Tips For Inspecting Your Chimney Before Winter


With the end of summer approaching, it's the perfect time to start prepping your chimney for the winter season ahead. If this is the first pre-season inspection you've done, you might not know what you should be looking for. You can't always see the problems just by glancing at the chimney, so there are a few things you should be aware of. 

Look At The Mortar

The mortar holds the bricks of your chimney together. It's the material that you see between the bricks and it's vital to the structural stability of the chimney. Look at the mortar for any signs of cracking, crumbling or chipping. These are indications of weakening mortar strength that could mean the risk of collapse.

Another thing you should be aware of is the risk that those cracks could allow moisture to seep into the chimney. When the cold temperatures start to set in, any moisture in those cracks will ultimately expand due to freezing. This worsens the damage and may actually cause the chimney to fall apart.

Examine The Flue Tiles

Damaged flue tiles can be destructive to the chimney, because they can allow flames to pass beyond the tiles and into the chimney liner. When the tiles and chimney liner are damaged to this point, it increases the risk of a serious chimney fire that could even spread into the walls in your home.

If you're seeing pieces of tile inside the fireplace, that's a sign that the tiles are damaged. Don't light a fire in the fireplace until you've had it assessed and repaired by a chimney specialist, because you don't want to risk a disaster. Consider asking about a stainless steel liner for more durability.

Inspect The Wallpaper

The wallpaper along the chimney wall is often one of the earliest warnings you'll get that something isn't right. If you're seeing bubbles or wrinkles in the wallpaper on that wall, it often indicates that there's moisture seeping in around the chimney. This can be damaging to the chimney and the wall, weakening the structural integrity of both. If one fails, it could expose the other to enough damage that it fails as well.

Don't let your unfamiliarity with the chimney be your downfall this winter. Before the temperatures get cold, use these tips to evaluate its condition. If you're uncomfortable doing it yourself or you want to have the whole thing assessed by a specialist, talk with a chimney repair specialist about scheduling a professional inspection. Contact a company like Brown & Sons for more information.


20 July 2016

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