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Fall 2014 Newsletter

Chimney Repair: How to Tell if You Have a Chimney Problem

As fall gets closer, many homeowners are starting to fire up their heating systems. There’s nothing like the smell of a good fire in the winter, and if you have a fireplace in your home you may be wondering if it is still working well after all the use it got last season. There are a few tell–tale signs that you should look for that might mean that you need some chimney repair before you start lighting more fires. Read on below and be sure to get your fireplace and chimney maintained each year before the fall and winter seasons.

  • Improper venting. Is smoke billowing out of your fireplace into your home? This is an obvious sign that you have an updraft problem. First check to make sure that the flue is open. Your fireplace and chimney rely on a proper balance of pressure in order to generate the updraft necessary to pull the smoke out of your fireplace and out the chimney. If there are any cracks in the chimney on the way up, it could make the updraft too weak.
  • Water leaks. If you’ve noticed water leaking down into your fireplace it likely means that you need chimney repair. Water leaks can be caused by cracks in the chimney or bad flashing around the base of your chimney and the roof.
  • Creosote and soot build–up. As your chimney burns fuel, it will naturally create creosote and soot. These two by–products of combustion can start to build up on the sides of your chimney. Not only can they restrict the flow of air through your chimney but they can also start a chimney fire. In fact, creosote and soot build–up is one of the most common causes of chimney fires.
  • Cracks. While chimneys can sometimes last up to 100 years, they can also start to break down long before that. If you notice that your chimney is leaning, if it has separated from your roof, or if it is cracked, make sure that you call for chimney repair. These problems will usually only get worse with time.

As we mentioned above, getting regular maintenance, cleaning and repairs for your chimney is truly the best way to prevent problems from starting to develop. When you have a chimney expert regularly inspecting your fireplace and chimney, they’ll be able to find problems early before they get larger.