Chimneys play important roles in the safe operation of your fireplace. They allow smoke and combustion gases to escape safely and prevent them from entering your home. Unfortunately, common issues can have a tremendous impact on that safety, and in some cases, it can even jeopardize the structure of your home. Here are some reasons why you should call a professional to inspect your chimney’s masonry today.
What Is a Masonry Chimney?
A masonry chimney is one that is made of bricks, mortar, concrete, concrete blocks, and a variety of other components. Though masonry in itself is quite strong, it can start to deteriorate over time. The biggest culprit is water, and it can damage masonry in a few different ways. Acid rain can eat away at brick materials, driving rain can cause erosion, and moisture that absorbs into the brick then freezes and thaws, can cause cracks. The only way to catch these potential issues is to inspect the chimney’s masonry regularly, and for safety, you should repair leaks or issues right away.
The Dangers of Chimney Masonry Leaks
When water penetrates into cracks in masonry, it can cause a variety of issues that are difficult and expensive to fix. Some of these issues may even impact your safety or your home’s very structure. When water enters the masonry, it can cause all of the following:
- Decayed mortar;
- Stained chimney exterior;
- Deterioration of the firebox;
- Rotting wood;
- Stained ceilings;
- Ruined wall coverings like drywall;
- Collapsed hearth support;
- Settling of the chimney; and
- The collapse of the chimney structure
Another common issue homeowners face – and often one of the first signs that water has penetrated the masonry – is a foul odor coming from the fireplace. This occurs when water mixes with the creosote on the inside of the chimney lining. The odor is foul, and it is difficult to get rid of, as well.
Schedule an Inspection
Though it is possible for homeowners to check and inspect their own chimney masonry, it is always a better idea to leave this to the professionals. These individuals have specialized training that allows them to find things you might overlook. What’s more, if an issue is present, a professional has the tools and experience to handle it right away – and affordable, too. Remember that failing to call a professional to check your masonry chimney for leaks can lead to serious issues, and while it may make some sense to save money and do it yourself, the problems moisture can cause in and around your home are even more expensive than the inspection itself.
Masonry chimney leaks can be small or significant, but no matter the size of the leak or the problem, it is important that you find it and repair it right away. Call for your annual chimney cleaning and inspection today so you can rest comfortably in the knowledge that your chimney is in good condition for protecting you, your family, and your home.