Each year, there are over 25,000 chimney fires across the U.S., which cause over $125 million in property damages and cause multiple fatalities. However, chimney fires can be prevented through annual inspections and professional maintenance. We offer foundation crack repairs in Atlantic County, NJ, among a host of other repair services.
Below we’ve listed some telltale signs that your chimney may need repairing:
1. White Staining or Efflorescence
When a chimney has a problem with excess moisture, efflorescence, also known as white staining appears. This staining is easy to scrub off, but it doesn’t fix the underlying moisture problem. If this isn’t dealt with efficiently, the chimney will start to deteriorate, leading to structural damage and increasing the chance of accidents.
2. Crumbling Bricks and Mortar Joints
If you notice broken bricks or mortar joints in your chimney, we advise that you seek assistance from a professional masonry service. Damage on the outside of a chimney can point to problems with the interior as cracks in the flue lining can cause bricks to expand and contract when temperatures change. If any of the bricks look like they’re bulging out of place, there may be moisture trapped that is forcing all the residual salts in the brickwork out of place.
As steel flue lines begin to rust, you will notice rust appearing on the damper area. If the firebox isn’t sealing as well as it used to, or the damper is becoming harder to move, it’s likely that there is rust present.
Rust is an indication that water has leaked down the chimney, if left unrepaired, your whole chimney system could suffer from metal failure. As with many home maintenance problems, the longer you leave a rusting chimney, the more expensive it will be to repair.
4. Damaged Walls
If you notice any bubbling beneath wallpaper or soft spots on the walls surrounding your fireplace, it may be your chimney that is letting moisture enter your home and creating damp conditions. Seek professional advice as soon as signs of damp become apparent.
When parts of your chimney start to collect in your fireplace, there is clear evidence that your chimney’s flue is damaged. As the flue lining is integral to the safe functioning of a stack, annual safety inspections are paramount.