Nearly every aspect of your home needs repair at one time or another and your chimney is no exception. Having your chimney repaired when needed will lengthen its life and prevent the rise of serious issues in the future. But just how do you know when your chimney needs repairs? Having your fireplace and chimney regularly inspected can prevent dangerous problems like chimney/house fires and even a chimney collapse. In some instances, you can see the signs signaling chimney repair is needed like bricks falling from the chimney but in other instances the need for repair goes unnoticed. Let’s explore some common signs that your chimney needs repair.
Falling bricks are a sure sign your chimney needs repair. Often you’ll see brick pieces or even entire bricks in your yard, indicating a chimney condition known as spalling. When it occurs, the need for repair is imminent to avoid your chimney falling to the ground. Spalling repairs include the removal and replacement of damage bricks and mortar with fresh replacements, which are then coated with a waterproof searer to avoid the recurrence of the issue in the future.
An Odd Smell or Filtering Smoke
If you’ve had a fire in the fireplace and noticed a weird smell or filtering smoke in your home as a result, your chimney liner is malfunctioning. Among your chimney liner’s chief roles is to pull fumes and smoke up and out through the chimney. When if fails to do so, it increase the chances of you and your family falling ill as well as the possibility of a fire. The issue is, often a damaged chimney liner is not apparent at first glance making a regular chimney inspection a necessary preventative.
Damaged Mortar Joints
Probably the most common sign of a chimney which needs repair is damaged mortar joints. Look at your chimney and examine the mortar between your bricks. This mortar holds the bricks together and when holes or cracks are present, your mortar needs repair. Failing to make the needed repairs can result in water seepage and subsequent damage. Damaged mortar joints are repaired with a process known as tuckpointing, which in turn will restore the safety and structure to your chimney as well as improve its overall appearance.
Chimney Crown Cracks
Most homeowners aren’t in the habit of getting on the roof and inspecting the chimney crown (the top of the chimney) making regular professional inspections a must. If your chimney crown is cracked, it should be repaired quickly to avoid an expanding crack which allows water inside and results in damage to brick work and mortar joints. In fact, a cracked chimney crown can cause falling bricks. Chimney crown cracks caught in the early phases are easy to repair with specialized weather resistant coatings which seal cracks and protect the crown from future damage.
Broken Clay Tiles in the Firebox
Examine the contents of your firebox for broken clay tiles. If you find these broken pieces of tile, it is an indication of clay tiles deteriorating. The crumbling pieces show up inside your firebox and could indicate a chimney liner failure is imminent. When your chimney liner is failing, it can’t regulate heat, which in turn causes damage to flue tiles, resulting in cracks and breakage. This problem needs to be addressed immediately to avoid a potential fire, health hazards, or a chimney rebuild.
Call on Turnbull Masonry for Chimney Inspection and Repair
At Turnbull Masonry, you will find the professional expertise needed to inspect, repair, or rebuild your chimney safely. Call today.