It’s not uncommon for chimneys to endure beyond the buildings in which they stand; a solid masonry chimney can survive for over a hundred years with the right care and attention to problems that might develop. If you live in a home with an older chimney, take care to look for repairs that it may need. We’ll list three of the more common troubles that can afflict a chimney that has vented smoke for many decades.
Here Are 3 Problems We See With Old Chimneys
- Leaning chimney:
No, it’s not an optical illusion. The strange slant you see on the chimney that you never noticed before is the chimney beginning to lean away from the house. The cause of this is usually deterioration in the chimney’s foundation, and it will require masonry work to prop it back up. This is an urgent job: a leaning chimney places enormous stress on the side of your home, and when the chimney does fall, it can take large chunk of the wall with it. Of course, a collapsing chimney is immensely dangerous as well to anyone who might be nearby when it happens.
- Cracking in bricks and masonry:
No matter how sturdy bricks or masonry may appear, the ravages of weather, heat, and moisture can damage them. The most insidious problem they encounter, especially in Minnesota with our snow-covered winters, is moisture entering into the flue and seeping between bricks. Even without sub-freezing temperatures, water can cause cracking in bricks; but it’s much worse when the water turns to ice and expands, forcing gaps in the bricks and masonry. Make sure you have regular maintenance on your old chimney to see if it needs restoration due to cracked bricks. You should also invest in a chimney cap to keep away moisture.
- Cracks in the chimney liner:
The liner of the inside of a chimney is crucial for how it vents. Older chimneys often do not have liners, and you should have installers put one in. As the chimney ages, older liners can fall apart because of creosote damage, and this can lead to heat getting through the exposed bricks and into places it shouldn’t. Have certified chimney reliners take care of this for you.
Our staff at 2nd Generation Chimneys, Inc. has extensive experience and the proper certification to relieve your worries about chimney restoration or chimney repairs in St. Paul, MN. We are certified chimney reliners and members of the Chimney Safety Institute of America. Call us today for any concerns you have about your home’s chimney or fireplace.