled broom, or even a mop. If you have a shop vacuum or a wet-dry vacuum, you can attach it to a brush to get the job done faster. After brushing, use a vacuum to vacuum all the loose material.

In a Nutshell

If you are serious about safety, then you will need to clean your chimney annually. It is the best way to keep it in good shape to work correctly. And it is always good to hire a professional, instead of doing it yourself.

When it comes to chimney repair services in Toronto, Red Robin Masonry has you covered. We are the most trusted masonry company in the area. Contact us today!

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Nothing beats a real wood-burning fireplace in the frigid fall and winter months. The crackling sound of a fireplace and the flickering flames are mesmerizing—the greatest entertainment available. The genuine deal is a wood-burning fireplace.

However, unlike gas fireplaces, you must pay for that authentic feeling with frequent upkeep. Follow these guidelines to keep your fireplace in good working order for your comfort and safety. If you’re also looking for a chimney removal in Toronto, continue reading as this article will entail where you can get that service.

Repair Brick Mortar Gaps in the Firebox

Over time, gaps in the brick mortar on the interior of your fireplace form. It’s natural for mortar particles on the refractory fire bricks to loosen and fall due to the continual expansion and contraction of materials induced by the fireplace’s intense heat.

Fire can find a way through the cracks and damage the house’s structure. Fill mortar gaps within the fireplace’s firebox using fireplace mortar or refractory caulk, a mineral-based filler.

You’ll need a putty knife to clear out the loose mortar and a can of compressed air to blow out the remainder for this quick remedy. After that, all that’s left is to caulk the seams.

Clean the Chimney

Unlike gas and gel fires, Wood-burning fireplaces produce a tremendous quantity of heat and smoke. Creosote builds upon the interior of the fireplace flue, speeding up a chimney fire, which the fire department must extinguish.

Chimney cleaning removes potentially dangerous creosote and other combustible particles from your flue. The ashes in the firebox are removed, and the chimney is cleaned from top to bottom. Invest in your chimney-cleaning tools and conduct the work yourself, or hire a professional chimney sweep or home restoration services in Toronto.

Use the Right Firewood

The quality of the wood you burn in your fireplace is only as excellent as the wood you burn in it. Burning the wrong kind of wood dirties the fireplace’s interior fast, necessitating more regular cleaning.

Softwoods are less expensive than hardwoods, but they burn more quickly and generate fine ash that is harder to clean up. They also produce creosote more quickly. Spruce, cedar, poplar, and balsam are examples of softwoods. Choose hardwoods like maple, oak, ash, and birch for a more constant, hotter burn.

Replace the Fireplace Screen

Fireplace screens are available in various shapes and metals, and they may be placed close or even against the fireplace. Install a glass fireplace screen to keep smoke from leaving the firebox. These heat-resistant glass inserts keep most smoke out while allowing heat to pass through.

Repair, Build, or Spruce up the Mantel

If your fireplace’s mantle has been in place for a long time, it may be beginning to show its age. Or you could be fed up with it. You may make a new fireplace mantel out of live-edge wood or walnut stock in any case.

Alternatively, you could want your fireplace mantel to resemble an old railroad tie—albeit a fake one. If carpentry isn’t your thing, consider renovating your mantel for a fresh new appearance.

Hire A Professional

Exterior chimney repair is a major job, so hire a chimney repair professional or a mason if you think the job is too big for you.

Minor external chimney flaws are exacerbated by the environment and quickly escalate into serious issues. Interior issues caused by a poorly maintained chimney and flashing include wet ceilings, moist attic insulation, and mushy wall drywall.


Your chimney is one of the most sensitive parts of your home’s exterior, as it is subjected to rain, wind, snow, and extreme temperatures daily. A chimney’s bricks and mortar decay faster than any other portion of your house. A dangerously unstable chimney might endanger your family’s safety. It’s advisable to seek chimney repair services in Toronto as soon as you notice a problem.

Red Robin Masonry is Toronto’s most trusted masonry company. Our masonry services include brickwork, parging, stonework, and chimney repair services in Toronto. Get in touch with us if you need help with your chimneys and fireplaces.

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Chimney Maintenance 101: The Signs You Should Look Out For

By now, it shouldn’t be a surprise that one of the dirtiest parts of the house is the chimney. Most of the time, it is filled with dense soot, combustion gases, and elements. This is why it’s important to maintain them with regular cleaning and repairs. Otherwise, you limit its lifespan despite being built to withstand harsh conditions.

Without further ado, let’s break down the signs you should look out for to maintain, clean, and repair your chimney.

Sign #1: The Stench of Burning Wood

If you find that the scent or stench of burning wood is emitting from an unused fireplace, then it’s time to act. This is usually a sign of severe creosote buildup, which has the potential to spark a disastrous chimney fire if left neglected.

Sign #2: The Difficult of Lighting Flames

We’ve learned in school that fire needs a bit of oxygen or air. Thus, if there is insufficient ventilation, it is difficult to start a fireplace. If you find it difficult to light up flames, this could be due to the substantial creosote buildup. Give your fireplace a thorough sweep to restore order.

Sign #3: The Accumulation of Non-Wood Debris

Discovering non-wood debris in your fireplace is nothing but bad news. The cause of this is certainly due to a faulty flue liner. Contact chimney professionals as soon as you become aware of the problem, and schedule a chimney relining immediately. If a fireplace is not properly ventilated, it has the potential to ignite nearby combustibles.

Sign #4: The Bricks are Starting to Whiten

If you find white flakes on brickwork, this may indicate major moisture deterioration. The only way forward is to rebuild the places that have been damaged.

Sign #5: The Apparent Cracks in the Brickwork

Apparent cracks in the brickwork of your fireplace are simply a revelation of deteriorating mortar. Because the mortar is what holds bricks together, it is critical to schedule a chimney masonry repair while the problem is still minor.

Sign #6: The Long Overdue Inspection 

If your most recent fireplace inspection was around a year ago, it’s time to pick up the phone and make a call. It’s important to note that a professional inspection of your chimney should be done at least once a year. This could help you prevent further damage or accidents.

Finding Rusty  Fireplace Accessories

While defects in the brick are easily visible from the outside, rust is less visible but can be just as detrimental. You may miss rust higher in the chimney unless you undertake annual chimney inspections, but you may notice symptoms coming from the fireplace.

Rust mostly indicated excessive moisture on the firebox or fireplace, which is never a good thing and can aggravate pre-existing issues. Thus, inspect the rusty chimney and choose the best next steps by contacting a chimney repair professional.

Shaling Down a Fireplace

Shaling is the formation of thin flue tile slices on the fireplace floor. It’s almost as though the weight is causing the chimney to collapse. It happens when the flue liner ruptures, allowing water to enter the space beneath the tiles. Water expands and changes temperature, causing the tiles to loosen and fall.

A damaged liner is a serious safety threat, thus any shaling should be investigated very away. A professional with a camera that can travel up the flue is the best option for checking for these issues.


While chimneys are meant to collect dust, debris, and other remnants of flame, they are also meant to be cleaned, maintained, and repaired. So if you haven’t yet, get to work and have your chimney and fireplace swept through. You won’t just prevent costly blunders, you will also extend its lifespan and make the most out of your investment.

For reliable chimney repair services in Toronto, Red Robin Masonry is the best in the field. We offer you first-class tools, industry expertise, and well-trained professionals. Call us now and get your FREE estimate today!