While your chimney may literally be as hard as bricks, that does not mean it can't have some problems now and then. Since it is always subjected to wind, snow, rain, and more, it is actually quite common for chimneys to need some repairs now and then. If you are wondering when it's time to call in the experts to give your chimney some TLC, here are four issues that should always be checked out immediately.
If water is leaking into your chimney, have this looked at immediately. In most cases, this will be happening due to damaged flashing, loose bricks, or a cracked crown or cap. If left unchecked, the water will over time soften the masonry, putting your chimney's structural integrity at risk. Also, cracks inside your chimney increases the risk of carbon monoxide entering your cabin, which could be life-threatening.
Thanks to the elements and the constant freeze-thaw cycle that takes place, your chimney may start to have bricks that are cracked or even missing. When this occurs, there's a good chance your chimney will become weaker and weaker over time. Thus, in addition to the roof repair you may have going on, you may also need a chimney rebuild if yours is severely damaged.
Sticky and tarry, creosote is a substance created by the combustion of lighting your fireplace. Unfortunately, it sticks to your chimney walls and flue liner, and can accumulate rather quickly. If not cleaned out on a regular basis, this creosote accumulation has the potential to catch fire inside your chimney, leading to catastrophic damage to your cabin. Thus, you should always have your chimney cleaned out at least once per year, and possibly twice if you use your fireplace on a regular basis.
When you've got a fire going in your fireplace, your cabin is of course quite warm. However, inside your chimney, temperatures can soar to over 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit, which over time can result in a damaged flue liner. If this happens, you may start to notice your carbon monoxide detectors going off now and then, and you may also discover your fireplace doesn't seem to be heating your cabin as well as it once did.
If you have any of these chimney issues, don't procrastinate. To keep your family and cabin safe, call on an experienced chimney repair specialist to take care of any problems that may exist.