How You Can Tell if You Have Chimney Damage

Your chimney is an important part of your home’s structure (and infrastructure). If it does not function properly, there’s a decent chance your safety will be compromised. Therefore, it’s important to keep your eye out for signs of potential chimney damage so you can get it repaired efficiently before further damage and other issues occur. A failure to repair your chimney can result in moisture problems in your home, chimney fires and potential carbon monoxide poisoning.

Here’s some information from a roofing contractor in central Florida about some of the telltale signs of chimney damage:

  • Cracked or worn mortar joints: Mortar joints in masonry can wear out for a variety of reasons. Even when perfectly maintained, they will just naturally deteriorate over time as they continue to be exposed to the weather and the elements. You’ll notice this problem if you see space developing between bricks, or obvious cracking forming in the bricks or mortar. Damaged mortar joints result in more moisture leaking into your chimney, which can be a big problem during freezing and thawing cycles.
  • Efflorescence: Have you seen a strange white stain on the back of a chimney? This is what we call efflorescence, and it’s a sign that your masonry is seeing uneven levels of moisture, perhaps due to leaks or other types of damage. If you start to notice this problem developing, it’s important to call for a chimney inspection as soon as possible so you can avoid problems with mold and mildew.
  • Spalling bricks: Bricks are porous by nature, which means that over time moisture can seep through the brick work and start to break it apart in a process known as spalling. This becomes even worse in cold weather climates if the moisture is able to freeze. Some of the most common causes of spalling include using pressure washers while cleaning masonry, long-term exposure to weather, general aging and low-quality materials used for bricks (often an issue in newer, pre-fabricated homes).
  • Worn flashing: Chimney flashing is the sheet of metal around the chimney that creates a watertight seal at the point where the chimney and the roof connect. It prevents water from leaking into your roof at that point, which could otherwise result in wood rot, mold and many other issues. Your flashing will need to be replaced eventually, as it is not completely immune to weathering.
  • Internal damage on walls near chimney: If you see damage to your paint or wallpaper on the walls near your chimney, this is a sign that there’s something wrong with your chimney. It could be cracked brick or mortar, or a damaged flue liner. In any case, these issues should never manifest themselves inside of your home. If you see this problem starting to arise, you must call a chimney inspector to come out and determine the cause and the best course of action.

Winter Springs Roofing & Repair has over three decades of experience working on chimneys. For more information about identifying and repairing chimney damage, we encourage you to contact us to speak with a roofing contractor in central Florida today.

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