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What to Expect from a Faulty Chimney

When your chimney isn’t working right or is damaged, a variety of problems can result. Here is what to look for in your chimney system and ways to address any issues you may find.

Excess creosote

Creosote is a highly flammable substance that forms during wood-fire combustion. It’s the cause of most chimney fires in the U.S. each year.

It’s hard to see a creosote buildup in your chimney flue, so the best way to determine how much is in there is through a professional chimney inspection.

Creosote problems are solved by having a CSIA-certified chimney sweep remove the substance with specialized tools and cleaning solvents. Chimney sweeping should be done once a year.

chimney cleaning, richmond ilFlue obstructions

If you operate your chimney without a chimney cap, it can attract all kinds of debris including small-animal nests and leaves and twigs from nearby trees.

A large obstruction can cause smoke and deadly carbon monoxide to back up into your home or make it difficult to start fires and keep them going due to a sluggish draft.

This problem can be solved with the services of a chimney sweep. And add a custom full-width chimney cap if you don’t have one.

Damaged chimney liner

Chimney liners can be made of stainless steel, a cast-in-place compound or clay tiles. All are subject to damage over the years. A compromised liner can put materials of your home at risk of fire and lead to serious interior masonry damage.

You can’t see damage to your chimney liner, so you’ll need to have a qualified inspector take a look.

After the inspection, you’ll be given recommendations on how to solve the problem based on the extent of the damage and the type of liner you have. Repair or a full replacement will be your options.

Leaky chimney

Water that gets into a chimney system can do widespread damage as it decays bricks and mortar and rusts certain components.

Signs of a chimney leak include water in the firebox, white staining on the exterior masonry, damp patches on walls and the ceiling near the chimney and strong unpleasant odors coming from the fireplace.

A chimney inspection is the way to determine why your chimney is leaking. Good chimney repair technicians can fix whatever is causing the leak.

Masonry damage

Damaged masonry can progress to the point the chimney begins to lean or ultimately collapses. Masonry damage can happen because of water infiltration as well as earthquakes, lightning strikes, inferior materials used to build the chimney, house-settling, freeze/thaw cycles and other events.

You usually can spot obvious damage to your chimney’s masonry, but an inspector may be needed to determine if hidden damage exists.

Once you know exactly what’s happening with your masonry, either chimney repair work or partial or complete chimney rebuilding will solve the problem.

chimney cap replacement, burlington WIChimney cap/chimney crown damage

A compromised chimney cap will allow water and debris into the flue. A cracked chimney crown puts the bricks below it at risk of water damage and allows water to run down into the chimney’s interior areas.

You can spot cracks in the chimney crown and see obvious signs of damage to the chimney cap.

Chimney service companies can solve both chimney crown issues with repair or rebuilding work. If a chimney cap is to blame, this can be remedied with chimney cap repair or replacement.

Get chimney issues resolved now

Burlington Fireplace & Solar of Burlington, WI, is ready to help with any of these and other chimney issues you might be facing. Our CSIA-certified chimney sweeps, repair techs and inspectors work year-round. Call us today at (262) 763-3522.

 

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