While the primary goal of your annual chimney sweeping may be to clear your chimney of soot, obstructions and flammable creosote, your chimney sweeping serves one more important function: checking your chimney for damage or defects that could pose a hazard. There are some common issues chimney sweeps find during chimney inspections.
Missing or Damaged Chimney Cap
A chimney cap plays a vital role in keeping water from pouring down your chimney, sudden burst of air from blowing down the chimney and animals from finding their way into the flue. Some chimneys were never capped, while for other chimneys, the caps were blown off, damaged by trees or debris or rusted or cracked. Missing or damaged chimney caps are a common finding during chimney inspections
, and a missing or damaged cap should be immediately replaced to prevent water damage or downdrafts in your chimney.
Cracked or Crumbling Chimney Crown
Like your chimney cap, your chimney crown sits above your roof, subjected to gusts of wind and precipitation. On top of that, many chimney crowns were improperly constructed from the wrong materials. For these reasons, cracked or crumbling chimney crowns are a common issue turned up during chimney inspections. A failing chimney crown can give water access to the interior of your chimney, subjecting the chimney structure and the surrounding home structure to water damage.
Because of the elements, the masonry exterior of your chimney is susceptible to spalling. That is, water enters the porous masonry materials and causes the masonry to degrade. That damage can manifest as spalling, the cracking and crumbling away of brick facing and mortar. If not addressed, spalling can allow water to gain entry to the interior of your chimney, and it can jeopardize the structural integrity of your chimney.
Flashing seals the base of your chimney where it meets your rooftop. Either due to improper construction or age, flashing can begin to allow water to leak into your home around your chimney. Failing flashing can allow water damage in your roof structure and in the walls and ceiling around your chimney. A chimney inspection can identify failing flashing early, so you can have it repaired before it can cause major water damage in your home.
Most chimney fires go unnoticed. They smolder, contained by the chimney liner. While your home might escape the initial fire unscathed, the now-damaged chimney puts your home at risk. The damaged chimney could fail to contain future fires, or it could give embers or smoke access to your home’s structure. A chimney inspection can spot that chimney fire damage before it puts your home at risk.
Your chimney inspection is crucial for spotting chimney damage before they become significant problems that endanger your home. Many common chimney problems can be easily remedied to prevent major problems down the road. To keep your chimney safe from common chimney problems, call A to Z Chimney Services to schedule your sweeping and inspection today!