Chimney Repair – How to Tell If Your Chimney Needs Repair

Chimneys deteriorate over time without Chimney Repair Baltimore. Even small cracks and deteriorations can lead to major issues that are costly to repair or could threaten home safety.

If you see any of these signs, contact a chimney repair professional immediately. Annual chimney inspections and routine maintenance are the best way to avoid expensive repairs.

A chimney crown is like a mini-roof that sits on top of your chimney, protecting the masonry structure and preventing rainwater, debris, and animals from entering. If your chimney crown is damaged it can lead to expensive masonry repairs, water damage and even a chimney collapse. Keeping an eye out for signs of a damaged chimney crown can help you know when it’s time to call in a professional for chimney repair.

Chimney crown repair is a common chimney service, and it can be done for much less than repairing a brick or concrete chimney that has fallen apart. The type of chimney repair required will vary depending on how serious the damage is and how quickly it’s caught. In most cases a chimney crown repair is simply a waterproof sealant or crown coating product applied to ensure that cracks, divots and other minor issues don’t worsen.

The most common sign of a chimney crown that needs repair is visible cracking or splits on the surface. These small fractures allow more rainwater to seep in and cause the masonry to deteriorate over time. If left untreated, these fractures can grow bigger and larger, eventually leading to a chimney crown that’s crumbling and falling apart.

Another serious problem that should be addressed immediately is spalling. This occurs when chunks of masonry break away from the chimney and can be seen on the roof or in your yard. This type of damage is a sign that water, salt, and other elements are eroding the chimney crown and could lead to the entire chimney collapsing.

The best way to keep an eye out for these problems is to perform visual inspections after inclement weather. If you’re not comfortable climbing on your roof to check for these problems, consider calling a professional. They can safely inspect your chimney and make recommendations for repair before the damage gets worse. Regular chimney cleaning services are also important since they can prevent many of these issues from developing. A chimney sweep can recommend burning only seasoned hardwood to minimize soot build-up and burn clean, dry ash that’s free of creosote. They can also install a chimney cap to keep animals, birds, and debris out of your fireplace and flue.

Chimney leaks aren’t only frustrating, but they can also lead to major damage within your home if left unattended. If you notice water leaking down your chimney during heavy rains, it’s important to contact a professional as soon as possible in order to avoid more costly repairs down the road. There are several different reasons your chimney may be leaking water, but the most common cause is a damaged or deteriorated flue liner.

Chimney lining is designed to protect the brick and mortar inside the chimney from the heat of the fire, but over time, the clay lining can wear away or crack. When this occurs, water can start to seep into the chimney flue and down the walls of your house. If you notice a steady flow of water leaking down your chimney during heavy rains, this is likely due to a worn or damaged chimney lining, and it’s imperative that you contact a professional to discuss the best solution for your situation.

Another common reason your chimney could be leaking during heavy rains is because of roof leaks. Your chimney flashing is a series of strips of metal that seals the gap between your rooftop and the top of your chimney. If your flashing is leaking, it’s likely because the roofers didn’t install them correctly or they are old and worn down. Chimney sweeps recommend using a waterproof flashing sealant like Flash Seal by 

You should also check your roof and attic for any signs of water leakage, such as discolored ceilings or stains on the walls. If you discover any of these issues, it’s important to get them repaired right away before the weather turns colder.

The crown is the curved part of your chimney that acts as a cap at the top and protects it from rain, snow, and ice. If the crown is cracked or damaged, water can easily leak into the chimney and cause significant damage to the masonry. A professional chimney sweep can repoint your crown, apply a masonry waterproofing product like chimney saver, and you should be good to go for the rest of winter.

When a chimney is leaning, it’s important to have it checked and fixed right away. It can lead to damage, water leaks, carbon monoxide poisoning, and other structural problems in your house. There are a few different underlying issues that can cause a chimney to start leaning. It’s normal for houses to shift and settle over time, but a leaning chimney can also be a sign of problems with the foundation beneath your home.

Sometimes, a chimney starts to lean because the footing that supports it is too shallow or made from substandard materials. The soil underneath the chimney can shift over time due to poor drainage, expansive or waterlogged soil, and construction work near your home that changes the pressure on the ground. A chimney footing that’s too shallow can crack under the weight of your house and chimney or become heaved and destabilized by repeated freeze-thaw cycles and water infiltration. Chimneys can also sink into the soil if the concrete in their foundation isn’t properly compacted or if it contains inadequate rebar.

A foundation repair professional can check for the presence of any of these problems by studying the exterior of your chimney and looking in the attic to see if your chimney is centered within its framed opening. They can also use a level to gauge the lean of your chimney.

If a chimney has been damaged by an accident or natural disaster, it may be covered by your homeowner’s insurance. However, if your chimney is leaning because of age and natural wear and tear, you’re likely to be responsible for the cost of repairing it.

A foundation repair company can use helical piers to stabilize and, in some cases, straighten a leaning chimney without dismantling it. These piers look like giant screws and are driven into the ground under your chimney to support it. Then, a hydraulic jack slowly lifts the chimney to its proper position. The helical piers can also be used to support other structures in your home, such as a porch or shed.

The siding on a chimney may be made from a variety of materials such as wood, clay tile and stone. It’s important to regularly inspect the chimney siding for damage and repair. Chimneys can be vulnerable to a variety of factors, including heavy storms, age, and general wear and tear.

If the mortar joints in your chimney are cracked, this is a major problem. Cracked mortar isn’t able to support the weight of the chimney. This can lead to chimney deterioration, water leaks, and even structural damage to the home.

Another common chimney issue is a cracked chimney liner. This can be caused by a chimney fire that burns through the liner and melts it or by water intrusion. A qualified chimney sweep can evaluate the condition of a chimney liner and determine the best course of action for repair.

Water entering the chimney system is a huge issue and needs to be addressed immediately. Moisture in the chimney ruins metal components, reduces heating efficiency and exposes your family to toxic carbon monoxide fumes. Water penetration into the chimney also leads to rot in the siding and can compromise the overall structure of the chimney.

Some homeowners have wood chimney siding, and this material is prone to moisture problems. It’s important to paint wood chimney siding with a quality waterproof sealant. If you have a wood chimney, it’s also a good idea to plant vegetation that will shade the siding from direct sunlight. This can help reduce the amount of heat reflected off of the chimney and reduce the risk of damage.

Most of the time when the chimney siding is damaged it’s due to a serious chimney problem. It could be a melted chimney lining from a chimney fire, it could be a failing chimney liner or it could be a sign of an unresolved roof problem. If you have damaged chimney siding, call us and we will perform a thorough home inspection to diagnose the root cause of the damage and provide a free estimate for repair. Our team has experience repairing a variety of different chimney problems, and we can repair your chimney so that it will be in great shape for years to come!