nav-left cat-right


There’s no other time that we enjoy the comfort and luxury of a working fireplace that during the cold winter season. Everyone tries to prepare their fireplace as soon as the weather starts getting cold. However, it’s always important to inspect and check your older chimney if you’re planning to use it. Utilizing a damaged chimney is more likely to result in more problems for your house. If you don’t know where to start when inspecting your chimney, here are some of the most common problems you should understand how to fix before you relax by the fire.

Buildup in the Chimney

The more you use your chimney, the more it will have soot buildup. Always monitor the soot buildup, also referred to as creosote, as it is combustible. You don’t want to just wake up to the realization that your chimney is on fire. The soot buildup usually has a brown and black crusty appearance and it should not be a problem to identify. Simply shine a flashlight and you’ll be able to see it. Don’t wait until the buildup has reached the third degree since this is usually highly combustible. Remove it when it’s still a first-degree creosote.

The best way of eliminating this dangerous buildup is contacting a chimney professional. It’s always a good idea to have your chimney cleaned at least once every year if you’re using the fireplace more often.

Chimney Blockage

Apart from the soot buildup, your chimney may have a blockage of tree debris or a bird’s nest. This can easily be removed. Just make sure you’ve inspected your chimney before you start using it. If these items are not removed, they can result in chimney fires. A chimney pro can help in removing a nest safely. It’s recommended to invest in a chimney cap as a preventative measure. The cap will provide protection against unwanted debris and animals.

Damage to Chimney flashing

Chimneys can also be affected by water damage. The only way to having a working fireplace is ensuring your chimney is water-free and dry. Water damage often results in exterior and internal damage of the chimney masonry work. This is common in older chimneys. Inspect your chimney flashing regularly and contact a roofing professional to repair any leakages or damage.

Cracks to the Chimney Crown

Many homeowners pay little attention to the topmost part of their chimney, known as the chimney crown. This part of your chimney plays a crucial role in protecting your chimney from the harsh weather. Over times, the chimney crown may start to crack due to freeze-thaw damage during winter. You can protect it by investing in a concrete chimney sealer.

Brickwork Problems

Brickwork problems are common in older homes. Usually, starts as small cracks then some missing bricks in the chimney. If not fixed immediately, it can develop into large cracks which are dangerous to the chimney structure. Always contact a masonry professional immediately you notice any signs of wear.