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10 Signs Your Chimney Is Structurally Unsound

Key Takeaways:

  1. Chimneys are essential for ventilation and exhaust but can break down easily.
  2. Repairing a chimney as soon as possible when damage occurs is crucial because it prevents further destruction.
  3. Some typical signs that your chimney needs repair are: leaks, cracks, corrosion, swaying, stains, etc.
  4. Spalling is easy to detect – look for bits of masonry around the bottom of your chimney from the outside.
  5. Pests can enter your home through several methods, but one potential entry point could be your chimney.

Chimneys are an essential part of a home; they provide ventilation for the fireplace and can also be used to remove smoke and heat from the house. But what happens when your home’s chimney shows signs of structural damage? Can it be fixed, or does it need to be replaced? Read this blog by Purcell’s paving and masonry for the answers.

Chimney Repair Is Important

When one part of the chimney breaks down, it can quickly lead to other issues. Take masonry chimneys, for example. If there’s a crack in the crown, it might grow during repeated freeze-thaw cycles. And when the cracks get more significant, more water seeps in and causes leaks. On average, repairing a chimney costs $455, but the price could be as low as $90 or as high as $1,800.

This problem starts small, but as water and freezing temperatures damage your chimney more, the leak worsens and becomes destructive. People often don’t realize they have a problem with their chimneys until it’s too late. Let’s check out 15 easy-to-spot signs that indicate your chimney needs to be repaired immediately.

Signs Your Chimney Is Screaming for Help!

1. Chimney Leaks:

Suppose you notice any moisture or mold forming near your fireplace. In that case, this could signify that your chimney is leaking and repair is due soon.

2. Crumbling Brickwork:

Over time, the mortar between bricks can weaken, leading to crumbling brickwork around your chimney. Suppose you notice any cracked or broken bricks on or near the chimney. In that case, this could indicate a structural issue that you must take care of immediately.

3. Rust And Corrosion:

Chimneys are often exposed to the elements and can become corroded if not properly maintained. If you notice any corrosion on your chimney, this could be a sign that it needs repair.

4. Chimney Sway:

Chimneys can start to sway if not supported properly, leading to further damage over time. Suppose you notice any visible movement or instability in your chimney. In that case, it’s best to have it inspected for repair by a professional immediately.

5. Chimney Flue Issues:

The flue is part of the chimney that carries smoke and gases out of the home. If your flue becomes blocked or cracked over time, this can lead to hazardous gases building up in your home. If you notice a strange smell coming from your chimney, this could indicate that the flue has been compromised and requires repair.

6. Chimney Cracks or Leaks:

Chimneys can become damaged over time due to wear and tear, leading to visible cracks and leaks. Suppose your chimney is showing signs of cracking or leaking. In that case, it’s essential to get it inspected by a chimney professional as soon as possible.

Also Read: Buying or Selling a House? You Need a Detailed Chimney Inspection – Here’s Why

7. Stains On Chimney Exterior:

Discoloration around the base of your chimney may indicate water damage caused by leakage or condensation. If left untreated, this can lead to further structural damage, so if you notice any discoloration, you must consult a chimney repair specialist.

8. Chimney Separating from Wall:

The mortar between bricks can deteriorate over time due to weather exposure, leading to gaps between the brickwork and the wall of your home’s chimney. This can weaken the integrity of your chimney and create safety hazards, so if you notice any separation, call a chimney repair professional.

9. Signs Of Spalling

Spalling is easy to detect – look for bits of masonry around the bottom of your chimney from the outside. If your chimney isn’t waterproof, water can seep into bricks and cause the surface to peel, pop, or flak. Continuing without a fix could result in a devastating collapse.

10. Pests Getting into Your Home

Pests can enter your home through several openings; one potential entry point could be your chimney. If you find that the pests in your home are primarily located in the room with your chimney, they may be entering through cracks or simply from the top without a chimney cap. Pest control is always worth considering, but if you still have issues after calling them, try contacting a local chimney company.

Expert Tips for Chimney Maintenance

Chimneys can be pretty tricky, so here are some tips from the experts on how to stay up-to-date with maintenance:

  • Check for cracks in the masonry – look out for crumbling bricks or cracks that may have been caused by wear and tear over time.
  • Test the flue – if it’s not working correctly, this could be causing your smoke problems as well as dangerous fumes.
  • Clean your chimney regularly – even if you don’t use it often, it’s crucial to get rid of built-up creosote, which can become hazardous when left unattended.
  • Don’t forget about the cap – Chimney caps are essential for keeping animals, debris, & water out of your chimney.
  • Check the liner – Over time, liners can become corroded or damaged due to repeated heat, moisture, and weather exposure. If you notice any cracks or other damage, it’s time for a repair.
  • Make sure everything is sealed correctly – Caulk around the edges of your chimney will help reduce air leakage and keep out pests.

Have You Noticed These Signs? We Can Help!

If your home’s chimney is making strange noises, not working correctly, or otherwise giving you trouble, then it’s time to buzz in the Long Hill, N.J. experts. Our team at Purcell’s paving and masonry will take care of everything – from chimney repair to inspection. We’ll ensure your chimney is up and running like new in no time!

We understand that your family’s safety is important to you. That’s why we guarantee our customers the best possible service and results. We’re confident that we can solve any problem you have, so call us today!