Many homeowners make the mistake of forgetting about their chimney. They just assume that this part of their house can be taken for granted. However, a lot of problems can arise and a chimney should be repaired at the soonest time possible. Damaged chimneys are serious fire hazards.
How will you know if it is time for a chimney repair, then? Here are some obvious signs to watch out for.
Efflorescence is the white discoloration on chimneys. While it is simple to get rid of this staining, cleaning this will not solve the moisture issue that caused the white residue in the first place.
Efflorescence is the clear sign of too much moisture in the masonry. When left untouched, it is possible that premature deterioration of your chimney will occur aside from other potential moisture-related problems.
You have to repair weakened mortar joints between the chimney masonry right away. Once the mortar weakens, the masonry will get exposed to more moisture and this can accelerate the entire chimney’s deterioration.
During colder months, the extra moisture can freeze in the masonry cracks. Once moisture has thawed and froze in cement, rocks, and bricks, bigger cracks can form. The whole chimney can collapse if you don’t repair the damaged mortar.
Your damper or firebox should not have any signs of rust. But if you notice some, this is a clear indication that your chimney has excess moisture. You may not see the rust on the damper right away. However, if it fails to operate properly or seal well, it can be because of the rust.
If your chimney has enough moisture to cause visible rusting signs, it is possible that there is a serious damage like cracked flue tiles. It is crucial to hire the services of a professional chimney sweep.
Experts will use a special camera to check the flue lining and make sure that the chimney system is not breached as this can ultimately lead to a fire in your home.
If there are thin chimney tile slices that collect in your fireplace, this is another indication that you have a damaged flue. The flue lining is integral to safe operation of a chimney and fireplace. This is the reason why a yearly chimney inspection is vital.
A professional chimney sweep can perform a close analysis of your flue lining and identify problems that will go undetected otherwise. For instance, when the tiles are not crumbling but are cracked, there is a chance that you will not see any visible signs of the breach in your chimney system.
Spalling is a problem that happens outside the chimney. You can easily detect this because you will see some bits of masonry gathering around the bottom part of the structure. Once moisture gets into the masonry, this can force the surface of concrete, stone, or brick to pop out, flake off, or peel off.
It is essential to replace the damaged masonry to avoid continued crumbling and complete destruction of your chimney in the long run.