What Signs to Look for in a Damaged Chimney
Sitting near a crackling fire in your fireplace can put you at ease and help melt stress away. Just don’t forget there’s a chimney involved in the activity! Brick masonry chimneys are highly vulnerable to moisture damage, and it’s because bricks can operate like sponges that soak up moisture. The way chimney stacks are built is all about trying to prevent damage caused by water. Many different components of the chimney are prone to fail, however.
You can reduce chimney repair costs by catching signs of damage early. Below you can learn what signs to look for as an indication that your chimney is damaged.
Leave it to the Chimney Sweep Experts
The things that you need to do in order to notice early signs of damage in a chimney are virtually all performed on the roof. Climbing on a roof is a dangerous undertaking. In fact, roofing is known to be one of the most dangerous jobs. If you want to leave chimney inspections to trained professionals, contact local chimney sweep experts. Be certain you are contacting a legitimate chimney company and not one of the many bad actors who take advantage of homeowners because the chimney industry isn’t regulated by the government. Among the good guys are the chimney sweeps at Burlington Fireplace & Heating. All of our chimney technicians are experienced and NFI-certified, which means they have had extensive training.
The truth is that it often takes an expert eye to notice early signs of chimney damage. So, while you are staying off your roof for safety reasons, there is also a good chance you may be saving money on chimney repairs by taking care of problems before they become major issues.
The chimney crown is the cement-looking part of the chimney at the very top of the masonry structure. Chimney crowns prevent water from pouring down between the exterior masonry and the chimney flue. Cracks often develop, and it is important to repair or replace the chimney crown to protect your chimney from water damage.
Spalling is evidence that your bricks have already been damaged by moisture. The face of the bricks pop and flake off as a result of brick damage caused by water inside the masonry. During freezing and thawing cycles in winter, the bricks expand and contract. The more frequently the movement occurs, the more quickly the bricks will begin to visibly deteriorate. Bricks will need to be removed and at least a partial chimney rebuild is necessary when spalling occurs.
Damaged Mortar Joints
The mortar that holds bricks together has a much shorter lifespan than the bricks themselves. Once mortar begins to deteriorate, moisture can get inside the masonry. If you catch the damage early on, you can use a procedure called “tuckpointing” to remove old mortar and replace it with new mortar. This will give your chimney renewed strength and a like-new appearance. If it’s too late for tuckpointing, chimney teardown and rebuilding will be needed, whether partial or complete.
Call the Pros at Burlington Fireplace & Heating
Burlington Fireplace & Heating is the place to call for reliable chimney inspections performed by certified chimney sweeps. Our comprehensive chimney services include chimney cleaning, chimney repair, masonry rebuilds, flashing repair, and more. Call Burlington Fireplace today at 262-763-3522 and schedule a visit from an expert to check for signs of chimney damage.