The chimney is an area of one’s home that is easy to neglect. Homeowners often take its functionality for granted, and forget that it requires the same maintenance and repair as any other part of one’s home. However, part of the reason many people do not maintain their chimneys as well as they should is simply due to the fact that they do not know how to tell when their chimney is in need of repairs. Fortunately, once you know what signs to look out for, it is fairly simple to tell when your chimney is asking for help. Here are a few of the signs you can look out for that can indicate the need for chimney repair.
Cracked Chimney Crown
This is an important sign to look out for; however, it will require you to periodically go up onto the top of your roof to take a look at your chimney. The chimney crown, which is the top portion of the chimney, provides the first line of defense protecting your chimney from the elements. Thusly, when the crown is cracked, water will be able to get inside, which can cause further cracking. Furthermore, moisture may be able to find its way between the walls of the chimney and the chimney liner, which can cause damage to, and the deterioration of, your chimney’s masonry.
An easier sign to look out for that can indicate that you need chimney repair is to check if your fireplace’s damper is rusting. If you see visible signs of rusting, or if your damper becomes difficult to operate- which can suggest rusting- then there is likely too much moisture in your chimney. The problem with moisture in your chimney’s flue is that it can cause damage to the chimney liner, and it can even cause flue tiles to break off. This can be extremely dangerous as it can lead to a house fire. You will then want to have your chimney inspected if you suspect that there may be too much moisture within it.
Shaling is another sign of chimney damage that you can look for inside your fireplace. When your chimney liner becomes damaged, small pieces of tile from within your chimney may begin to pile up in the bottom of your fireplace. Being aware of shaling is then another way to know if there may be excess moisture in your chimney that could lead to serious problems in your home. Chimney repair is highly recommended if you notice shaling as neglecting this sign can potentially create more severe damages down the road.
Damaged Mortar Joints
This is another sign of chimney damage that may be best spotted with a rooftop vantage (assuming the weather permits you to safely go on top of your roof). You will want to look for any possible signs of damage to the mortar joints between the bricks in your chimney. If there appears to be damage, you will need to have these joints repaired as soon as possible. When the mortar joints in your chimney become damaged, this allows moisture to enter these joints and cause further damage and cracking. When left unchecked, this can compromise the structural integrity of your chimney, and ultimately, part of your chimney could end up collapsing.
It is important to know the signs that can indicate that your chimney is damaged so that you can have this damage repaired before it causes serious problems within your home. However, these are just a few of the many signs that can indicate that your chimney may be damaged. Contact us to learn more about how you can tell if your are in need of chimney repair, as well as to find out about having your chimney inspected.