A leaning chimney not only looks ominous but can also be very dangerous. If you notice your chimney leaning, it’s likely an indication of more serious structural problem. In order to get your chimney in safe condition again, you’ll need help from a chimney professional. Here are some of the causes of leaning chimneys as well as what you need to know about chimney repair.
Signs Your Chimney is Leaning
Many people don’t notice their chimney is leaning until it is at a very sharp angle and is too late to fix. Visible tilting is the most obvious sign of your chimney leaning, but there are other, more subtle signs to watch out for as well. If you notice that your brick and mortar is starting to decay or that your roof is starting to leak more often, it’s likely time for a chimney inspection.
What causes chimneys to lean?
There are a variety of factors that can cause chimneys to lean over time. One of the most common is damage to the brick and mortar. When the mortar starts to pull away from the brick, the entire chimney can start to shift.
There are a variety of reasons why this happens, with the most common being water damage and seismic activity. Another common cause of a leaning chimney is poor initial construction. In particular, many leaning chimneys either don’t have a footing or have a very poorly constructed footing.
The footing is a concrete slab that supports the structure of the chimney. When the footing is too small or prone to cracks, it can cause the entire chimney to lean. It’s also normal for the structure of your house to change as it settles over time. However, loose, shifting soil can speed up this process, causing your chimney to lean. Homes with poor drainage may also experience this as water pools in the soil around your home.
Why are leaning chimneys dangerous?
It’s important to address your leaning chimney as soon as you notice an issue. While it may not seem like a big deal at first, a leaning chimney can actually result in a host of safety issues. As the chimney continues to lean, it can negatively affect the structure of the rest of your house, resulting in a variety of other safety issues. Additionally, brick and mortar can start to fall off the side of your chimney, posing a huge safety risk for anyone standing in your yard. On top of that, leaning chimneys are more likely to result in leaks. Debris and pests may also fall in through the gap between your chimney and your roof. When you do use your fireplace, a leaning chimney may not ventilate properly, causing a fire hazard.
What should I do if I notice my chimney is leaning?
If you notice your chimney is leaning, don’t wait to call a professional. Have your chimney inspected as soon as possible and avoid using your fireplace until it has been repaired. A chimney professional will be able to perform a thorough inspection and recommend the appropriate repairs for your space. If you’re based in central Connecticut and notice your chimney leaning, Northeastern Chimney can help. Give us a call at 860-233-5770 or contact us online to set up an appointment today. We’re here to help with all of your chimney needs.
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