A chimney is something that should last a long time if it is well-built and maintained. However, different factors can damage a chimney and might reduce its longevity. Minor damage can be handled, but rebuilding will be the safest and most viable option if you see significant chimney damage.
To figure out whether your chimney needs to be repaired or replaced, you should do regular inspections with a certified chimney company like ours. This will help to identify any damage and the extent of it.
In this blog, you will learn what are the most common signs that you need a new chimney.
1. Fractured Bricks
Water damage or other events like earthquakes, lightning strikes, hail, and other unpredictable forces can cause loose or spalling bricks. Loose bricks in the chimney can cause it to lean and eventually collapse.
2. Damage Caused by Water
When water penetrates, cracks or breaks anywhere within the chimney system, a chain reaction of destruction will ensue. Water erodes masonry; when water freezes in between cracks, it expands, causing damage that is often undetectable. White staining on the exterior bricks, water in the firebox, terrible smells from the fireplace, and humid regions of walls and ceilings adjacent to the fireplace/chimney are all signs of water penetration.
3. Crooked Chimney
A crooked chimney can only mean two things: The chimney’s structure may need to be rebuilt entirely, or the chimney foundation may be severely damaged. A chimney repair and rebuild can help you prevent collapse and severe damage to your roof and property in either scenario.
4. Masonry fractures
They look harmless, but even the most minor cracks in a chimney’s masonry or the cement chimney crown at the top can lead to severe problems. Keep an eye open for this cracks, this can help you identify whether or not you need a new chimney. Also, the fractures in the structure tend to enlarge and allow water and moisture to get in. Events described above can cause cracks, which should be dealt with as soon as they appear. For minor cracking, a waterproof sealant often is an effective solution.
5. Mortar Joints collapsing or crumbling.
If the mortar that binds the bricks together is concerned, then you are facing the scenario that just gets worse and worse, culminating in a chimney collapse. Look for crumbling areas on the roof and see if you can spot open sections between any of the bricks. We also recommend that you schedule a professional chimney inspection from your local chimney company.
6. Damage to chimney caps and chimney crowns
The chimney cap and the crown are in place to shield the chimney structure and interior flue from water and obstructions. A fractured cap allows water to enter the chimney and provides tree debris and small nest-building animals to enter, which will block the drafting of smoke. A damaged chimney crown allows water to enter the flue and begin a deterioration process in the bricks beneath it.
Most people don’t think about their chimney until there is a problem with it, losing thousands of dollars and risking their safety. To avoid this, perform chimney inspections at least once a year. According to the chimney safety institute of America, performing an inspection once a year will help you prevent any issues with your chimney, like smoke spilling into the house or excessive creosote buildup. A CSIA Certified technician can inspect your chimney and recommend the best course of action, repairing or rebuilding it.