Most think that a chimney is part of your home, in reality, it plays a significant role in ensuring you, your family, and your property’s safety. A chimney directs noxious gases, heat, and fumes safely out of the home. That is the main reason why the chimney must remain in proper working condition if you desire it to continue being effective.
A faulty or damaged chimney puts you and your family at risk of a house fire or carbon monoxide poisoning. It is extremely important to schedule regular chimney inspections and cleanings. Not only will this keep your chimney performing properly, but it will also help catch minor problems ahead of time. Having an inspection, maintenance, and repair done before the small issues become more extensive and costly problems.
Chimneys appear robust and durable, but it wrong to assume they will not need proper maintenance. Like everything else that is put to good use, chimneys need proper cleanings before and after each winter season. All the work and exposure to harsh elements take a toll on the chimney. These are why it is important for professionals to tend to it for safety and efficiency.
Below are the top signs that tell you that your chimney needs urgent repairs.
Noticed white discoloring on the chimney? Some think this looks cute but it is not. It is due to excessive moisture and a sign of moisture damage. It may appear as harmless discoloration but if it is neglected, it can cause premature deterioration on your chimney.
This problem cannot be solved through mere cleaning of the surface. A chimney contractor will not only clean the surface but also will coat the brick surface with a water-resistant sealant to protect your chimney. A good sweep will advise you, the homeowner, to waterproof your chimney surface since it is the only solution against white stains to appear and other moisture problems.
Rusted Damper & Firebox
Moisture and water are chimney’s worst enemies. They’re detrimental to a chimney’s structural integrity. Therefore, a rusted damper and fireplace are signs of trouble and an imminent need for a professional to repair them.
As previously mentioned, water and moisture are dangerous to your chimney. This is why it is important to defend against chimney leaks. Chimney leaks can be caused by cracks in the crown, missing or defective chimney caps, ineffective flashing system, or word-down mortar. Chimney leaks through the flashing, the water can cause significant damage to the wood structures in the home.
Also, if the chimney cap is old or deteriorated, water will seep through the cracks and cause havoc in the chimney flue liners and the home structure.
Faulty Mortar Joints
Damaged mortar joints are sure signs that the chimney needs urgent repair. If these are not replaced as soon as possible, the broken mortar will become exposed to high moisture levels putting the chimney at risk of collapse. Damaged mortar is a nuisance during the winter since the failing mortar joints are highly vulnerable to moisture penetration.
Any moisture will freeze inside the bricks and mortar, during the summer, the ice will thaw causing larger cracks in the process. The best defense is to ensure the brick and mortar are safe before winter strikes through a pre-winter inspection. This will lower the need for difficult and costly repairs during winter.
Broken Clay Tiles in Firebox
The flue liner is the engine of the chimney. It keeps the chimney working by channeling out heat from the firebox, smoke, and gases out of the home. If the traditional liner is made of clay, you may find broken pieces of clay tiles piling up inside the firebox.
Professional chimney sweeps will examine the condition of the chimney liner during the annual inspections. Because chimney liners tend to be costly to replace, make sure yours has a lifetime warranty.
Another sign is spalling. Spalling is bits of concrete, bricks, or stones around the bottom of the chimney. Simply means that your chimney is falling apart piece by piece. Contact a chimney expert immediately or risk having the chimney tumble to the ground.
The expert will remove all damaged bricks or stones and repair the damaged parts with a fresh mortar and new bricks or stones. To ensure the bricks and mortar do not fall victim to moisture, they will add waterproof sealant.
In the case of severe damages, the chimney may need to be replaced entirely. This is often a necessity when the chimney has deteriorated to the point there is a structural liability for the home. A leaning chimney can only be solved through a complete rebuild and replacement to avoid a collapse since the base is not stable enough to support the structure.
If you need a chimney repair or build, contact us and we will send a professional to take a look. We specialize in chimney repairs and replacement and will detect and fix chimney damage early on.