Repairing a chimney is a job best left to professionals.
But in some cases, diagnosing whether a chimney needs to be fixed is something any homeowner can do, provided they know what to look for.
Here are a few signs that you need chimney repair services.
1. Damage to your wallpaper
If you spot damage to your wallpaper in spots around your fireplace, it could be the result of excess moisture in your chimney. As you read on, we’ll discuss some of the issues that cause moisture to build up within the chimney.
2. Damage to your mortar joints
The first sign of damage we mentioned is something you can spot from the comfort of your living room. This next one may require you to climb up on your roof. If you spot damage to the mortar joints in your chimney while you’re up there, it’s time to call for chimney repair.
This sort of damage can expose the bricks in your chimney to more moisture. Water seeps into the small cracks in the masonry and turns them into larger cracks as temperatures go from warm to freezing and back. If left untouched, this problem can cause your chimney to collapse.
3. Cracked crown
While you’re up on the roof, check the crown of your chimney for damage. Just as with the mortar joints, cracks in the crown can allow water to get into the chimney. When that water freezes and then thaws, it causes even larger cracks. When your crown is damaged, you’re at risk for moisture seeping into the space between the chimney and the liner.
4. Shaling tiles
If your chimney liner becomes damaged, pieces of tile can begin to collect at the bottom of your chimney. This should be a signal that you have a serious problem in your chimney. You need a functioning flue for your chimney to work safely. If you have flue tiles that have begun to shale away, you should consult a professional chimney sweep right away.
5. Spalling bricks
“Spalling” refers to what happens when water enters stone, concrete or – for our purposes – brick and causes the surface of the masonry to peel or flake away. It’s easy to spot, because all you need to look for is bits of masonry that have fallen from your chimney. Again, this is a problem that can cause the chimney to crumble and ultimately fall if left alone.
6. Rust in the damper
One thing we hope we’ve made clear: moisture and your chimney aren’t a good mix. When you see signs that moisture has gotten into your chimney or fireplace, it’s time for a chimney repair. Among those signs is rust on your firebox or damper. If your damper becomes tough to operate, you may want to look for rust. It’s an early sign that moisture is entering your chimney, which could lead to many of the other problems we’ve mentioned here.
If you’ve noticed any of the issues on this list, don’t wait to have them fixed. Contact Tor Chimney. Homeowners in Bucks and Montgomery counties in Pennsylvania and Hunterdon and Mercer counties have trusted us to service and repair their chimneys for more than 16 years.
There are chimney problems you may be able to spot on your own. Leave it to us to fix them.