Chimneys are built to last. However, they require routine maintenance and repairs in order to work well and work safely. Even well-constructed chimneys can become damaged over time if neglected or subjected to occurrences like high winds and earthquakes. Chimneys need maintenance just like every other important system you have in your home, car, even your body. Like other important systems, it’s important to see and understand symptoms that indicate an issue before there is a serious problem or hazard.
Common Chimney Issues
Spalling Masonry—Caused by both weather and time, spalling is a common occurrence. If you see cracking, flaking, or crumbling mortar and bricks, it indicates spalling. A certified professional should repair the damage as soon as possible. A chimney sweep can remove the mortar and bricks, then replace it with new mortar of equal strength and consistency.
Leaning Chimney—A leaning chimney can indicate a problem with the foundation. You may notice cracks in the masonry or a crack between the chimney and the house. There is no way of knowing if this is a serious hazard or not, unless you call a certified chimney sweep.
Chimney Leaks—Leaks in the masonry can be caused for general neglect, but also improper installation of parts such as flashing and chimney cap. High winds can cause flashing to shift and expose the system to water. Spalling can also allow water into to the masonry, and then the freeze/thaw cycle causes it to break apart and allow more water in. Water can damage the chimney system behind the scenes before it’s noticed by most homeowners. Pay attention to draft issues, a drop in efficiency, wet smells, dripping, and stains.
Smoky/Smelly Fireplace—If your fireplace is suddenly smoky, or smells of smoke, mildew, barbeque, or decomposition, you have an issue with your masonry interior. First, troubleshoot your chimney issues, and if that doesn’t work, call a professional right away. It may be that your flue just needs a good cleaning.
Hire a Professional
It’s important to hire a professional to service your chimney. If you need repairs, a master mason is the best choice to restore your chimney back to full function. Anderson’s Chimney and Masonry Services offers firebox rebuilds and repairs, chimney rebuilds and repairs, diagnostics, and more.
In order to avoid necessary repairs and get the most out of your chimney system, schedule routine maintenance. The Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommend routine sweeps and annual inspections in order to have the safest and most efficient chimney system possible. The small cost of an annual inspection will be well-worth the money saved. It will keep your family safer and is better for the environment.
Save time and money by trusting your chimney with Anderson’s Chimney and Masonry Services. Schedule now by calling 717-975-3526.