Top Signs That Your Chimney Needs Repair

Construction & Contractors Blog

Have you recently moved into a home with a fireplace? Are you wondering how to tell if your fireplace and chimney are in good repair? Keeping your chimney in good condition is essential to being able to have a cozy fire whenever you want. Here are some signs that you should be on the lookout for:

Rusted damper or firebox: Visible rust can be an important sign that you are in need of a chimney repair. A properly working chimney system should keep out most, if not all, rain which will keep your dampers and firebox from rusting. If it doesn't keep out the excess moisture, rust can keep the dampers from opening properly when needed. If you think the dampers are open but they have actually rusted shut, you could fill your home with smoke and other potentially toxic gasses. 

Flaking bricks: Flaking bricks, also known as "spalling" occurs when water enters cracks in a brick and then freezes, causing part of the brick to fall off. While you might be tempted to ignore the occasional small piece of masonry that ends up in your fireplace, it can turn into a serious issue. If ignored,  your chimney can eventually start to crumble completely. While you should be able to effect repairs when the problem is still new, later stages can require the chimney to be entirely rebuilt.

Cracked chimney crown: In order to spot a cracked chimney crown, you may need to get on your roof for a close inspection. If you do spot any crack in the cement crown, no matter how large or small, you should contact a chimney repair company as soon as possible. Cracks in the crown can allow water to seep into your chimney, causing rusting and masonry flaking. By repairing the crown as soon as you notice a potential problem, you'll be able to avoid more extensive and costly repairs later on.

Mysterious odors: While you might assume that air should go up and out of a chimney, this isn't always the case when there's no fire built. Odors are often a sign that your chimney has been clogged with foreign material. For example, if the room with the fireplace smells like a compost pile, then your chimney has probably been clogged with leaves and other plant materials. If the room smells like a barbecue gone wrong or like a hot parking lot, then you probably have too much creosote buildup. Other unidentifiable odors are also a good reason to have your chimney inspected.


30 June 2015

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