Chimneys add greatly to the aesthetic view of any house. Earlier, almost all grand houses used to boast beautiful chimneys, but the sight is rare now. This is partly owing to the upkeep that is needed by a chimney. Usually, moat chimneys last for a long time with regular servicing, but sometimes they also may need repairing. All types of chimney damage may not even be visible to the naked eye.
Here are some of the telltale signs that your chimney needs a repair:
Rust On Damper or Firebox
If the damper or the firebox is showing rust, then moisture is very likely the culprit. Moisture is one of the most damaging things that can happen to your chimney. You will know there is moisture accumulation when there is difficulty in operating the damper.
This needs to be immediately repaired as rust resulting from moisture can crack the flue tiles. This lets heat touch the most vulnerable areas of the chimney and can cause even a fire breakout. Moreover, moisture leads the foundations of the chimney to get soaked, and the damage slowly spreads throughout the structure.
The Chimney Crown Has Cracks
The chimney crown is the top part of the chimney and has an integral role in defending the chimney against outside elements. That is why you should be checking out from time to time if the chimney crack is in perfect condition. If the chimney crown is showing cracks, then that is just the beginning of your troubles if you don’t get it repaired soon.
The cracks will collect rainwater and freeze. Water expands on freezing, and this free-and-thaw action, if continued, can lead to larger cracks cousin more damage.
Shaling Inside the Fireplace
Shaling happens when flue tiles start to peel off from the surface and start to fall at the bottom of the chimney. The integrity of the flue liner is essential to the working of the chimney, but when the flue tiles start falling off, it exposes the inner surface to the high heat of the fireplace. Shaling of the flue liner compromises the safe functioning of the chimney and creates a potential hazard.
This is a common enough phenomenon as years of exposure to high heat, and corrosive materials can deteriorate the flue tiles. If you see that the tiles are starting to fall off, you should immediately call an expert and get the flue liner repaired.
Mortar Joints Are Deteriorating
It’s safe to say that the mortar joints hold together the entire structure of the chimney. If any damage happens to those joins, it can seriously affect the structural integrity of the chimney. The mortar joints are only visible from the outside, so a view from the rooftop is best in order to assess the situation.
The exterior status of the mortar joints makes them vulnerable to the weather and nature. And if the damaged joints lead to cracks on the surface, it may start collecting water, and after that, the free and thaw action will worsen the cracks.
Stains On the Ceilings or Walls
If you notice stains on the ceiling or walls near the chimney, it may be happening because of excess moisture. Such stains look whitish in color and gruff in texture. It eats away the paint and appears like a white blotch on your wall or ceiling: the bigger the stain, the more moisture leaks inside the walls of your house.
This is a serious cause for concern as the moisture leaking from the chimney is somehow making its way inside the walls of your home and appearing as stains. Immediate repair should be done before the moisture leak spreads further into the foundation of the house. At worst, you could be experiencing a cracked ceiling or a collapse of the chimney on the ceiling.
So, the bottom line is that you should definitely not be ignoring any one of these signs and get your chimney repaired asap. If you see that the fireplace isn’t functioning properly, it is best to call an expert. A chimney is complicated equipment, and not every damage can be assessed by you. Some damages only reveal themselves on a close inspection.
You may see other signs such as cracks on the surface of the chimney, or if you have wallpaper, then watery spots may start to appear on them. These are clear telltale signs that your chimney needs repair.