As the weather gets colder, you may have started to use your chimney again to keep your home warm and cozy. However, like any other household utility, your chimney may face some issues that can cause safety hazards and lead to costly repairs if not fixed right away. In this blog post, we will discuss eight common chimney problems that homeowners may face and how to fix them.
8 Signs You Need Chimney Service ASAP
If you use your fireplace or wood stove frequently, you may have heard of creosote buildup. Creosote is a flammable substance that forms when smoke and gasses are emitted from burning wood and condense on the cooler surface of the chimney's interior walls. If left untreated, creosote buildup has the potential to cause chimney fires. To prevent creosote buildup, make sure to have a certified chimney service clean your chimney at least once a year. If the buildup is already present, it's best to call a professional to remove it.
Cracks in Masonry
Over time, the masonry that makes up your chimney can wear down, crack, or even crumble. This can be caused by moisture, the freeze-thaw cycle, or age. Not only is a damaged chimney unsightly, but it can also lead to safety hazards. Small cracks can be fixed with a coat of waterproof sealant, but larger cracks require a professional chimney service’s attention.
Chimneys can become obstructed by debris, birds' nests, or animals. These blockages can cause smoke, gasses, and other harmful chemicals to enter your home. If you suspect any obstruction in your chimney, contact your local chimney service’s sweep to have it removed.
Damaged Chimney Caps
The chimney cap is the metal covering that sits on top of your chimney. It serves as a barrier from debris and animals, but also helps prevent water from seeping in. Water can enter if the cap is damaged or missing, leading to more significant issues like mold, rust, or even structural damage. A damaged cap can easily be replaced by a professional.
Smoke Backing Up
If you notice smoke coming back into your home when your fire is lit, this is a sign that your chimney isn't working correctly. The most common causes of smoke backing up are blockages, a clogged flue, or negative air pressure. If you notice smoke coming back into your home, stop using your chimney immediately and call a professional chimney service to inspect and determine the cause.
A sagging chimney can be caused by excessive weight on the exterior of the chimney, or by an unstable foundation. A sagging chimney has the potential to be very dangerous and must be addressed immediately by a professional.
Water leaks into your home through the chimney can cause catastrophic water damage to walls and ceilings. The waterproofing treatment of the chimney is essential to prevent water from entering your residence. Do NOT delay in getting a water leak around your chimney fixed! The structural damage water can cause is expensive and difficult to fix.
Damaged Flue Liner
If the chimney's flue liner is compromised, it can be impossible for proper airflow to take place. The best solution is to have the liner repaired or replaced by a professional chimney service.
Trust the Experts for Chimney Service
Your chimney provides warmth and comfort in your home during the colder months, but it's essential to perform regular maintenance and inspections to ensure it's working correctly and safely. By being aware of the common issues like creosote buildup, cracks in masonry, obstructions, damaged chimney caps, smoke backing up, leaking, sagging, and flue liner damage, you can take the necessary steps to prevent and fix any problems. Choose a trusted professional chimney service and have your chimney inspected annually to ensure it's safe and in optimal condition for use.
Reach out to the experts at Capitol Chimney Service today for a comprehensive evaluation or maintenance.
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