Even the best-constructed chimney is susceptible to time. Repeated use and exposure to the elements will wear a chimney down and lead to its demise if proper care is not given to it on a regular basis. If the chimney is poorly constructed, it will start to have issues only after a few years. In either case, here are some common chimney problems and what they mean.
If you see loose bricks, it usually means one thing, water damage. Bricks and mortar absorb moisture such as dew or raindrops because they are both highly porous; they have a strong capillary response to moisture in the same way a sponge does. Over time when bricks and mortar absorb water, it can erode both, especially during the winter months and the freeze-thaw cycle, which causes expansion and contraction of the water inside the brick or mortar. Repeated expansion and contraction will break both brick and mortar down and cause a phenomenon known as spalling, where bricks are pushed out and break loose. The same issues can also occur with stone fireplaces. Our chimney sweeps are Chimney Sweep Institute of America (CSIA) certified and know how to identify and repair damaged chimney bricks. If spalling is not dealt with, it can lead to the collapse of the chimney.
Chimney leaks can be especially destructive for multiple reasons. A leak in a chimney can not only cause spalling, but it can also lead to mold and mildew growing in your fireplace. Black mold and mildew are highly disruptive to the lives of allergy and asthma sufferers; repairing leaks will help bring them relief.
A leak in your chimney can also cause water damage to your roof. It makes no sense to put a new roof on your house while your chimney lets water under the flashing and shingles. Moisture trapped under shingles will cause wood to rot and lead to mold and mildew in your attic.
What are some signs of a leaky chimney?
If you have any of these signs, it is imperative to have your chimney examined right away for water damage due to a leak in your chimney.
A foul-smelling chimney is unpleasant to live with, but it could be a bigger problem than just holding your nose. A chimney with a foul smell is usually caused by one of two issues. First, it could be a buildup of creosote inside your chimney, and a creosote buildup will eventually lead to a dangerous chimney fire that could burn down your entire house. The second issue causing the smell is likely mold and mildew inside your chimney from a leak. In either case, you should contact FlameMaster right away because if it is a creosote buildup, there is a danger of a fire.
You may find your chimney has turned into a living space for unwanted guests. Everything from bats to raccoons can end up living in your chimney. They may even decide to take up residence in your home if they can fit through an open damper. Not only are animals in your chimney a problem, but they can also bring the additional issue of blocking your chimney, which is not good for you or them. A blockage can cause toxic gases to flow back into your home. We can remove the wildlife from your attic and even install a chimney cap to prevent animals from getting back into your chimney.
If your home was built in the 1980s or 1990s, there is a good chance that you have a prefabricated metal chimney that is strong and durable but susceptible to rust. What happens when your chimney begins to rust? A chimney can rust through, allowing water to get inside, and can cause rotting of your roof from the inside, mold growth, and damage to your firebox, to name a few of the problems a rusty chimney can cause.
In most cases, you can tell a chimney is rusty from rust streaks down its sides; in other cases, it may require a chimney inspection to detect the rust. The solution is usually putting a new chimney chase cover on your prefabricated chimney.
We have a team of experienced chimney sweeps who have the training and experience to fix your chimney problem. Our chimney sweeps are certified by the Chimney Institute of America (CSIA) certified, and we belong to the National Chimney Sweep Guild (NCSG). We can solve most chimney problems. Don't use an uncertified chimney sweep; we provide chimney maintenance and inspection services in Woodland Park CO, Colorado Springs CO, Nathrop CO, Antero Junction CO, Guffey CO, Castle Rock CO; get in touch with us today at (719) 661-3277 one of our chimney experts will be happy to discuss our chimney cleaning, repair, and inspection services.