For the average homeowner, who has no real idea of construction and building techniques, it can be difficult to tell if and when chimney repair is required. However, before you start your search for a reputable contractor in your local area and go to the trouble of setting an appointment for them to come out to your address to inspect the condition of your chimney, you should first take a few minutes to check it out for yourself. “But I thought you already recognised that most homeowners don’t know what they are looking for?” That’s right, which is why we’re going to talk you through a few of the main signs that indicate the need for chimney repair during the course of this blog article.
The Top Signs that Indicate the Need for Chimney Repair
Remember that should the condition of your chimney deteriorate , if you don’t do something about it you are potentially exposing yourself to a serious fire hazard. If you spot any of the following signs during your inspection, don’t hesitate to get in contact with a chimney repair expert as soon as possible.
- Less than Perfect Mortar Joints – The first part of your chimney to inspect is the mortar joints. You might need to get on top of your roof to be able to spot this problem, but if the condition of your chimney’s mortar joints is anything less than perfect, make sure to get in touch with a contractor right away. “Is is really that much of an issue?” The simple answer is yes! The mortar is what holds it all together and should even the slightest crack develop, freeze-thaw cycles could quickly make the situation worse and if just left the chimney may become seriously unstable.
- A Damper or Firebox that is Rusted – If either the damper (which is designed to seal off the flue) or the firebox has rusted, it’s a sure sign that they’ve been exposed to moisture and that something is not quite right. Allowing too much moisture to enter the chimney can lead to a range of dangerous situations, including the cracking of flue tiles, which could lead to a fire breaking out, meaning it’s essential that you get in touch with a chimney repair specialist as soon as possible.
- Parts of Flue Tiles Piling Up – Examine the bottom part of the chimney to check whether any debris has built up. In particular, look out for parts of flue tiles, as this indicates that the chimney lining is damaged, which has the potential to cause a house fire, as mentioned in the last paragraph. This will only apply if your chimney is relatively old though, since many of today’s models are now fitted with stainless steel linings.
- Cracks on the Chimney Crown – This is something else that you won’t be able to spot without being on the rooftop, but if there’s a problem it will be apparent. The crown is your chimney’s first line of defence against the elements, but just as with the mortar joints, if cracks develop, freeze-thaw cycles can open them up rather quickly, which provides moisture a direct route into the interior of your chimney. This can lead to other problems, such as the shaling of the flue lining .
- Are Your Bricks Spalling? – If you’re not sure what “spalling” is, it’s where moisture get’s inside the brick (or stone or concrete if that’s what your chimney is constructed from) and damages the surface of your masonry. If this has occurred at your property, it will be quite apparent as parts of the masonry will fall off, and if a chimney repair contractor is not contacted, the entire structure may become unstable and eventually collapse.