How to Tell if Your Fireplace Needs Repair

Who wouldn’t appreciate having a fireplace in their home for cozy nights spent with family and friends, reading a book, or just lounging around? The ambiance created by the crackling fire is simply incomparable! But there are also some risks, in order to keep your home and family safe, you should be able to recognize the warning signs when your fireplace needs a repair.  

Chimney repair warning signs: What to look for?

1. Your chimney is not heating enough

You notice your fire moves too far up the chimney and not enough heat is released. This could mean there is a blockage or there might be an issue with your damper. In order to avoid adding more wood than necessary and having the risk of growing a fire out of control, the best course of action is to make an appointment with your expert chimney company. 

2. Moisture buildup

If you notice moisture outside your chimney, look for the following: rusty metal pieces, rotted wood, crumbling mortar or brickwork, mold, stains, or any tilting to the structure. On the inside, if you notice your wallpaper close to the fireplace warping or becoming damaged, it is likely because of excess moisture from the chimney. It is important that you contact a professional chimney services company like us as soon as possible. This could lead to more severe problems such as mold or water damage to your home. 

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3. There is smoke in the room 

If smoke billows back into the room when you start a fire, rather than going straight up the chimney, potential issues may exist, like a blocked flue, deteriorating mortar between the bricks, or a cracked chimney liner, all indicating the necessity for a thorough cleaning or change an inappropriately sized flue; your best option is to call an expert.  

4. Damage in any of the components of your fireplace 

You see cracks or damage in the firebox, chimney, flue, or other components of your fireplace. While cracks may give your fireplace an antiquated and rustic aesthetic, they can also create serious structural issues with the internal workings of your unit. The best way to avoid deep structural damage and keep you chimney safe and in working order, is to call an expert as soon as you start noticing the cracks.  

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5. Unpleasant odors

Your chimney is emitting an unusual smell like a burning odor when you light a fire. If you detect a gas odor emanating from your gas fireplace, it is likely that there is a leak. If your system smells moldy or damp, the chances are water is getting in too easily. Regardless of whether inside or outside, all signs of water damage should be taken seriously and dealt with immediately.  

6. Animal sounds

If you hear the cheerful chirp of birds or the faint scurrying noise coming from your chimney, chances are there is an animal living in it. Animals can wreak havoc with chimneys, creating risks and problems that may be costly to repair. Animals in your fireplace add debris to the air you breathe, and they also leave behind dangerous waste that can contaminate the environment, their waste or death bodies represent an inminent fire hazard risk. It is vital that any animals are removed immediately for the safety of your family and their wellbeing.  

7. Change of color

Discoloration on the outside of the chimney. When moisture gets into the bricks’ mortar, it can leave discoloration stains that may be black, brown, green, red or white. The problem may be excess creosote, too much moisture in the flue, or an accumulation of mold. Any type of discoloration on the outside of the chimney is a sign that professional attention is needed.  

Clogs, moisture and animals are warning signs should be taken seriously since they can all have devastating consequences if left unaddressed, like fire hazards, mold growth and potential hazardous gases entering your home. So don’t forget to check your fireplace before the cold winter months come around again.  

Give us a call if you notice any of these signs, or if it’s been too long since your last chimney inspection!  

One Reply to “How to Tell if Your Fireplace Needs Repair”

  1. Just the other day, we noticed this strange smell coming from our fireplace when we tried to use it. This makes me think that something is indeed wrong with it, and if this is already a problem that started months ago, it might be too difficult for us to fix. I’ll ask for help from a masonry expert so we can get some help with fixing this fireplace and getting the smell to go away.

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