If you have a chimney, you need the dangers that can come with it if not properly maintained. To keep your chimney working and in good condition, you should know the main signs that repairs are needed. Not only will this help to keep you and your family and house safe, it can save you money in major repair bills later on.
- Damper and firebox: if these are showing any sign of rust, you should not ignore it. Rust is a sure sign of moisture. Other components of the chimney reacts negatively to moisture such as the flue so don’t ignore this.
- Damaged crown: the chimney crown protects the chimney from the vagrancies of the weather. Cracks in the crown allow moisture to get into and damage the chimney. Of course, the best thing to do is to use a cap over the crown. A cap also works to keep vermin, birds and debris from getting into your chimney.
- Spalling: if the masonry is falling out then it has been compromised. When the masonry starts to flake of it is an indication of moisture exposure. If spalling bricks are not repair, the chimney may eventually crumble.
- Mortar joints: check the joints of the chimney to the roof to ensure there are no cracks or loosening. If there are spaces where the chimney meets the roof then moisture will be getting into the masonry. This will eventually cause the masonry to react to the change in temperature, expanding and contracting which causes cracks.
- Flue issues: over time the lining of your chimney will begin to respond to the changes in heat that it is subjected to. In addition, if moisture comes in contact with creosote build-up, the flue will eventually develop cracks. Other signs of flue damage are small pieces of flue tiles at the bottom of the chimney. Most chimney fires start here, so once you see any signs of damage, the flue needs to be replaced. If you see signs of damage you need an expert to check. This is normally done with a camera.
Don’t wait until winter or even autumn to start inspecting and cleaning your chimney. The closer to winter you wait, the more likely it is that you will have to wait. In addition, the earlier you find and repair chimney damage the better. While you can do the usual chimney inspections yourself, you need a professional inspection at least once per year.
The CSIA Certified chimney sweeps at Lou Curley’s Chimney service are fully qualified, licensed, and insured to work on your chimney. Our chimney services extend well beyond Drexel Hill and into most townships, towns, and cities along the Main Line. Call us at 610-626-2439 to schedule a consultation, chimney inspection, chimney cleaning, or dryer vent cleaning.