Easy-to-Spot Reasons to Schedule Pro Chimney Repair
The majority of homeowners are eager to buy a home with a fireplace, yet proper chimney maintenance is often neglected. Safety is the top reason to keep chimneys in a state of good repair. Another important consideration is that repair of neglected chimneys is typically much more expensive than keeping up with needed maintenance.
Moisture is the number one cause of chimney deterioration and related issues. Obviously, the longer a leak of some kind goes undetected, the more extensive the damage. Not sure whether your chimney requires repair or maintenance? The following are some easy-to-identify reasons professional chimney repair is needed.
Indoor signs that chimney repair is needed
Annual inspections provide the benefit of reducing the frequency and severity of needed chimney repairs. Not all signs of deterioration are obvious. It helps when you know what to look for. Some potential problems can be identified from the comfort of your living room, including the following:
- Check to see if the damper opens and closes easily. Look for evidence of pitting, cracks, or extensive rusting. You can use a dollar bill for a test of whether or not the damper creates an adequate seal. Place the dollar between the damper doors and then close them. The seal is not adequate if the bill can easily be tugged out anywhere along the damper doors. If any of these situations exist, a professional chimney technician may recommend that you get a new damper.
- Closely examine your firebox. If there are loose joints or cracks, repair is needed. Small cracks can typically be repaired by chimney experts quickly and easily by applying refractory cement. It’s important that the firebox is in good condition because it protects combustible parts of your home from being exposed to extreme temperatures.
- Look on the floor of your firebox for crumbling mortar or other types of debris that may have fallen from above. Such debris could be a sign of a deteriorating flue liner.
- Open the damper and look up the flue liner using a high-powered flashlight. The joints should be smooth and well-sealed. If you see any defects such as cracks, it’s a sign that your flue probably needs to be either repaired or replaced. Like the firebox, the flue liner protects your home from the hazard of home fires by keeping extreme heat away from combustibles.
- If you smell smoke in the home even when the firebox is cold, it’s a sign that you may have excess creosote. If creosote is exposed to moisture, the flue liner tends to deteriorate more quickly.
Outdoor signs of chimney damage
There are plenty of things you can look for on the chimney exterior, as well, to determine whether repair may be needed. You may not have the type of roof that’s safe to climb on.
If that’s the case and chimney maintenance has been neglected, it’s best to contact a chimney professional right away for an inspection. If you can safely do an inspection of your chimney, here are some things to look for as signs that chimney repair is needed:
- Is the chimney cap in good condition or do you need to have a chimney cap installed? These are essential appliances, since they keep rain out of your chimney system.
- Are there cracks or is there any type of crumbling of the cement chimney crown that’s at the top of the chimney?
- Does the metal flashing have any signs of rusting, even as small as a rusty nail?
- Is the masonry mortar in good condition, or are the mortar joints cracked and loose?
- Is there evidence that bits of brick have broken off?
- Is there discoloration, such as white or brown deposits, on your chimney?
- When you look down into the flue with a flashlight, does the lining have any cracks or other signs of deterioration?
Contact our chimney professionals today to schedule repair, if you see any of the above-named signs of damage. All of our technicians are trained and certified. They will give you an accurate, reliable assessment of the condition of your chimney and firebox so that you can get any needed repairs before further damage occurs.