A damaged chimney can pose a danger since chimney fires, smoke damage, and property damages are more likely. Knowing the signs of damage helps you know when it is time to schedule a repair.
1. Cracked Liners
The liner protects the chimney masonry from combustion damage, as well as ensuring that heat and smoke don't damage your walls. A cracked liner can be dangerous, as combustion in the chimney can lead to house fires or smoke may enter the home instead of exiting through the top of the chimney. A restoration service can repair or replace a damaged liner so that it is no longer a concern.
2. Leaning Chimney
A chimney should be level. If it's leaning, then there is more than an appearance issue — the chimney could be in danger of collapse. Chimneys can lean for a variety of reasons, from masonry damage to problems with the foundation beneath the chimney. A professional assessment is necessary to determine whether the chimney can be repaired or if a leaning chimney must be rebuilt from the ground up.
3. Crumbling Masonry
The mortar between the bricks is usually the first part to fail on the masonry. A restoration service can remove the mortar and install a new one if this occurs. Brick damage can also occur, such as crumbling bricks, cracks, or holes. Damaged bricks must be replaced. Extensive damage to the bricks indicates that it is time to completely rebuild the chimney. The top of the chimney is especially prone to damages since it is most exposed to weathering.
4. Chimney Fire
A chimney fire should never be ignored, even if the damage was contained to the chimney. Creosote buildup is one of the most common causes of a chimney fire, which a thorough cleaning can remedy. Fires can also occur due to damaged liners and flues. A fire may also cause damage to the liner or flue, which will require restoration work before the chimney is safe to use again.
5. Water Leaks
The chimney is a prime spot for leaks to occur. You may notice water stains on the ceiling above the fireplace or on the walls surrounding the fireplace. Peeling paint or wallpaper are common symptoms of a water leak. When this happens, it means the chimney is not properly sealed to the home or that there is damage to the masonry or liner. All of these are issues a restoration service can address.
Contact a chimney restoration service if you spot any of these issues with your chimney.