Signs Your Chimney Is Failing
With the recent official arrival of winter, chimneys everywhere are being used for the first time in a while. It may seem the most natural of things, but it can be risky to light a fireplace when the chimney hasn’t been professionally maintained. Chimney components often fail. Obstructions in a chimney are common, too. If you are unsure or concerned about your chimney’s condition, hold off on starting a fire.
Contact chimney experts to inspect all chimney components and provide insight into the safety of using your chimney. The following are a few of the signs that your chimney needs repair.
Hazardous Buildup in the Flue
Each year when lighting the season’s first fire, many homeowners experience a chimney fire, some of which result in a life-threatening house fire. The cause is usually excess creosote in the flue. The tar-like substance is highly flammable. When the chimney isn’t cleaned regularly, the creosote builds up, layer upon layer, eventually choking out the draft, as well. A sign that you have an increased risk of a chimney fire due to creosote is that you haven’t scheduled chimney cleaning in more than a year. Also, if there is black staining at the top of your chimney, it is an indication of excessive creosote inside the flue.
Rusty or Faulty Flashing
The metal flashing on chimneys is subject to rusting. If you have even so much as a rusty nail on the flashing, it could be an indication of a leak in your roof. Flashing leaks also occur due to improper installation. Contact chimney experts if it appears your flashing is in disrepair or if you’ve discovered that your roof is leaking.
Chimney Damper Issues
If you try opening your chimney damper but it won’t open or close properly, it could be due to blockage in the chimney or a damaged flue. Another possible indication of a problem is that the airflow in the fireplace doesn’t change when you open the damper. Repair or clearing out of chimney blockage may be needed.
If you’ve noticed bits of broken brick on your roof or underneath the chimney on the ground below, it is likely due to spalling. When water gets into masonry, the moisture inside expands and contracts during freezing and thawing cycles in winter. The bricks begin to deteriorate. The face of the bricks will begin popping and flaking off, which is referred to as spalling. Unless repairs are made, the chimney will begin leaning and could collapse.
Visible Chimney Cracks
If you’ve noticed that there are cracks in your chimney, contact chimney experts as soon as you can. Cracks are evidence that something is wrong and chimney repairs are needed as soon as possible. Cracks also allow moisture into the chimney system.
Contact The Chimney Experts
At Burlington Fireplace & Heating, our chimney sweeps are trained, certified, and experienced. We are a family-owned business proudly serving Burlington WI and the surrounding area. Our chimney maintenance services are reliable, and we also sell and install heating appliances from top manufacturers. Contact us at 262-763-3522 today if you have a failing chimney and need a chimney inspection or chimney repair.