Your chimney is an essential part of your home! If the chimney in your home is not doing its job correctly, your safety is compromised. For a layperson, you might assume that some tell tale signs are harmless and just the effects of using the chimney over an extended period.

Most people don’t know that a worn-out chimney can result in severe issues like carbon monoxide exposure, chimney fires, and moisture issues. Watch out for these signs of chimney damage our experts have seen in most homes.

Efflorescence

Efflorescence is a strange white stain that usually appears along the width of chimney brickwork. It is an indication of the presence of moisture in the structure. When you spot this, ensure you have a chimney inspection done by experts.

This problem is usually caused by a leak or other issues in the chimney. Mold and moisture can destroy your chimney and create other more serious issues. If you live in an area with a lot of moisture, there is a high possibility that you will face this problem.

Worn-out or cracked mortar joints (pointing)

Over time your chimney stack can develop cracked mortar joints (pointing). This can cause the brickwork to get ruined due to weather erosion, even if you do regular maintenance. If you do notice space between bricks or cracks, you should find a skilled mason to urgently repair the pointing.

When mortar joints get damaged they can allow water to trickle into your house’s chimney. If this happens during the cold season, the water can freeze, swell and cause more destruction. When your chimney has cracks, heat and smoke will escape from places they are not intended to. However, the greatest danger you will face is the possibility of the bricks falling when they no longer have the mortar that glues them together and makes them firm.

You can sometimes see the mortar joints on the chimney from the outside. In some situations, the damage occurs on the interior of the chimney, and you can see it in the fireplace. If there is any other issue with the mortar, enlisting the services of a professional will be prudent so they can inspect it with a video camera and make the necessary repairs.

Spalling blocks

Bricks and stone blocks are permeable. As time passes, moisture can infiltrate bricks and break them down. This process is called spalling. Similar to mortar joint damage, this problem can worsen when the weather is cold because moisture will freeze within the brick causing them to crack and flake.

What causes spalling?

  • Cleaning the brickwork with a powerful pressure washer
  • Weather and especially areas with either too cold or too hot climates
  • Old blocks in old structures
  • Poor quality materials

Since age is a significant factor in spalling, it is difficult to avoid it fully. The only thing you can do to reduce the damage is to use brickwork sealant and make repairs when necessary.

Damaged or cracked flaunching

The flaunching on top of your chimney holds the chimney pots in place and creates a seal that prevents the elements, pests and debris entering the chimney cavity.

Overtime flauching will deteriorate, causing the pots to work lose and allowing water to damage the chimney stack and lining.

Some minor repairs can be made to damaged flaunching but for safety it is best to replace damaged flaunching.

Flue Tiles that are shaling

The flue liner is found inside a chimney, it helps guide the movement of air upwards and out of your house and to prevent the bricks and your house from receiving too much heat. The first sign of damaged flue liner you will notice is finding thin shreds of tile in the fireplace.

The good news is that you have an unmistakable sign of a shaling problem. Most chimney liner issues are difficult to identify for homeowners because of the way the liner is installed from the bottom to the top of the chimney. If you see shaling tile, please contact us immediately for an inspection.

Damaged flashing

Chimney flashing refers to a metal sheet that acts as a seal between the roof and the chimney. Water getting into your roof can lead to various problems, including mold and wood decay. Flashing can be affected by weathering, so as time passes it will require replacement.

Water damage is likely to happen if you see parts of the flashing damaged by the elements or if there are holes and rust. The corners are more prone to wear and tear. Therefore, you should pay close attention to the flashing. If the damage is minimal, it can be easily repaired, but most of the time, it is more appropriate to replace it. Damaged flashing will leak water into sections of your home that will be hard to discover until it’s too late and severe damage has occurred.

Paint and wallpaper damage around your chimney

Have you looked at the area near your chimney lately?

Did you detect any signs of paint or wallpaper peeling around that area? If you did, then you should be aware that it is an indication that something is not okay. The flue liner could be destroyed, or the mortar and brick on the inner part may have cracked or weathered.

If you look around your chimney and see that the paint and wallpaper near it are coming off or the paint looks like it is bubbling, seek the advice of an expert who can inspect the chimney for you and avert serious consequences.

Is it possible for a chimney to get too damaged to be repaired?

Yes, it can. In some situations, a chimney can be severely damaged to the extent that it affects the structural integrity of a building. Thus, it requires complete replacement. Most homeowners detect the problem before it gets out of hand; nevertheless, this scenario is possible.

The most effective way to avoid the hassle of having to replace a chimney is to make arrangements to have chimney inspections done every year and fix any problems as soon as you spot them.

Don’t hesitate to fix a damaged chimney. Contact us today!

Are you in need of chimney repair services? Get in touch with us today for excellent and dependable chimney repair services. We can also do chimney inspections and notice any possible dangers. We will attend to your problem promptly for your peace of mind.