6 Chimney Issues You Should Know About

More can go wrong with a chimney and its components than most people realize. By being aware of the most common chimney issues, you’ll know what to look for.

Doodlebuggers Fireplace, Grill & Outdoor Store of Destin, FL, and Pensacola, FL, would like to share some helpful information about six chimney issues we work on regularly.

Damaged Masonry, Miramar Beach FL1. Failing masonry

When the bricks and mortar that make up a chimney structure are damaged, the chimney can begin to lean dangerously or collapse entirely. Loose bricks and crumbling mortar are early signs that there’s a problem with your chimney’s masonry. These issues can be caused by water damage, earthquakes, lightning strikes, old age, chimney fires and more.

2. Smoke backing up into the house

Most issues with smoke entering a home are related to the chimney or the house itself, rather than the fireplace. Backups can happen for various reasons.

  • Obstructions in the chimney flue that hinder drafting
  •  Strong winds blowing down through the top of your chimney
  • House is too air-tight to allow air to move into the firebox and up the chimney
  • Window fans and bathroom vent fans that create negative air pressure in the home
  • A faulty fireplace damper that won’t fully open

3. Chimney liner damage

Chimney liners are usually made of clay tiles, stainless steel or poured-in-place compounds. All types can become damaged over time or with repeated chimney fires. Once a liner is compromised, it can allow intense heat and flames to escape the flue and damage or destroy adjacent areas of the home. Open liners can also send combustion gases into nearby rooms.

4. Cracked chimney crown

The concrete chimney crown is the layer at the very top of your chimney that keeps rain and debris out of the chimney’s interior areas. Crowns can become cracked from lighting, hail, inferior concrete, old age and other causes. Because chimney crowns aren’t easy to see, damage often progresses to a serious level before anyone realizes there’s a problem.

5. Warped or rusted flashing

Chimney flashing is the material that skirts the base of your chimney to seal the gap between it and the roof. When flashing is warped or rusted (or missing!), water can easily run down into your home. The result can be damaged chimney masonry, rotting home building materials and mold growth, most of which you won’t be able to see under normal conditions.

Creosote Buildup, Oriole Beach FL6. Excess creosote and debris in the flue

Wood fireplaces create flammable creosote, which clings to the walls of your chimney liner. Chimneys without a secure cap or flue cover allow in all sorts of outside debris and animals, some of which build obstructive nests. Creosote is the #1 cause of chimney fires each year in the U.S. Flue blockages are among the most common reasons for smoke and deadly carbon monoxide to back up into a home.

Get your chimney repaired correctly

The trained professionals at Doodlebuggers are standing by to help with your chimney needs. We provide full chimney repairs, component replacements, chimney sweeping and chimney inspections.

Reach a chimney expert today at (850) 779-2567 in Pensacola, FL, or at (850) 779-4998 in the Destin, FL, area.

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