By the time the average homeowner sees a problem with the chimney, it has probably needed repairing for some time. Some of the most common chimney repairs we see at Anderson’s are due to water penetration, and general wear and tear due to creosote buildup. You can avoid costly repairs by catching minor problems early.
Signs You Can Look For
- Water Damage
Water damage can be as simple and seemingly harmless as drips in the fireplace or chimney, or it can be as serious as crumbling masonry. Both are reason enough to call a professional to look over your chimney. Other signs of a leaky chimney include stains on masonry or walls and ceilings, musty odors coming from the chimney, clogged clean-out area, and wet ashes.
Pro Tip: Avoid water damage by having your chimney professionally waterproofed. A certified chimney sweep can also inspect your flashing, chimney cap, and crown—common causes for chimney leaks.
- Damaged Lining
If your chimney masonry or materials around it get excessively hot, you probably have a damaged flue liner. This can also be recognized by pieces of a clay liner at the bottom of the chimney, in the fireplace. If the liner becomes cracked or damaged, it can allow high temperatures to transfer to the structural materials of the house, as well as allow harmful gases into the house.
Pro Tip: Creosote is especially hard on your liner. You can avoid this hazard by scheduling chimney sweeps to remove the soot and creosote before it damages your liner.
- Structural Damage
This serious kind of damage is often a result of a disaster—a hurricane, tornado, earthquake, or fire. You can first notice structural damage to the chimney if it is leaning in any direction. When a chimney is constructed it is “plumb,” meaning it’s vertical on all four sides. If it is leaning in any direction or cracking or crumbling at all, a chimney expert needs to be contacted before it’s used.
Pro Tip: A CSIA level two inspection is recommended when changes are made to the chimney system, but also when disasters occur that can affect the chimney.
- Wear and Tear
The part of your chimney system that receives the least amount of attention, but withstands the most heat and abuse is the firebox—the fireplace itself. If the firebox was constructed with the wrong materials or affected by water penetration the masonry can become damaged. Damaged masonry in the firebox is disastrous.
Pro Tip: Assessing the firebox as part of your monthly car or home maintenance is the best way to stay on top of it. Remove the ashes and look for cracks in the masonry.
Call Us Today
Anderson’s specializes in leaky chimney repairs, relining, masonry repairs, rebuilds, and diagnostics. When you find a problem with your chimney, we can get a look on the inside, where it counts. Schedule an appointment with one of our certified chimney sweeps today or call 717-975-3526. We have served the South Central PA Area since 1990 and look forward to serving you!