Chimneys can experience a massive range of issues that range from the subtle to the extreme. In this blog entry, the chimney cleaning service experts here at Chimney Sweep Near Me will detail the main signs to look for signs that your chimney is failing.
If your chimney is leaking, it may be blocked with obstructions. It’s possible that there’s a bird nest inside your chimney, or a mouse is stuck in it. Your chimney flue could be fully covered with soot and creosote, or its damper could be stuck. Snow, ice, leaves, or any range of material that has been blown into your chimney could be blocking it. If you suspect any blockage, never light your fireplace. One sign that your chimney is blocked is if smoke isnt leaving your home through your chimney. In order to test if your chimney is blocked, try to hear air flow through your chimney (ensuring the damper is open.) Also visually inspect the chimney to ensure the damper is open, using a flashlight. You should be able to see daylight through your chimney during the day if it is unobstructed.
Damaged Chimney Bricks
If your chimney’s outside has missing or damaged bricks, it should be repaired. Exposure to the weather degrades chimney bricks and mortar – which both lose integrity over time. Chimney structure can also be damaged from strong winds, hail, rain, temperature changes, and falling tree branches. Make sure to have your chimney brickwork regularly inspected – at least once a year.
Make sure that your chimney mortar is periodically repaired with tuckpointing in order to maintain its structural integrity. Tuckpointing is available in a wide range of colored mortar to match your existing chimney structure.
Sometimes metal chimney caps or chimney flashing can become rusted, which can lead to leaks or other issues. If you have noticed that your chimney flashing or cap is rusted, replace them. Brand new caps can help protect against leaks, and brand new flashing will make sure that your roof repels water.
Crumbling Chimney Crown
The chimney crown protects against weather, and if it is missing or damaged, your chimney brick and mortar will degrade faster. Make sure to replace any chimney crown that’s experienced degradation – this is of extreme importance.
Chimney Flue Buildup
Make sure that your chimney flue stays as clean as possible. If it’s been awhile since your chimney has been cleaned, or if you use it on a regular basis, have your flue cleaned of all creosote and soot. Built up soot and creosote can rapidly ignite, causing house fires. We recommend an – at least – annual inspection of chimneys.
Chimney Damper Issues
The mechanical chimney damper can possibly experience breakage over the years. If your chimney damper is no longer opening or closing properly, or won’t easily adjust, a fire won’t be able to be maintained in your fireplace. If you’re not seeing an airflow shift when you adjust your chimney damper, it’s likely that you will need a professional chimney damper repair.