Signs You Need a New Chimney
Chimney maintenance can prolong the life of a chimney but at some point, a new chimney is needed. Keeping moisture out is the best way to prevent the accelerated deterioration of your chimney. It’s a tough job, though, that requires vigilance as well as the know-how and abilities of a trained chimney professional. You may not have to take the word of your trusted chimney sweep about the need for a new chimney because there are signs you can identify for yourself. Read on to learn some of the signs that you need a new chimney.
Chimney masonry can last 100 years or more, but the mortar that holds bricks together expires after 25 years at best. If there is serious deterioration of the mortar that was not addressed in a timely manner, you can be sure that the masonry is in the process of destruction caused by moisture.
When water gets into the bricks, it expands and contracts during freezing and thawing cycles. The movement of the ice within the bricks slowly breaks them down. A partial or completely new chimney will be required, depending on how much of the mortar has worn away and how long the problem has been going on.
If you can see cracks in your chimney, a chimney rebuild is likely needed. There are various reasons cracks develop in a chimney. The foundation of the home may have shifted. Improper construction can result in cracks, such as when there is an insufficient thermal expansion gap. The purpose of a thermal expansion gap is to allow the clay flue liner to expand and contract without creating cracks in the surrounding bricks. Installing an antenna on a chimney can cause cracks due to mechanical damage.
Chimney Crown Deterioration
The chimney crown is the white part of the chimney at the top, and its job is to prevent water from getting into the chimney system between the chimney exterior and the flue. Chimney crowns are notoriously prone to develop cracks and other forms of deterioration. If chimney inspections and chimney maintenance have been neglected, a damaged chimney crown can be the cause of extensive water damage that results in the need for a new chimney.
No Chimney Cap
A chimney cap keeps rain, sleet, and snow from pouring into your chimney. Although chimney caps have other useful features you wouldn’t want to be without, because keeping water out of the chimney system provides the most far-reaching benefits. Without a chimney cap, your chimney can experience the most extensive effects of destruction caused by moisture.
Even if you do not have water stains on your walls or ceilings yet and you haven’t noticed rust in the fireplace, all you need to know is that the lack of a chimney cap for an extended period of time will result in the need for a new chimney.
If you need chimney cap installation, consider a full-width chimney cap that slows down the destruction of the chimney crown while keeping water out of your chimney flue. A flue-top chimney topper is the other option, although it has less aesthetic appeal and fewer benefits than a full-width chimney cap.
Contact Guardian Chimney Sweeps Today
Have you spotted any of the signs that a new chimney is needed? Contact the CSIA-Certified chimney sweep experts at Guardian Chimney Sweeps for an inspection and an honest evaluation of the condition of your chimney. Guardian can handle all of your chimney needs, including chimney masonry repair, chimney rebuilding, chimney cap installation, chimney inspections, and chimney crown repair. Contact Guardian Chimney Sweeps today at (936) 271-9781 in Conroe or at (713) 401-2011 for chimney services in the Greater Houston Area.