Signs Your Home's Chimney Is in Need of Repair
Every year, people lose property and even their lives to chimney fires. When too much creosote builds up inside of the flue, it will catch on fire and create a super-heated danger to the rest of your home. In addition, physical chimney damage allows flammable creosote and rainwater to leak in between the masonry; this leads to additional types of chimney damage.
If your home's chimney hasn't been inspected in many years, then now is the right time to have it done by a company like Sposato Masonry. In the meantime, you can often see the signs of a damaged chimney from standing at ground level and taking a good look.
Some of the most common signs of chimney damage to look for include the following:
Water Staining on the Exterior Masonry or Stucco
Water should not leak into the exterior masonry or stucco of your chimney. Often, a chimney with this type of damage will show signs of water staining. If the stucco or masonry on the outside of your chimney is not all one uniform color, then it's very likely there is water intrusion damage.
Cracks or Uneven Masonry Around the Chimney Crown
The top element on a chimney is known as the crown. A chimney crown seals the flue to the edge of the chimney and keeps water out of the inside of the chimney. The crown should be sloped outward, which helps shed rainwater.
When rainwater isn't being properly shed off due to a damaged chimney crown, it pools and causes the top of the chimney to sag and crack around the edges. When you see cracking and sagging at the top of a chimney, this is a sign that the crown needs to be rebuilt.
Bricks Spalling or Large Vertical Cracks in the Mortar Lines
When bricks absorb water because they are not properly installed with weeping holes, the front areas exposed to the weather will crack and fall off. This phenomenon is known as spalling. When you see spalled bricks or large vertical cracks in the mortar lines of a chimney, these are signs of water intrusion and serious damage. When bricks are spalling, you will often find the pieces that have fallen off lying on the ground at the base of the chimney.
Multiple Types of Flashing Materials Around the Chimney
Where the chimney comes into contact with your home or roof, it should have metal flashing. If you look up at the chimney and see different types of metal, then this is a clear sign of multiple repairs, and it often signals that there is now more damage present.