Your chimney is more than just a part of your home. It plays a very significant role in ensuring your safety and that of your family and property. A chimney directs noxious gases, heat and fumes safely out of your home. That is why the chimney must be in proper working condition if it is to continue being effective.
A faulty or damaged chimney puts you and your family in danger of a house fire or a carbon monoxide poisoning. That’s why it’s very important to schedule regular chimney inspection and cleaning. Not only will this keep your chimney performing as it should, but it will also help to catch problems early on. So, you should have a chimney inspection maintenance and repair done before it gets into more extensive and costly problems.
Chimneys look robust and durable. But it is wrong to assume they don’t need proper maintenance. Like all things that are put to good use, your chimney needs proper cleaning before and after every winter season. All the work and exposure to harsh elements can take their toll on the chimney. That is why, getting professionals to tend to it is critical for both safety and efficiency.
Here are top signs that can tell you that your chimney needs urgent repairs.
The white discoloration on your chimney might look cute, but it is not. It is due to excessive moisture and a sign of moisture damage. It might seem as a harmless discoloration but if neglected, can cause premature deterioration on your chimney.
The problem cannot be solved through mere cleaning of the surface. A chimney contractor will not only clean the surface but also coat the brick surface with a water resistant sealant to protect your chimney. A good sweep will advise waterproofing your chimney surface since it is the only solution against white staining and other moisture problems.
Rusted Damper and Firebox
Moisture and water are chimney’s biggest enemies. They are detrimental to a chimney’s structural integrity. Therefore, a rusted damper and fireplace is a sure sign of trouble and an imminent need for professional chimney repair.
As mentioned, water and moisture are a danger to your chimney. This is why it is important to guard against chimney leaks. Chimney leaks can be caused by cracks in the crown, missing or defective chimneys cap, ineffective flashing system or word-down mortar. Chimney leaks through the flashing, the water can cause significant damage to the wooden structures inside your home.
Also, if your chimney cap is old or deteriorated, water will seep through the cracks and cause havoc in your chimney flue liners and your home structure as well.
Faulty Mortar Joints
Damaged mortar joints are also a sure sign that you need an urgent chimney repair. If not replaced as soon as possible, the broken mortar will get exposed to high moisture levels putting your chimney at risk of a collapse. Damaged mortar is especially a nuisance during winter since the failing mortar joints are highly vulnerable to moisture penetration.
The moisture will freeze inside the bricks and mortar and during the summer, the ice will thaw causing larger cracks in the process. The best defense is to ensure your brick and mortar is safe before winter strikes through a pre-winter inspection. This will offset the need for difficult and costly repairs during winter.
Broken Clay Tiles in the Firebox
The flue liner is the engine of your chimneys. It keeps your chimney working by channeling out heat from the firebox, smoke and gases out of your home. If you have the traditional chimney line made of clay, you might find broken pieces of clay tiles piling up inside the firebox.
Professional chimney sweeps will examine the condition of your chimney liner during annual inspections. Because chimney liners can be costly to replace, make sure yours has a lifetime warranty.
Another key sign that you need a chimney repair is spalling. If you see bits of concrete, bricks, or stones around the bottom of your chimney, that is spalling. Simply put, your chimney is falling apart brick after brick or stone after stone. Contact a chimney expert immediately or risk having your chimney tumble to the ground.
The expert will remove all the damaged bricks or stones and repair the damaged parts with a fresh mortar and new bricks or stones. Then to ensure the mortar and the bricks don’t fall victims to moisture, they will add waterproof sealant to make sure this doesn’t happen again.
In cases of severe damages, your chimney may need to be replaced entirely. This is often a necessity when the chimney has deteriorated to the point that it becomes a structural liability for your home.
A leaning chimney for instance, can only be solved through a complete rebuild and replacement to avoid an eventual collapse since the base is not stable enough to support the rest of the structure.
If you need a chimney repair or rebuild, contact us and we will show up and have a look. We specialize in chimney repair and replacement and can detect and fix chimney damage early on.