Smokestack Repair and Maintenance

The call for ongoing inspection, repair, and maintenance:

The second law of thermodynamics developed through the fundamental work of Carnot, Clausius, and Kelvin states that every system left to itself changes in such a way as to approach a definite final state of rest.
For structural contractors, this law is never so evident as when it comes to industrial chimneys.
There are few structures which naturally encounter more adverse conditions:

  1. Winds that rock a chimney continuously.
  2. Constant moisture from rain and condensation.
  3. Annual freezing weather.
  4. Accumulations of sulfuric and other acids that eat through concrete.
  5. Fluctuations in temperature
  6. Spent fuels soaking into the chimney liner or column.
  7. Different size explosions from improbably run boilers from runaway gases.
  8. Different size seismic activities.
  9. Lighting which has been known to suddenly create substantial cracking down the column.

Rain: Like any exposed structure, chimneys deteriorate over time. This is especially true in the colder climates with greater fluctuations in temperatures. When water can get past the façade mortar joints, it also gets into the bricks of the chimney column. The bricks also become soaked, and the three to nine core holes in the bricks fill with water. Freezing weather can cause sections of brick faces to break away from the chimney. Water can flow down the column and accumulate in the lower sections of the chimney. This can cause cracking or turn the bricks to powder. In concrete chimneys damage from water softens the concrete. Porous concrete and unrepaired cracks allow water to settle around the rebar causing cracks throughout the structure from the rust.

Strong Winds: On any typical day of the week there is some kind of wind, and in an industrial chimney this means that it is always in motion. In strong winds there can be serious damage when a stack is not properly maintained. In some older chimneys they can be tied off with guy wire or rope to prevent them from incurring damage a hurricane.

In order to preserve industrial chimneys effectively, they must be first carefully inspections, repaired and maintained regularly, being monitored closely and carefully by an experienced industrial smokestack contractor or a commercial chimney contractor.

Smokestack Maintenance

Smokestack Maintenance at the SS Administration Phila, Pa

We are a chimney maintenance company that can guarentee our work, quality is number one.

Smokestack Repair and Maintenance

Continental Chimney offers up to date repair products and repair methods:

At Continental Chimney, we keep up to date with studies on better products and solutions. This means we can provide our customers with what will best prolong the life of their chimney. Our goal is to provide smokestack repairs that will allow your chimney to operate trouble free and serve you better economically.

At Continental Chimney we believe that the best way to advertise is through quality workmanship enduring the test of time. At Continental Chimney we employ engineers skilled specifically in Industrial Chimney Repair and construction.

Using a variety of new and old approved materials and methods our commercial chimney repairs (or smokestack maintenance) are done in relationship with different chimney engineers incorporating what they have learned to be up to date solutions for Industrial Chimneys. Also known as Concrete chimneys, concrete smokestacks, steel smokestacks steel chimneys, brick factory smokestacks and fiberglass smokestacks.

Important considerations when considering Industrial Chimney Maintenance:

Paint: Some smokestack companies will sell work painting brick smokestacks and also paint concrete smokestacks to help lower maintenance costs. They may also paint them for advertisement reasons. However, when an industrial brick smokestack is painted water can get trapped behind the bricks and cause damage if the paint coating is not carefully inspected every few years. Brick smokestacks should never be painted; brick companies don’t approve painting bricks. Concrete can be painted with less concerns, however once a coating is applied to a smokestack it needs to be maintained otherwise it can cause more harm than good.

Pointing: Regular pointing of the mortar joints and replacing cracked bricks prevent water from soaking into the chimney column should be an owners first concern. But, finding a repair company you can trust is just as important; Repairs are subject to a proper inspection and the goal of the sales team, and crew manager, and work force. Pointing is defined as façade repairs in the masonry industry, typically to a depth of the width of the joint. However, deep pointing is often required with industrial chimney repairs. Chimneys can have repair joints that need to be filled and packed all the way to the end of the bricks on both sides of the chimney column.

Banding: Steel banding is often done on factory chimneys to prevent or stop cracks from progressing by the industrial chimney contractor. Banding is also used to arrest a column from bellowing out in smokestack walls. This happens more often when an industrial chimney is over a certain age or where there is a history of acid attack. In some cases, for these bands to function properly, they need to be made of heavy steal and bent on the ends around to the inside rather than over the band clamp around on the outside. This depends on if the band should be allowed to have some give to it. Welding bands together on the chimney does not work as well as using Dule Threaded Rod Band Clamps (see photos) because after so many years rust will break the band apart under where they are lapped together. This is also because it can be difficult to properly weld under the band. A good welder can weld the steel ends together end to end but this more difficult to do vertically, and is typically not done in the field.

Lightning: Damage from lightning strikes is more prevalent on radial brick chimneys. This is caused because of a lack of joint or crack maintenance or damaged lightning cable downleads. When lightning strikes areas soaked with water, they become super-heated and there is an explosion. These explosions can be amazing, a similar effect of this is witnessed in steel mills when water is present and molten metal is being poured out. When lighting strikes a wet chimney column, sometimes long cracks are appear down the side of the chimney column. Typically, a concrete chimney does not have so many problems and sometimes the steel in the concrete may be tied into the ground.

Inspection recommendations: Inspections are what drive the maintenance plan. Binocular inspections should occur a few times e a year. Full height interior and exterior hands on inspection should be done every three to five years depending on the chimney. Smokestack inspection and maintenance should be implemented on a regulated basis to avoid rapid deterioration. Properly maintaining your power plant, industrial or refinery smokestacks keeps your employees healthy and safe, as well as ensuring your facilities will be trouble free.

American Concrete Institute

Water damage from open joints.

Industrial Chimney Repair Challenges

Industrial Chimney Repair Challenges

Industrial Chimney Repair Challenges