Chimneys are designed to work properly and safely for many years. However, as time goes on, it is not uncommon for specific areas of your chimney to start to degrade. It is important to maintain a properly functioning chimney in order to prevent every family’s nightmare, a house fire. Here are a few key things to look out for when inspecting your chimney.
1. Rust within the Firebox
The firebox is the place where the actual fire burns. If you notice rust anywhere within the firebox, that means that there is some sort of moisture getting into the chimney and is possibly deteriorating the structure of the chimney. A deteriorating structure allows heat to escape into places not designed to handle the heat. A professional would be able to examine the rust and chimney to inform you whether or not your chimney structure is deteriorating.
2. Damaged Chimney Crown
The chimney crown is the external, top part of the chimney. It is what keeps water from leaking into the brickwork and eroding the structure. A chimney crown can be damaged from heavy rain, hail, snow, or continuous freezing and thawing of the brickwork. If it is damaged or simply cracking, then the chimney is at risk of moisture seeping in and weakening the structure. A routine chimney sweep would allow a specialist to take a proper look at the damage and help you repair it.
3. Damage in Chimney Flue
The flue liner in your chimney is designed to protect combustible materials from the heat your chimney produces. High-quality chimney liners are designed to function under extreme heat for years, however, they do begin to deteriorate after some time. This leaves the chimney weak and unsafe. During your annual chimney sweep, a certified chimney technician is to go through every inch of the chimney flue with a camera to ensure it’s stability.
4. Mortar Joint Damage
Mortar joints are the spaces between the bricks of your chimney that are filled with mortar. Moisture is again the enemy when it comes to the safety of your chimney. When mortar joints are cracked or crumbling, moisture can leak in and deteriorate the seal, allowing uncontrolled heat past the brick and into uncontrolled areas. Crumbling mortar joints also puts the whole structure at risk of collapse.
5. Stains on Ceilings and Walls
Although fire is the biggest threat a damaged chimney poses, there is another danger to be aware of. If you see discoloration on ceilings or walls near your chimney, that likely means that your chimney is leaking moisture into your home. This can lead to rot in the structure as well as harmful mildew. It is important to be aware of this danger, regardless of whether you regularly use your chimney or not. If you are looking for any sort of chimney repair Seattle WA, be sure you find a chimney repair specialist that is certified, licensed, and bonded.
A chimney is a beautiful asset to any home. It is of vital importance to take care of it with regular chimney cleaning and inspection. That is to ensure the safety and security of your home and family.