How to Spot Chimney Damage

Tips on How to Spot Chimney Damage

How to Spot Chimney DamageThe key to a healthy chimney is chimney inspection. You should perform regular checks on your chimney to avoid serious problems to your safety and your home.

Your chimney is not just a decorative feature in your property, it performs a serious function to ensure your safety. Your chimney is responsible for channelling harmful gases and smoke out of your home. If there’s damage to your chimney that’s left unchecked, it could lead to toxic gases such as carbon monoxide leaking into your property. If you’re not used to working at heights or you don’t have the right equipment, such as a roof ladder so that you don’t have to overstretch, then call in a specialist chimney repair firm who can carry out a roof inspection and chimney repairs safely.

You should aim to check your chimney for damage once a year, preferably before winter sets in, when you’ll be using it more. Checking your chimney for damage or leaks can prevent further problems down the line that can be costly to fix. Even more serious, your chimney could collapse. This could cause problems for passers-by, for you or for any other occupants of the property. Checking and repairing your chimney if necessary will prevent you spending extra money if the damage spreads.

There are many reasons why your chimney can suffer damage. It is usually the highest point of your property, and can come in for some serious pummelling from high winds and stormy weather. Rain can seep through damaged brickwork, causing structural damage, and snow, freeze and thaw cycles can penetrate masonry, causing it to expand and stress. Older chimneys are particularly susceptible to damage as weather can take its toll on flashings and brickwork over time. If you live in a period property, many of which have multiple chimneys, it’s even more essential to check your chimney for leaks or damage as problems could spread and worsen if left unattended.

Obvious Signs of Chimney Damage

When checking your chimney, you should look for worn flashings or flashings that are loose or missing. Mortar joints can become damaged over time and can start to flake or crack and crumbling brickwork can also pose a problem.

Certain problems can be spotted by an amateur. Loose chimney pots, for example, can be spotted from the ground and should be refitted before they fall over. If your chimney is not drawing out smoke properly, you’ll notice the effects indoors when you light a fire. A cowl can help protect your chimneys from blockages such as nesting birds that can stop a chimney from functioning as it should.
Here are some of the chimney problems you should be able to spot as an amateur:

  • Misaligned flue tiles
  • Cracks in the crown
  • Worn flashings
  • Missing mortar joints
  • Spaulling bricks

Damage to the interior of your chimney, such as worn lining is not so easy to spot. Damage to your chimney liner can cause all sorts of problems, even a chimney fire, but damage can go undetected if you’re not sure what you’re looking for. Internal chimney checks are difficult to undertake and you’ll need to find a professional chimney repairer to help. A chimney inspection by a professional roofing firm will set your mind at rest, telling you all you need to know about the condition of your chimney. They’ll be able to check your chimney flue and spot even the most minute cracks in your chimney tiles or degrading of mortar. Often a chimney repair company will do a video inspection so that you can see any damage for yourself.

Get Professional Help

It’s always worth calling in a professional roofing team to inspect your chimney as damage that goes unnoticed can lead to big problems in the long run.
G&A is a leading roofing firm that specialises in chimney maintenance and repair work. We provide complete care to deal with chimney damage, including the following services:

  • Chimney pot refitting
  • Lead work and repairs for worn flashings
  • Brickwork re-pointing/masonry work
  • Chimney rebuilding
  • Complete chimney removal

Call G&A for free advice today on 0800 626 430.

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