Your fireplace is gorgeous – you could just sit back and look at it. But is it really as perfect as your think? There are some signs you can look for to see if your chimney is as safe and in as good of repair as you may think it is. So take a minute and look a little closer to see if things are as good as you think.
Condition of the Bricks/Stone
One thing that you should look at is the shape that your bricks are in. Go around to the outside of your house and check out your bricks. If your bricks or stone are flaking off and if some chips of your bricks or stone are on the ground, this is a condition called spalling and there is a problem that may need repair.
A key piece of your chimney system when it comes to preventing water damage is your chimney cap. You’ll want to check for two things: first, do you even have a chimney cap? And second, if you do have a chimney cap, is it in good repair? A chimney cap can keep the precipitation out of your chimney, but that’s not all it can keep out. It can keep debris like leaves and twigs and paper out of your chimney, and it can keep birds and other creatures out. Your chimney inspector will make sure that your chimney cap is present and in good repair.
If you notice that there is a white, powdery substance on your bricks, you have efflorescence. What this indicates is that moisture is moving through the bricks and leaving mineral deposits behind. This could mean that you have a problem with your flue liner, and, if left unrepaired, this could cause mortar and bricks to deteriorate.
Leak and Stains
Another thing to look for is simply leaks and stains inside your home close to the chimney. This can be stains running down the walls, wallpaper that is water stained and peeling, or even damp patches on the walls. This can mean a couple things: you might have interior chimney damage, or you might have damaged flashing. Both of these things can be detected by a qualified chimney sweeping service like Old Dominion Chimneys.
Why Water Damage is a Problem
According to CSIA, there are many things that can happen because of water damage to your chimney. Among these things are decaying exterior mortar, rusted damper assembly, clogged clean out area, deteriorated central heating system, rotting adjacent wood and wall covering, chimney settlement, collapsed hearth support, and more. Make sure that these things aren’t happening to your chimney and fireplace system by calling in an expert chimney inspector from Old Dominion Chimneys. The employees at Old Dominion are Chimney Safety Institute of America certified, and they also maintain their membership with the National Chimney Sweep Guild (NCSG) and the Mid-Atlantic Chimney Association. They have the knowledge and the experience to know exactly what your chimney needs and how to do the necessary repairs to get your chimney in tip-top shape.