As a home-owner, you already know that occasional maintenance and repair of your chimney will be necessary. However, the signs of a problem are often quite subtle, and if you do not know what to look for, chimney damage could escalate quickly.
Therefore, it is important to not wait until the scheduled cleaning to learn about a problem. Instead, it is a good idea to learn how to detect early issues soon after they occur.
It May Not Always Be The Chimney That Shows The Earliest Damage
When you notice that the wallpaper immediately adjacent to the chimney is showing excessive signs of wear and tear, it is often due to the extra moisture provided by a damaged chimney or flue. This symptom is only applicable if the rest of the wallpaper in the room does not show the same damage.
In that instance, it is definitely time to talk to an expert to fix the problem. Fortunately, it could be an easy fix and does not have to be expensive, as it could be something as minor as a flue that needs to be adjusted.
Mortar Joints Often Reflect An Underlying Problem
Depending on the construction of your chimney, you may need to be on your roof to thoroughly evaluate the condition of its mortar joints. Ideally, it should be free of imperfections like cracks, disintegration, tilted bricks, etc. When that damage occurs, it allows water to enter the bricks, causing small cracks that soon grow.
When left untreated for a prolonged period of time, the chimney will begin to crumble, posing an obvious safety hazard. If you live in an area with long winters, the water in the bricks will freeze and melt regularly, making the damage even worse. Allowing a professional to repair the mortar is the best option.
Know What Should And Should Not Be In The Bottom Of Your Chimney
You would usually expect to see the normal residue of a fire, including wood, ash or even a starter log in your fireplace, but you should never see chimney tile. If you do, that is a big indicator that the liner is no longer completely intact, which means it is much more likely to cause a house fire.
Older chimneys will frequently still use flue tiles, while newer ones often feature stainless liners that do not break off. If the flue lining is not intact, you must not allow any more use of the fireplace until it has been repaired, as even a small amount of damage could destroy your home.
In conclusion, there can be no nicer way to end a cold day than curled up in front of a warm fire at home. In order to do so safely, it is essential to have your chimney inspected at least once a year, prior to the chimney's first use. For more information, contact a business such as Steve's Masonry Service.