Dangerous Characteristics of a Neglected Chimney
As spring arrives, you may not think much about your fireplace, even less about its chimney, but now is when you should consider its condition. As it is with your home’s roof, spring and summer are the best times to have your chimney inspected when it’s not in use. If your chimney is in disrepair, there are a number of issues that could arise. Is your chimney in good condition? Is it a hazard? Here are some dangerous characteristics of a neglected chimney that you should be aware of.
Your Chimney’s Brickwork is Crumbling
You’re right if you think crumbling brickwork in your chimney sounds bad. Not only does crumbling brickwork impact the aesthetics of your chimney, but it could also have repercussions for your entire home. Crumbling brickwork means your chimney needs to be inspected right away.
Water can find its way into your home every time it rains through crumbling brick; not only does this further the damage to your chimney, but it can cause water damage around your chimney, which can lead to issues such as rotting wood and mold inside your home.
The biggest issue is that a chimney with crumbling brickwork poses a significant safety issue to you and your family. Once a chimney starts to come apart, it can collapse and fall on you, your pets, or your children. Having your chimney inspected for structural damage will prevent its collapse.
Your Chimney’s Mortar Joints are Compromised
The state of the mortar joints in your chimney’s masonry is crucial to its well-being. If mortar joints begin to crack and fall apart, the masonry can become exposed. As stated earlier, water damage can occur when a chimney starts to break down. Water is known as the great solvent, it created the Grand Canyon, and it can erode your chimney’s structure as well.
If there is water inside your chimney, when temperatures drop below freezing, the water will solidify and expand, causing cracks to widen. This allows more water in when the weather becomes warmer, which will freeze when temperatures drop below 32 degrees; you get the idea.
Damaged mortar joints must be repaired, and if left unattended, they could cause your chimney to crumble and collapse.
Your Chimney’s Crown is Damaged
A damaged chimney crown can be the first step leading to your chimney crumbling; just like damaged mortar joints, a damaged chimney crown can let water seep into your chimney and wreak havoc. It also allows wildlife like birds, bats, raccoons, and insects to access your home. A crumbling chimney crown can also cause damage to your flue and lead to a chimney fire.
Your Chimney’s Flue Tiles are Cracked
An issue with many older chimneys is cracked flue tiles. Over time weather and a buildup of creosote from fires can cause flue tiles to become brittle. If unattended, these damaged tiles can lead to a host of issues such as chimney fires, water damage leading to the erosion and crumbling of the chimney, wildlife invasion, and more if you have not had your chimney cleaned or inspected in years, its time to do both. Neglecting the flue tiles in your chimney is a sure way to put you and your family at risk.
Keeping Your Chimney in Good Shape
There is hope for your chimney; cleaning and maintenance will extend the life of your chimney and protect your home from chimney fires. An annual inspection and cleaning of your chimney is one way to preserve it. Another way to extend the life of your chimney is to have it cleaned when the soot inside the chimney reaches an eighth of an inch thick, per the Chimney Safety Institute of America’s recommendation.
Another option to keeping your chimney intact is to install a chimney cap if you don’t have one. It will protect your chimney from the elements and extend its life.
Burlington Fireplace and Solar Can Help You Maintain Your Chimney
Contact Burlington Fireplace and Solar to assist in maintaining your old (or new) chimney. Get in touch with us; one of our experienced staff can help you determine what kind of maintenance your chimney needs. We will schedule a time that works for you to inspect and clean your chimney. Don’t let your chimney fall into disrepair; call us today.