The basic structure of a chimney seems so simple that some people think that very little maintenance is required. On the contrary, it takes a lot of work to keep a chimney functioning as it should. Otherwise, you could be putting your family at risk of inhaling dangerous fumes. Poor chimney maintenance can even lead to fires. Here are some of the most common chimney problems that you might have to call us to correct.


If the chimney is poorly constructed it may not be tall enough to vent the smoke. This smoke can be forced back into the home by air pressure, creating potential for carbon monoxide to enter your home. Blockages are also frequently caused by leaves or other debris that end in the chimney. Birds sometimes build nests in this section as well. This problem can be easily detected during a routine inspection, but you should call us immediately if you think your chimney might be blocked.

Chimney Deterioration

This is most common with older chimneys, but sometimes a poor construction job can cause chimneys to deteriorate at a faster pace than is normal. Another reason for a weakening chimney is poor maintenance, so be sure to get your chimney inspected and cleaned regularly. We can check to ensure that the mortar is in good shape, and that water is not seeping in. A quick repair can save you the expense of replacing the entire chimney. If there are mortar or brick problems, these can also be replaced to make the system stronger.

A Damaged Flue

Due to the constant heat, the chimney flue is under a lot of pressure. Over time, the lining of the flue can weaken and develop cracks. This problem must be quickly addressed or it can cause a fire. The flue acts as a shield from the intense heat inside the chimney, so once it’s damaged it presents a dangerous situation. You need expert help to determine if your chimney’s flue has any weak areas so do not attempt to examine it yourself. Special equipment is required to check the soundness of your flue to ensure your family’s safety when you use your fireplace.

Creosote Build-up

This is an unavoidable result of chimney use, but for an expert chimney sweep it is not a challenge. Creosote is a corrosive, combustible substance that is produced by burning wood. As the smoke travels upward, it deposits this substance in the lining of the flue. It has been the cause of many house fires where chimneys were not properly cleaned.

When you don’t need to use your chimney, it is easy to forget about maintaining it. However, annual inspections can help ensure your family’s safety. This job should only be handled by professionals certified in chimney and fireplace maintenance. Rest assured; there is no chimney problem that we have not encountered in Delaware County.