Common House Chimney Problems Every Homeowner Should Know

Common House Chimney Problems Every Homeowner Should Know

 

Besides adding character to a home, the fireplace and chimney keep people warm during the cold months. However, you must maintain your chimney so that you can safely use it. Now that the weather is getting colder than before, most people are preparing their chimneys and fireplace for use. But, you need to know some common house chimney problems if you are planning to use your old chimney this cold season. With the knowledge of these problems, you can quickly fix them so that you can enjoy warmth in the house.

The buildup in the chimney

Soot eventually buildups in your chimney after several uses. Therefore, you should watch out for creosote, which is the soot buildup in your chimney because it can cause chimney fires since it is combustible. You can quickly notice soot in your chimney by shining a flashlight into the fireplace as you look out for a brown and black crusty appearance. The third degree of creosote looks like tar and it is highly combustible, unlike the first degree, which you can easily remove. It is advisable to contact a chimney expert to get rid of the hazardous material from the chimney. Also, homeowners are advised to clean their vents at least once a year.

Obstruction or blockage

A blockage in your chimney can be as a result of several things such as debris, birds’ nests, leaves, and squirrel’s nests. The chances of obstruction are higher for chimneys without a cap as opposed to those with a cap. Also, over-sized or too short chimneys do not allow for proper ventilation. The obstructions cause toxic gases and smoke to re-enter the house, which is not safe for the inhabitants. Fortunately, you can prevent this common house chimney problem by maintaining and inspecting the chimney often. You should hire a qualified chimney sweep to check and install gas detectors.

Brickwork problems

You have probably noticed brickwork problems if your home is old. You may have seen missing bricks or cracks in your chimneys. The missing bricks and cracks are a danger to the structure of your stack because they might cause large cracks that can damage the chimney and leave it unusable. You should never overlook any cracks on your chimney even if they are small because they are an indication of wear and tear on the stack. You need to hire a masonry expert immediately to fix the issue and upgrade the chimney to meet the local codes.

Damage to chimney flashing

Your chimney should be maintained water-free and dry throughout so that it can remain functional. Water damage to a chimney not only deteriorates the masonry work but also causes exterior and interior damage. As such, you should make sure that the chimney flashing remains in excellent condition if you want to avoid the issue of damage to chimney flashing. Usually, this common chimney issue occurs with old chimneys. Consequently, you should never assume any sign of leakage. Instead, hire a roofing expert to fix the problem as opposed to repairing it without professional help.

Cracks to the chimney crown

The chimney crown is found at the top of your chimney. Most people do not pay attention to the chimney crown, but it plays a vital role in keeping the chimney functional. It is one of the common house chimney problems that are caused by the effects of harsh weather. The crown cracks mostly during the freeze-thaw damage that occurs during the winter months. The drastic temperature change leads to snow or ice to melt and freeze when the fireplace cools, which causes the cracks. The problem is also common in old homes because most new homes use freeze-thaw resistant concrete. You should invest in a concrete chimney sealer to prevent this problem in the future.

Chimneys should not be overlooked. You can schedule for a regular inspection and maintenance with a professional, like this chimney repair Austin option, to prevent most of these chimney problems. Additionally, you need to clean the chimney to enjoy a safe fireplace regularly.

Categories: Home Improvement

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