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Righting a Leaning Chimney

Is your chimney obviously leaning to one side? Do you think it may be leaning a little, but it’s hard to tell just by looking at it? Leaning chimneys are more common than most people realize, and many things can cause this problem.

Doodlebuggers Fireplace, Grill & Outdoor Store of Pensacola, FL, and Destin, FL, would like to share some helpful information about leaning chimneys, including what causes them and what to do about them.

Leaning chimney damage repair in Pensacola FL and Destin FLDetecting a Leaning Chimney

If your chimney is really tilting, it will be obvious. But subtle, early shifting might not be as easy to see. One thing to look for is an opening in the flashing material that seals the gap between the roof and the chimney.

Also watch for brick damage and crumbling mortar, which can eventually cause a chimney to lean.

Most chimneys don’t go from straight to leaning over night. It’s a process, and you can stop the process early by keeping an eye on your chimney and scheduling annual inspections with a licensed chimney company.

4 Common Reasons a Chimney Leans

Here are four of the most common causes of a leaning chimney:

  1. Problems with the chimney footing

The footing at the base of a chimney has to support thousands of pounds. If it was built incorrectly or if poor-quality materials were used in its construction, it may crack or shift under the weight, causing the chimney to tilt.

  1. Chimney structural issues

As with footings, if a chimney was built with cheap materials or by people who didn’t know what they were doing, there’s a chance that eventually it will start to falter and lean.

  1. Weather events

Major lightning strikes, hail storms, earthquakes and other so-called natural disasters can damage a chimney and set the stage for it to begin tilting to one side.

  1. House settling

Houses settle periodically. Depending on the extent of the movement, a chimney can be pushed off balance.

Worst-Case Scenarios of a Leaning Chimney

Fortunately, most leaning chimneys get repaired before disaster strikes. But if they’re ignored, you could be in for some very serious problems, such as:

  • Major roof damage
  • Water leaks that damage walls, flooring and ceilings
  • Mold outbreaks from water collecting in poorly ventilated areas
  • A partial or complete chimney collapse, putting the safety of people and pets at risk

What to do About a Chimney That Leans

Chimney companies have several ways to address a leaning chimney.

  • If the problem centers on damaged masonry, bricks can be replaced and crumbling mortar joints can be repaired with a process called “tuckpointing.”
  • A weak chimney footing can sometimes be strengthened by embedding push piers into the surrounding soil.
  • Foundations set in poor soil can be stabilized by replacing some or all of the existing soil.
  • For major leaning and imminent collapse, the chimney should be rebuilt either partially or completely.

Tuckpointing chimney repair in City of Fort Walton Beach FL and Santa Rosa Beach FLGet Your Leaning Chimney Fixed

Doodlebuggers can help with your leaning chimney problem. We’ll perform a thorough inspection and then report our findings to you, advising you on the best way to resolve the issue and restore strength, stability and safety to your chimney system.

Reach a chimney expert today at (850) 477-1151 in Pensacola, FL, or (850) 243-0154 in the Destin, FL, area. You can also get in touch with our handy contact form.

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