Fireplaces are wonderful additions to the house that can make the living room look exquisite. While a fireplace is an efficient heating source and reduces the heating bills considerably, it also increases the resale value of the house.
With the winter season upon us, the fireplace is going to be in use more regularly. That being said, it is important to keep your fireplace and your chimney in a properly running condition to reap the benefits. This is because time and usage can take their toll on the fireplace. To prevent this, maintaining your chimney from time to time can save you a lot of trouble.
Sometimes chimneys may require being repaired for them to be adequately functional and serve their purpose. Let’s take a look at some of the signs which indicate that your chimney needs to be repaired soon.
1. Cracked Chimney Crown
The chimney crown prevents water from penetrating and trickling down through the chimney and into the fireplace. The damage to the chimney’s crown occurs usually during the winter or rainy season. This is because the changing temperature causes the materials of the chimney crown to expand and contract rapidly, thus generating the cracks.
If your chimney crown is cracked, water will seep down the chimney, thus causing your fireplace to malfunction. If your chimney crown is already cracked, these will expand with time, thus making the situation worse.
2. Rusted Firebox
If you find signs of moisture in the fireplace in the form of rust, it is a sure sign that your chimney needs to be repaired immediately. The flue may crack owing to such moisture accumulation and the flue lining may get damaged as well, thus making it extremely risky to operate the fireplace. This is a sure sign to get the chimney and fireplace repaired.
3. Damaged Mortar Joints
The purpose of the mortar joints is to hold the bricks of the chimney together. Changes in the weather resulting in snow, ice, rain, etc. can cause water to seep into the mortar. This causes the mortar to get saturated with water, thus leading to severe damage to the chimney. With further damage, the mortar will no longer be able to support the bricks. This may cause the chimney to break down, thus resulting in major damage to your house. Therefore, a visual inspection to check for such signs is vital.
4. Shaling Flue Tiles
Once the chimney liner gets damaged, the tiles of the chimney will start flaking off. These will get accumulated at the bottom of the chimney. This phenomenon is also known as the shaling of flue tiles. You would need to keep an eye out for shaling and get it repaired as quickly as possible to prevent further damage. Usually, shaling indicates that the flue should be replaced.
Simply put, efflorescence is the white staining on the chimney masonry. The efflorescence indicates that there is excess moisture in the masonry. Cleaning off the white staining is not a solution to the problem. The white discoloration is an indication that the chimney has a moisture issue that needs to be identified and repaired.
6. Crumbling Bricks
As moisture gets accumulated inside the bricks of the chimney, these get saturated with water and they start flaking and crumbling over time. This is also known as spalling of bricks. Sometimes, the entire bricks may pop out of place, thus bringing the entire chimney crumbling down. This is a serious sign of damage.
7. Wallpaper Stains
Keep a check on the wallpaper around your chimney. If you see stains in the wallpaper, this could indicate that the chimney has been leaking and the damage is major enough to reach the walls. This could mean that the chimney crown may have cracked.
8. Leaking Chimney
Has the chimney at your house been dripping water? Any sign of excessive moisture in your chimney is a sign that your chimney needs to be repaired immediately.
These signs are indicative of the fact that any delay in the repair of the chimney can result in serious damage to your house. Therefore, it is important to get your chimney inspected and cleaned by experts periodically. If you live in Tunbridge, you can consider getting in touch with a competent chimney sweep in Tunbridge Wells for this purpose.