Since a damaged chimney poses a risk of fire, it’s important to know the signs of a a chimney in need of repair. This way, you can spot early signs of a failing chimney, get the work done by a professional, and keep your home and family safe. Here are the top signs your chimney needs repair.
White stains and rust stains both indicate excess moisture in the chimney.
That’s a problem because the moisture could cause the damper mechanism to rust, making it more difficult to open and close. Excess moisture may also cause other structural problems that would make your chimney unsafe, like cracked flue tiles.
2. Deteriorating Mortar
Mortar holds your chimney together, like glue, yet it can wear down over time. Once your mortar starts to crumble, the structural integrity of your chimney is weakened. During winter, snow and ice can penetrate cracks in the mortar and freeze, further weakening your chimney. If you don’t re-mortar the chimney, it could collapse.
Shaling, which is when bits of flue tile fall to the bottom of the fireplace, is an indication of cracked flue tiles. Your flue is essential for safe fireplace operation, as a faulty flue can lead to a house fire. If you see shaling, do not use the chimney until you’ve had it repaired by a pro.
With spalling, as with shaling, debris collects in the bottom of the fireplace. Rather than bits of flue tiles, it’s bits of masonry, be it brick or natural stone. Spalling is a serious indication that the chimney is degrading. Without repair, the chimney will crumble.
5. Damaged Crown
The crown of the chimney acts as a first line of defense for the chimney. When the crown becomes damaged, water can penetrate the chimney and cause structural damage.
Since some of these signs may be difficult to spot, it’s always a good idea to have a chimney inspected once a year so flaws can be detected and fixed. If you spot any of these warning signs, discontinue chimney use until you get things repaired. The chimney is one of the most important parts of your home so it’s essential that you take prompt action in this area. Look to the pros at Brandstetter’s KangaRoof to diagnose and fix chimney issues throughout the Cincinnati area.