Posted on: 4 May 2016Share
Few pleasures are as great as owning a fireplace when cold weather rolls around. Yet if your chimney isn't in tip top shape, you may be at increased risk of fire, collapse, or dangerous fumes entering your home. Unfortunately, many homeowners don't know how to recognize the signs of immanent chimney trouble. This article will teach you about three warnings that your chimney is in need of repair.
Aging Mortar Joints
Mortar is the substance that holds the bricks of your chimney together. Over time, it tends to degrade, eventually forming deep crevices between the bricks. This puts your chimney at a greater risk of damage, by making it more susceptible to water damage. You see, water that finds its way into small cracks will expand when it freezes, thus hastening the rate of further cracking and crumbling.
This can be a hard sign to notice unless you're up on the roof. Therefore, it pays to give to your chimney's mortar a good inspection the next time you head up there to replace a broken shingle, or trim an overhanging tree branch. Otherwise you may never realize that your chimney is at risk of collapse until it is too late.
Moisture inside of a chimney is never a good thing. Rather, because a properly functioning chimney should not admit any water at all, it is a strong sign that something isn't working as it should. The most easily detectable sign of water intrusion is a rusty damper. This often manifests as a damper that is difficult to move, or that doesn't form a proper seal.
Even if you haven't noticed any stiffness in your damper's operation, it is a good idea to use a flashlight to visually inspect the damper on a periodic basis. Catching water damage as early as possible is always in your best interest. Not only can it affect the damper's behavior, but overtime it will lead to cracks forming in the chimney liner--a scenario that greatly increases your risk of fire.
Crumbling Flue Tiles
If you have noticed small piles of clay or stone appearing on the floor of your fireplace, chances are your liner has become seriously damaged. Such deposits are literal signs of the liner crumbling away into nothing. Because the naked brick of your chimney is much more vulnerable to the heat of fire and smoke, a compromised liner greatly increases your susceptibility to fire. Be sure to contact a chimney repair by Direct Chimney Services immediately.