A safe chimney means a safe home. When issues arise with your chimney, it’s best to have them addressed and fixed right away, rather than waiting. Here are three chimney problems that should never be ignored.
A chimney system that’s in perfect shape will not leak. If yours is leaking, it means there’s a compromise somewhere.
It’s not always easy to know exactly what’s causing a leaky chimney. Brick damage is a common reason for water getting into the chimney; another reason is damage to components such as the
Chimney leaks don’t resolve themselves. They keep getting worse until more and more of the structure is damaged and at risk of collapsing.
Signs of a chimney leak and problems that could lead to one include:
Crumbling mortar/loose or cracked bricks
Water in the firebox
Efflorescence (white staining) on the exterior chimney masonry
Dislodged flashing that seals the gap between the roof and the chimney
Damp patches on interior walls or ceiling near the fireplace/chimney
Strong odors coming from the fireplace
Damage to a chimney’s masonry can lead to a chimney leak, and it also can lead to serious structural issues and a chimney fire.
Only a professional inspection by a CSIA-certified technician can tell you exactly why your chimney is damaged and the extent of the problem. If internal bricks and mortar are compromised, vulnerable areas of the home can be at risk of fire. Cracks and decomposition throughout the structure can lead to a leaning chimney or a total collapse.
Aside from infiltrating water, chimney masonry can be damaged by:
Powerful hail storms
Intense heat and cold year after year
Shifting of the home or the chimney footing
These and other causes, if poor-quality materials were used to build the chimney
Flue obstructions and creosote
When operated without a chimney cap or with a cap that is damaged, various debris can get into the flue and cause a drafting obstruction.
The nests of small animals and the animals themselves who have died inside the flue along with tree debris such as leaves, twigs, and fruit all can block the smoke passage and send deadly carbon
Creosote, created through smoke licensed chimney sweep with certification through the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA).
The value of annual chimney inspections
The best way to keep your chimney safe and avoid problems is to schedule annual professional chimney inspections. By doing so, you’ll keep abreast of the condition of your chimney and its components and be able to get issues fixed before they turn into serious and expensive chimney repair projects.
Fluesbrothers Chimney & Fireplace of Kansas City, KS, is on call year-round to help with all your chimney needs. We provide certified chimney sweep services, chimney repairs, and rebuilding and complete chimney inspections. Keep your chimney in great condition by calling the experts at (913) 236-7141.
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