There is always a debate on if a chimney is beneficial to a home or not. Chimneys provide the home with warmth and safety for the occupants. It directs noxious gases, heat, and fumes safely out of the home. These will never be a concern with a chimney that has proper maintenance.
Your family is at risk for a house fire or carbon monoxide poisoning with a faulty or damaged chimney. With these risks, it is crucial to schedule routine chimney inspections and sweeps. This will not only keep your chimney in proper working condition, but, also catch needed repairs before they turn into a rebuild. Inspections, maintenance, and repairs keep large issues at bay.
Chimneys may appear robust and durable to stand the test of time, but that is not the case. The proper maintenance will prolong the lifespan and withstand the harsh natural elements over the seasons. It is important for professionals to tend to the chimney services for safety and efficiency. Below are some signs that your chimney needs to have repairs done.
Noticed white discoloring on the chimney exterior walls? It is due to excessive moisture and a sign of moisture damage. It may appear as harmless discoloration but if let untreated, it can cause premature deterioration on your chimney.
This problem cannot be solved through a mere cleaning of the surface. A chimney contractor will not only clean the surface but also will coat the brick surface with a water-resistant sealant to protect your chimney. A good sweep will advise you, the homeowner, to waterproof your chimney surface since it is the only solution against white stains to appear and other moisture problems.
Rusted Damper & Firebox
Moisture and water are chimney’s worst enemies. They’re detrimental to a chimney’s structural integrity. Therefore, a rusted damper and fireplace are signs of trouble and an imminent need for a professional to repair them.
As previously mentioned, water and moisture are dangerous to your chimney. This is why it is important to defend against chimney leaks. Chimney leaks can be caused by cracks in the crown, missing or defective chimney caps, ineffective flashing system, or word-down mortar. Chimney leaks through the flashing, the water can cause significant damage to the wood structures in the home.
If the chimney cap is old or deteriorated, then water will seep through the cracks causing havoc in the flue liners and the structure of the home.
Faulty Mortar Joints
Damaged mortar joints are sure signs that the chimney needs urgent repair. If not replaced as soon as possible, the broken mortar will become exposed to high moisture levels putting the chimney at risk of collapse. Damaged mortar is a nuisance during the winter since the failing mortar joints are highly vulnerable to moisture penetration.
Any moisture will freeze inside the bricks and mortar, during the summer, the ice will thaw causing larger cracks in the process. The best defense is to ensure the brick and mortar are safe before winter strikes through a pre-winter inspection. This will lower the need for difficult and costly repairs during winter.
Broken Clay Tiles in Firebox
The flue liner is the engine of the chimney. It keeps the chimney working by channeling out heat from the firebox, smoke, and gases out of the home. If the traditional liner is made of clay, you may find pieces of broken clay tiles piling up inside the firebox.
Our professional chimney sweeps will examine the condition of the chimney liner during the annual inspections. Because chimney liners tend to be costly to replace, make sure yours has a lifetime warranty.
Another sign is spalling. Spalling is bits of concrete, bricks, or stones around the bottom of the chimney. Simply means that your chimney is falling apart piece by piece. Contact a chimney expert immediately or risk having the chimney tumble to the ground.
The expert will remove all damaged bricks or stones and repair the damaged parts with a fresh mortar and new bricks or stones. To ensure the bricks and mortar do not fall victim to moisture, they will add waterproof sealant.
In the case of severe damages, the chimney may need to be replaced entirely. This is often a necessity when the chimney has deteriorated to the point there is a structural liability for the home. A leaning chimney can only be solved through a complete rebuild and replacement to avoid a collapse since the base is not stable enough to support the structure.
Allstar is here to help. Our more than qualified and highly skilled technicians are here to bring a sense of clarity knowing your home is safer with annual inspections and needed repairs.