A damaged chimney stack is an alarming site for any homeowner, and if yours is leaning or about to fall over, you’ll certainly have noticed from afar. Even subtle problems can cause serious damage in an area that’s notoriously hard to access.
To prevent costly repairs, and ensure your family is safe, your chimney stack should be properly maintained and inspected. Here are a few things you should be looking for.
The most common problem with brickwork is the disintegration of the mortar between the bricks. This is common on chimney stacks because they are so exposed. Once the pointing starts to fall out, moisture can creep in, causing damage to the inside of the chimney. This can cause damp and soiling on the walls and ceiling inside the house, where dirty, sooty rainwater begins to collect.
Check your chimney after periods of bad weather, particularly if it’s been windy or icy. One side of the chimney typically takes much more punishment; make sure you check from every angle. If you can’t see, don’t climb on the roof or risk an accident. Call us, and we’ll check it for you.
Leaning Chimney Stacks
Storms and deterioration can cause chimneys to lean dangerously to one side. The aforementioned pointing issue can cause this, and it can also be worsened if an item attached to the chimney has come loose. The most obvious example is a TV aerial that hasn’t been properly attached.
If your stack leans too far, the chimney pot may fall down, which is an obvious safety issue. This risk is exacerbated if the pot itself has come loose – something that’s hard to detect without getting close. If your chimney stack is leaning, it will only take a strong wind to turn an unsightly feature into a disaster.
Weeds are unsightly in any location, but you definitely don’t want them in your chimney stack. Any plant life growing between bricks is a sure sign that the mortar is crumbling away.
Left to their own devices, plant roots can force bricks apart and worsen an existing problem.
Soot and Tar
Wood burning stoves are back in vogue, and that means more chimneys are being lined with soot. It’s important that the flue is regularly swept and cleaned by a trained chimney sweep, or your chimney could become a serious fire hazard.
Remember that moisture in the flue can also cause problems with the chimney, due to normal condensation that’s left unchecked.
Get Your Chimney Inspected
The vast majority of chimney problems occur on the exterior of the home, where it’s very difficult to see them from the ground. We don’t advise clambering onto the roof to check the chimney yourself. Falls can be fatal, and moving a chimney can create a huge mess inside the home. In some cases, items can fall down and damage your fireplace and floors.
Call in South Thames Roofing to take a look at your chimney stack and advise on the best course of action. We’ll inspect your roof tiles and chimney safely, and catch tiny problems before they become full-blown emergencies.