How Do I Know If My Chimney Needs Repair?

While your chimney may not seem like a major structural component of your house, a faulty chimney may cause serious problems if not properly maintained. Keeping your family and home safe is crucial, so it’s important to know what warning signs to look for when inspecting your chimney. If you’re on the fence about whether or not your chimney needs repair, this article is here to help. Keep reading to learn more about what you should be looking for to determine when your chimney needs some touching up. 


Efflorescence is just a fancy term that means there’s white staining and discoloration on your chimney. If you’re seeing this issue arise, it means there’s a lot of excess moisture building up, and it needs to be taken care of immediately. Understand that simply cleaning the staining may be easily done, but does not solve the problem itself. Efflorescence needs to be eliminated as soon as possible to prevent your chimney from deteriorating and causing damage to the rest of your home. 


Spalling is another fancy masonry word that heavily relates to efflorescence. It simply means that moisture buildup (from efflorescence) in your chimney has caused pieces of the masonry to break, flake off and crumble. To detect spalling, all you have to do is go outside and check for debris coming off the exterior of your chimney. Be sure to contact experts to repair your chimney immediately if you notice spalling, as this sort of issue can result in the rapid decay of your chimney and eventual destruction of your roof and house. 


Rust is yet another problem that is a result of moisture invading your chimney. Rusting is a sign of a breach in components of your chimney like flue tiles. As moisture seeps through your chimney, it can make its way down to pieces like your firebox and damper, causing rusting. If you’re noticing that your damper is having troubles working efficiently or sealing up properly, that may be an early sign of rusting. If you’re seeing visible rusting on your firebox or damper, get in touch with professionals to solve the problem quickly. Solving this issue is important, as a crack in the chimney system has the potential to cause house fires that may destroy your home.


Are you tired of the masonry lingo yet? Shaling is another industry term that has to do with the interior of your chimney. If you notice pieces of your chimney building up in the bottom of your fireplace, you have a shaling problem. Shaling is an indicator that your flue is compromised.   You may be dealing with a flue lining issue, so it’s best to have an expert come and inspect the damage. To prevent shaling, be committed to having an annual inspection done of your fireplace. Chimney sweeps and experts can identify and fix potential problems that you may not be able to readily see. 

Cracked Chimney Crown

To locate this issue, you’ll need to take a trip to your roof. The crown of your chimney is important because it provides the first layer of protection against the outside elements. Without it, your chimney would be saturated with all of the unpleasant parts of the great outdoors. If your chimney crown is cracked, a good deal of problems will follow. Water can seep into these cracks and freeze, making the breaks larger and creating new cracks in the process. If this cycle repeats over time, your chimney will eventually collapse. Crown damage can also allow water and other debris to ruin the liner of your chimney, which results in shaling and spalling. Chimney crowns (and chimneys themselves) should be weatherproofed by a professional to make sure that they can withstand the elements and keep your home safe. 

Wallpaper Damage

If the wallpaper around your fireplace is damaged, that’s normally a strong indication that your chimney needs repairing. The problem in this scenario is that there’s likely excess moisture in your chimney as a result of some of the other problems listed above. Wallpaper damage in the fireplace vicinity is almost always a red flag that you have deeper issues with your chimney that need to be dealt with immediately. 

If your chimney requires repairs or you have other projects around the house that require an expert’s touch, call us! Contact Ray Arnold Masonry today for all your masonry needs – let’s work together to get your home plans completed! Get in touch with us right away to learn more about how we can serve you.