Did you know that the slightest damage to the chimney can lead to serious damage? When the integrity of the chimney is compromised, you need to either replace or rebuild it. But how do you know when to make repairs or do a complete overhaul of the chimney? Let’s find out:
Signs that the Chimney needs to be Repaired
A quick inspection at the chimney will clue you in if it needs repair or replacement. Your chimney needs repair if the interior has deteriorated from years of use. Using a chimney broom, check if there is mortar debris inside the chimney. If mortar debris starts falling as you sweep the interiors of the chimney, then this is a sign that the structure needs repair. Water damage is one of the most common causes of mortar crumbling. Do not wait until the chimney’s about to collapse before you do something about it.
Cracked Flue Tiles
You’d be surprised at the sheer number of chimneys that are not constructed properly. Usually, misaligned flue tiles speed up the deterioration of the chimney. The constant exposure to the elements leads to cracked flue tiles. The tiles have to be repaired right away to avoid causing serious damage to your home. Cracked flue tiles could also lead to shalling tiles. This occurs when thin pieces of the chimney tiles pop away.
Spalling bricks are similar to shalling tiles. In this case, the bricks of the chimney start popping off and landing on various points of your yard. Spalling bricks weaken the structure of the chimney. The popping bricks could also cause an accident. To repair shalling bricks, simply replace the bad bricks with new ones.
The chimney crown is the cemented spot at the top of the chimney. It covers the bricks and the flue tiles, protecting the structure from nesting animals and harsh climate. if the crown is cracked, water damage will weaken the rest of the chimney. Eventually, the moisture will cause the chimney crown to crumble in chunks, allowing water to seep into your home. A cracked crown is usually the cause of brick or tile shalling or spalling.
Signs that the Chimney needs to be Rebuilt
Does the chimney start leaning to the other side? Does it look a little off-center than before? If the answer is yes, then this is a sign that your chimney needs to be rebuilt. When the entire structure is starting to lean on one side or the other, the base of the chimney is no longer stable. Eventually, the base will give in, snapping the chimney in half as it falls down. If the chimney is not rebuilt right away, it could lead to serious damage to property and accidents.
Severe Unit Deterioration
If the chimney is extremely old to the point that it no longer works efficiently, no amount of cleaning and repair can bring it back to its old glory. At this point, the chimney has to be replaced with a new one.