The chimney is the staple of a lot of people’s homes, but many will often totally forget or overlook their chimney, and this neglect can lead to severe problems down the line.
However, paying attention and keeping tabs on your chimney will keep your home and, more importantly, your family safe from a severe fire hazard. We’ll be going over everything you need to keep a lookout on so you can know if you need to replace your chimney!
Rust is something nobody wants to see anywhere, but it’s especially important when found on a fundamental structure of your home! A rusted damper or firebox may indicate that there’s an excess of moisture in your chimney.
You may not notice this rust immediately, but if your damper doesn’t seal properly or operate like it’s meant to, then it could be an indication of rust.
Locating the source of this moisture is critical to understanding what’s going on. So consider doing some investigating into it with the help of some professionals!
Deteriorating Mortar Joints
If you have damaged mortar joints, then these have to be dealt with immediately. As the mortar deteriorates, the masonry is exposed to more moisture, which accelerates the deterioration of your chimney. In freezing temperatures, the moisture can freeze into the cracks. This can accelerate the breakdown of your chimney as a whole.
Efflorescence or White Staining
The white discoloration on chimneys is called efflorescence. You can remove the staining reasonably easily, but don’t mistake that for fixing the moisture problem that caused it. Efflorescence is a clear sign of too much moisture in your chimney.
Chimney Crown Damage
The top of your chimney is referred to as the crown. It’s wise to keep a lookout for cracks or other damage on the crown of your chimney, as this can be the root cause of many additional moisture-related issues. If a closer inspection of the crown reveals major cracks or serious damage, then you need to contact a professional to assess your chimney.
Damage to Wallpaper
The wallpaper on the walls near your chimney, if damaged, can be a more visible sign of water damage. Unfortunately, this means that the moisture stuck in your chimney is already spreading to the rest of your home. So, catching this early on is critical.
Shaling is another crucial sign that you need to keep an eye out for on the inside of your chimney. If you notice thin slices of chimney tile inside of your chimney, then it’s a good indicator that the flue is damaged. The flue lining is important for the operation of your fireplace and chimney. While you may be able to notice some of this damage on your own, you can’t truly know the extent of it until you contact a professional.
Spalling occurs outside your chimney and typically presents itself as masonry bits around the bottom of your chimney. This is caused when water damage makes the concrete, brick or stone flake off or pop out of the chimney.
Pools of Water in Your Fireplace
Certainly one of the more obvious warning signs, this can be very serious. Faulty flashing, worn-out mortar and cracks in the crown can all cause this issue. If you see any amount of water in your fireplace, then it can be a warning of something worse to come, so you should seek professional help as soon as you can.
Your chimney and fireplace are meant to feel safe and comfortable for you and your family. So be observant and make sure if you see any of these signs, especially multiple signs, that you get professional help because it could be time for a replacement.
We understand just how important the safety and happiness of you and your loved ones are. To ensure you get the help you need and not another fire hazard that will put your home at risk, come to us! We have the experience and know-how to get the job done in the right way. So when it’s cold out, you can all bundle up next to that fireplace.