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2nd Generation Chimneys, Inc. Blog

How Will You Know a Chimney Needs Repair?

question-mark-blueYou often know when a furnace needs repair because it will not produce the right amount of heat. You know when it’s time to fix your car, as it may struggle to start up, or you could have trouble breaking. But when it comes to your home’s chimney, it can be a lot more difficult to tell. When it malfunctions, is it because it needs repair or because you’ve skipped a step while lighting the fire? And how will you know when the masonry is in dire need of some renovation?

We believe that safety is the most important thing for you and your family, which is why we’re here to help. Before you notice major problems with your chimney and fireplace, read our guide on signs to look out for, and why you should call in a chimney sweep regardless.

Deteriorating Mortar Joints

The joints between the bricks of your chimney should have a tight seal of mortar. Any sign that the mortar is starting to wear away—any cracks or separation—put you at risk for a chimney fire spreading to the outside of the home. The top of the chimney may show these signs more obviously. Another way to check is by gently scraping a screwdriver in the mortar joints and seeing whether any chips away.


Staining, or efflorescence on the outside of the chimney will usually appear as white stains. These stains are not to be taken lightly. Often, you can clean them off with a mixture of soap and water, but this ignores the larger problem. This staining appears due to an excess of moisture in the chimney, something caused by a missing chimney cap or poor ventilation. You must call in chimney sweeps to resolve the root of the problem first.


While you may be able to see rust forming inside of the firebox, this is sometimes noticeable in a different way. If rust affects your chimney, you may have trouble opening the damper that allows for smoke to move out of the chimney in the first place. When you cannot open the damper, smoke may quickly fill up the room, so it’s important that you call someone in to fix this. However, any time the firebox appears to have suffered severe damage, it’s not worth waiting to call someone in.

A Chimney Sweep Notices Issues

Another reason to schedule chimney repair: a chimney sweep tells you something is wrong. You cannot always tell when your chimney will need repair. Signs may be along the walls of the chimney flue, or far up on the outside of the masonry where you never expected a problem.

Annual visits from a chimney sweep involve sweeping out the chimney, of course, but also include a routine inspection to help you determine whether something needs repair. If a technician tells you it does need repair, you can get the help you need and know your family is safer.

For more information or to schedule your annual chimney and fireplace sweeping and inspection today, call 2nd Generation Chimneys, Inc. We can provide your chimney repair in St. Paul, MN.

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