Getting to the Basics: Remodeling Projects

3 Indicators That Suggest Your Chimney Needs To Be Repaired

by Jill Jenkins

Maybe you just bought a house with a chimney and don't have the slightest clue as to how to tell whether it needs to be repaired or even how to take care of it. Or maybe you simply need to know what signs to look for that indicate a repair is necessary. Whatever the case may be, here are a few things that you can easily perform a do-it-yourself check on to determine if your chimney needs to be checked out by a professional:

1. Is There a Chimney Cap in Place?

A chimney cap is located outside of your home at the very tip-top of your chimney. Its primary purpose is to ensure that rain water does not enter into the chimney flue. If water is allowed to enter into the chimney, it can cause some serious damage. Not only could mold potentially grow, but it could also freeze-thaw, depending on the weather conditions. This can cause some significant cracks in the masonry, potentially leading to loss of structural integrity.

2. Is There Rust in the Firebox or on the Damper? 

The one thing that should never be present in any component of your chimney is rust. If you notice rust in your firebox or anywhere else, then there is some excess moisture coming from somewhere. While the problem may not necessarily be a chimney cap, as mentioned above, it could be a problem with the damper not sealing or operating properly. In addition, there could be some serious damage inside of the flue. More than likely, you won't be able to see all the way up into your flue unless you have special tools. However, a professional will be able to use a specially-designed camera to inspect the lining of the flue to ensure that there is no issues that could ultimately lead to a house fire.

3. How Does Your Chimney Crown Look?

Your chimney crown is on top of your house. It is essentially the chimney's first line of defense overall. However, these can become cracked over time. When this happens, moisture is allowed to seep in. This can lead to even larger cracks and cause significant damage, such as spalling (piece of mortar flaking) and shaling (pieces of chimney tile breaking off) – both of which can cause so much harm that the entire structure is at risk of being severely damaged.

All three of these issues have the potential to turn huge if they are not fixed early on. The best way to prevent chimney problems is with preventative maintenance. However, if you have yourself in need of a chimney repair, contact a local professional (like those at Clean Sweep and other locations) for assistance before using it again.