From time to time, a homeowner will see or be told that their chimney is starting to lean. While not the most common of chimney problems, it’s something we wanted to address today. So, if you’re wondering why your chimney is starting to lean, sit back and join us on our journey today as we unpack why this occasionally happens.
Your chimney is just as important of a part of your home as your gutters, your HVAC system, and your electrical wiring. It helps to divert smoke and dangerous gasses out of your home while burning a fire in your fireplace. If it leans, it becomes a safety hazard. This means that, yes, if your chimney is starting to lean then it’s a problem that needs to be fixed ASAP.
The most immediate sign that a chimney is starting to lean is obvious. Quite literally, you’ll be able to see whether or not your chimney is resting at a 90-degree vertical angle. If not, then it’s time to repair it.
Others will take the trained eye of a Flamemaster Chimney Sweep technician to spot. A slight tilt can be difficult to see. Internal decay and crumble are often uncovered during an inspection. Gaps in caulking above ground level can also be challenging for the homeowner to spot.
However, some signs will be equally as visible as an obvious lean. Those include:
Why a chimney starts to lean can be difficult to ascertain without a proper inspection. However, there are a few broad answers we’ve encountered multiple times, such as poor quality materials and improper building techniques.
Less obvious causes include problems with its footing, the settling or erosion of nearby soil, and the ever-present water damage. Perhaps the latter is one of the most common reasons why your chimney may be starting the lean.
In many cases, it may be possible to fix a leaning chimney rather than tear it down and start over. Sometimes, a leaning chimney is tied to other problems with your house and will use similar repair methods including helical piers. In addition, you may be able to get by with a spot repair, especially if the lean is further up in the structure or the lean is relatively minimal. In cases beyond the ones we’ve listed, you’ll likely need a complete reconstruction before using your fireplace again.
Few homeowners will have the necessary tools and experience to properly fix a chimney that is starting to lean. Instead, they’ll need to contact a chimney repair expert to help them remediate the problem.
Our team will not only fix the problem but put in place measures to prevent it from happening again. If you’d like to learn more about our solutions, then call the Flamemaster Chimney Sweep, LLC team at (719) 661-3277 or send us a request for an appointment through our contact form.