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2nd Generation Chimneys, Inc. Blog

When Do You Need a Chimney Inspection?

The chimney might appear flawless from the outside, but it may be hiding all manners of critical repairs on the inside. So how does a person with an untrained eye know when it’s time for a chimney repair?  

A quick chimney inspection from an expert will reveal potential problems that need to be looked into. In some cases, the professional may use a camera scan of the inside walls of the chimney to reveal areas that need urgent repairs. 

So when should you schedule a chimney inspection? As a general rule, you should schedule a chimney inspection twice every year (because of soot and creosote buildup).  However, you should sign up for an inspection right away if you notice the following 5 signs. 


Rust from the chimney can start to affect the firebox. Moreover, if moisture has caused a chimney leak, the chimney damper may start to get rusted as well. Make sure your damper is properly sealed and functioning properly, because if it isn’t, it’s probably an indication of rust.

Rust is often a sign of bigger underlying issues. For instance, if the moisture is so bad that it’s causing rusting, there may be other signs of damage as well such as cracked flue tiles. So the first thing you should do upon seeing rust is to get a professional chimney inspection in St. Paul, MN. 

Efflorescence or White Discoloration

Efflorescence refers to white discoloration on chimneys. While it is relatively easy to get rid of the stains, you’re not addressing the causes of the efflorescence. The white staining is an indication of moisture in the masonry. If you don’t deal with this problem early on, it will result in premature deterioration of the masonry, in addition to other potential issues that are brought about by the moisture. 

Weakened Mortar Joints 

Mortar joints deteriorate upon exposure to moisture, which can then bring about even more damage to the chimney. Come winter, all this moisture freezes over within the cracks of the masonry. When the ice starts thawing, it results in larger cracks that could compromise the structural integrity of the chimney. It’s only a matter of time before the chimney collapses. 


Shaling occurs when slices of flue start to pile up at the bottom of the chimney. For obvious reasons, it is important for the flue liner to be intact otherwise the fireplace won’t operate smoothly. If you detect thin slices of chimney tile collecting inside the fireplace, contact us for chimney inspection in St. Paul, MN. A special camera may be used to look for the root cause of the problem. 

Wallpaper Damage

If the wallpapers around your fireplace start to deteriorate, you may be looking at an early sign of chimney damage. The wallpaper is being exposed to moisture from the chimney. This will require repairs to the flue or chimney. Until then, you may have to discontinue using the fireplace.  

For professional repairs, inspection, and analysis, as well as consultation for preventive chimney maintenance, get in touch with the experts at 2nd Generation Chimneys.

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