Common Chimney Problems
Your chimney may seem to you to be as strong as a mountain, made from sturdy bricks and mortar; you imagine it may stand forever. The truth is something different. It takes attention and effort to ensure the longevity of your chimney. If you aren't committed to the regular upkeep of your chimney, it could be a thing of the past before you know it. Here are some common chimney problems that you need to recognize so they won't go unattended.
Missing or Damaged Chimney Coverings
They say that trees die from the top down; it's the same concept with chimneys. The top of your chimney has a concrete area known as its crown. The sole purpose of the crown is to protect the brick and mortar below it from rain and other precipitation.
The crown juts over the brick by about an inch and a half and slopes to allow water to run off without waterlogging bricks. Because of the sun's constant barrage of rays, the crown will inevitably crack and let water get to the brick and mortar below; because of this, extensive damage to the chimney can occur.
A full-width chimney cap is the best solution for protecting your chimney's crown. It is a protective covering that fits over the top of a chimney to prevent water, animals, or debris from getting inside your chimney.
Chimney leaks are particularly detrimental for numerous reasons. If your chimney leaks, not only can it bring on spalling, but it can also cause mold and mildew to grow in your chimney and firebox. Black mold and mildew are toxic and can have a negative impact on the quality of life of those with allergies or asthma; fixing the leak keeps the chimney and firebox dry and eliminates mold.
It may not seem obvious, but a leak in your chimney can also bring about water damage to your home's roof. A significant leak in your chimney allows water under the shingles and flashing. Condensation trapped beneath shingles will induce wood rot and promote mold and mildew in your attic.
Not sure you have a leaky chimney? Here are a few common signs.
- A white powder-like substance on the outside of your chimney.
- Water is ponding in your firebox each time it rains.
- You can see black mold, mildew, or algae inside your fireplace.
- Damp, musty smells in your attic and crawl spaces.
If your chimney has any of these signs, it is critical to have your chimney inspected at once. There may be water damage due to a chimney leak.
As time passes, bricks and mortar will absorb water, and it can erode both; this can lead to what is known as spalling, an occurrence where bricks are driven out and break loose. The same issues can also occur with stone fireplaces. Our chimney sweeps know how to identify and repair bricks or stones coming apart. If spalling is not fixed, it can cause the entire chimney to crumble and collapse.
Bricks and Mortar That Are Deteriorating
When you look at your chimney and see loose bricks, it clearly signifies water damage. How does this happen? As we previously mentioned, it could be from a damaged crown or the age of the bricks and mortar.
Over time they will bake in the sun and become more like a sponge; once that happens, bricks and mortar soak in moisture like dew or raindrops because they are porous; they have a robust capillary reaction to humidity.
Let Oliver Twist Chimney and Fireplace Repair Your Chimney
Don't let any of these common chimney problems go if your chimney needs service. We can fix your chimney quickly and without disrupting your home. Call us or fill out our contact form to set up an appointment if you are in Huntington Beach CA, Long Beach CA, Torrance CA, Anaheim CA, Santa Ana CA, Fullerton CA, Buena Park CA, Laguna Beach CA, Dana Point CA or anywhere in the greater SoCal area.