When was the last time you considered the safety of your fireplace? If you haven’t in some time, it may be time to start. If things aren’t functioning as they should, your home, family, and property could be at risk every time you light a fire. That’s why it is imperative to know the signs of chimney damage.
Here are a few common problems with chimneys and what to keep an eye out for:
- Cracking and Crumbling Material
If you notice cracks on your chimney and hear them making noises, especially if they’re accompanied by crumbling or falling materials, you may want to call your chimney repair specialists. These are signs the bricks or mortar are deteriorating to the point of danger. The cracks indicate inadequate support, and crumbling materials can indicate the mortar or sand is failing and isn’t doing its job of holding bricks together.
- Rusty Metal Components
Over time, the metal components on your fireplace and chimney, such as the damper, can rust and flake. This rust can cause problems on your fireplace’s flue and the surrounding area and cause fires to spread out of control. If you see rust or flaking or notice that your fireplace’s damper no longer moves freely, having chimney sweep professionals inspect your fireplace is a good idea.
- Foul Odours
If you notice a foul or unpleasant odour coming from your fireplace or hear a gurgling noise, this is likely caused by condensation inside the chimney. Condensation can build up when you’re using your fireplace and come from other sources, such as a bathroom. Seasonal heating can also cause condensation, and depending on the area in which you live; moisture can build up in the chimney and cause problems.
- Mould and Discoloration
If mould or mildew is growing on your fireplace or chimney, this is a sign that there’s a moisture problem. Mildew can be a precursor to fungus and moulds and isn’t something you want near your family’s breathing area. If the amount of mould and mildew is great enough for you to notice, you should have your fireplace and chimney cleaned before it leads to worse problems.
- Rotten Woodwork
If your woodwork around the fireplace is rotting, there’s likely a moisture issue. Dry rot is the most prevalent cause of this problem, and it can spread to the entire area surrounding your fireplace if left unchecked. If unsure, call a chimney sweep to inspect the site and have the problem professionally taken care of.
- Stains on the Walls and Ceiling
This is a clear sign of wood rot if you have stains on your walls and ceiling around your fireplace. The woodwork around your fireplace is usually made of softwood and can be contaminated by soot and creosote, which both tend to stain. If you notice your woodwork is stained and want to remedy the issue, try to clean the walls and ceiling with warm water and soap, and you may be able to remove the stain.
Your home, family, and property are at risk for fire all year round, especially during the winter. This is why understanding the signs of chimney damage and taking them seriously is so important. If you notice any problems listed above, you should have a chimney sweep look at your fireplace to ensure it’s functioning safely.
Red Robin Masonry is Toronto’s most trusted masonry company, providing brickwork, chimney work, parging, and stonework services. We understand that investment but also the stresses that come along with maintaining it. It’s our vision to give you the comfort of knowing that any project being done on your home is in good hands. If you need chimney repair services in Ontario, we’ve got you covered! Get in touch with us today and let us know how we can help!