Imagine what your chimney looks like. Are you having a hard time picturing the current state of your chimney? Are you noticing the small chips and cracks in the structure? Do you where all this damage came from? As the homeowner, you may not be able to answer these questions without hesitancy. One sure way to know the responses to these questions is best to schedule a professional to come to inspect. Chimneys, specifically those connected to a wood-burning fireplace, perform a crucial job. These allow the interior air to sustain the fire and provide a channel to draw outside air. A perfectly sound chimney will perform this perfectly. If the chimney has issues or damages then it will not operate accordingly. A chimney that does not work correctly can cause more damage to your home and those living inside. Below are common types of damages found in chimney inspections.
Deterioration of Brick & Mortar
Years of use compromises the brick and mortar of the structure causing it to begin deteriorating. A few early signs include cracks and crumbling, which lets in water and speeds up the deterioration process. Cycles of freezing and thawing cause water to expand and break apart the structure.
Stains on Chimney Exterior
If you notice there are white stains on the structure, it is the result of salt leftover from water evaporation. More times than not, these stains appear on the outside but some have seeped through to the inside. Black stains are the result of an excessive amount of soot in the chimney that needs to be cleaned out. All other stains will need to be examined by a professional.
Buildup of Creosote
What is creosote, you may ask? Creosote is the smoke from burning wood that clings to and collects on the inner surface of the chimney. An excessive amount can obstruct the airflow. This material increases the risks of chimney fires due to how combustible it is. A chimney sweep can perform a thorough cleaning to remove the creosote and soot.
Located at the top, the chimney crown is a layer that protects the bricks and mortar from rain damage. Crowns can crack and deteriorate over time, and after that happens, the bricks and mortar begin soaking up the rainwater, leading to damage as stated above.
The chimney exterior is surrounded by flashing. This connects to the roof, where it connects to the roof can become warped and/or damaged. This allows water to have a clear path to travel down directly into the building materials of the home.
If a damper does not fully open or close then it causes an airflow problem during a fire which brings the outside air into the home. Vice-versa when the fire is not burning. Dampers are able to be cleaned or replaced if deemed necessary.
Chimney caps cover the opening at the top to protect against debris, animals, and water that can become rusted and begin to deteriorate. If you notice a damaged chimney cap, then it needs to be replaced or repaired by a professional. These are just a handle of damages found during an inspection. If it has been a while since your chimney has been swept or inspected, give SootAway a call at 866-345-4751 to schedule a thorough inspection and sweep. We are proudly serving several locations including – the Florida Panhandle, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, South Carolina, and the Gulf Coast of Mississippi.