You may not spend a lot of time thinking about your chimney. Even if you do, the average homeowner doesn’t know a lot about chimneys, how they’re built, or when they fail. But if a chimney does fail or deteriorate, it can be a huge safety issue. A failing chimney is a fire risk. So how can you know if it is time to get your chimney repaired, or even replaced if it is needed? Here are some signs that you can be on the lookout for so you know when to call in the professionals.
Rusting Damper or Firebox
If you notice rust on the firebox or on the damper (which protects and seals off the flue), this is an indication that you have moisture getting in. Chimneys are not designed for excessive moisture and it can lead to major problems. The biggest of these is the deterioration of the flue tiles, which could lead to a fire. Contact a professional right away.
It is important to inspect the mortar joints of your chimney. This includes the part of the chimney that is above your roof, so if you don’t feel comfortable doing that, call in a professional. If you notice issues and imperfections with the mortar joints, have a contractor come out to inspect and repair as needed. The mortar is what holds the whole thing together, so you want to make sure it is okay.
While you’re up on the roof, check the chimney crown. This is the primary defense that your chimney has against the weather, but if it cracks it can be a big issue. Even very small cracks will widen over time to become a huge headache, so it is best to take care of them early.
If you have an older chimney, check for debris at the bottom of the chimney, especially flue tiles. If you see any, you should assume that your chimney lining may be damaged and call out a professional to inspect it. If you have a newer chimney, it likely has a stainless steel liner and this will not be an issue for you.
Spalling occurs when moisture gets into bricks of masonry surfaces and causes damage. Often whole chunks of the material can fall off if it is damaged in this way, so it is usually very obvious. However, if your chimney is suffering from spalling you need to call in the professionals because the whole structure could be dangerously weakened.
Contact Del Prete Masonry Today for Your Next Construction Project!
If you are ready to upgrade your home or commercial building with professional masonry installation or replacement, Del Prete Masonry has the experience and expertise to get the job done right for the right price. To explore our residential and commercial services and set up a consultation, please give us a call at 410-683-0650 or contact us online. We currently serve Baltimore City and County, Harford County, Carroll County, Anne Arundel County, and Howard County. To see examples of our work and get more updates, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Pinterest.