A chimney is a wonderful thing to have, especially during the cold months. There is nothing like building a cozy fire during winter. This is why making sure that your chimney is in working order before the winter season is crucial. Chimneys are meant to last for a long time, and in general, they usually do. However, if cracks start to form on your chimney, it pays to know if they are only an aesthetic issue or if it is a serious problem that needs attention.
Maintaining Your Chimney
If there are cracks on the stone and brick layers of your chimney, there is a good chance that you may be able to fix these cracks yourself. Most of the time, cracks are a maintenance issue that can easily be fixed, as long as you find the damage in time.
Chimney maintenance involves making sure that you are able to repair cracks and make sure that they do not affect the structural integrity of your chimney. If you see that the damage is not extensive, these can easily be repaired. However, if the cracks are large or have smoke residue, you may need to call a masonry repair professional.
Why Do Chimney Cracks Form?
1 – Lack Of Proper Maintenance
Cracks on chimneys are fairly normal and happen to the most well-maintained chimney. However, if you do not take time to fix small fractures, these may have the tendency to grow until they become too deep to be repaired without the help of a professional.
2 – Freezing And Thawing
Another cause of chimney damage is the freezing and thawing of water that is caught in chimney cracks. As water freezes, it expands. If this happens in between the small crevices of a cracked chimney, it can cause the damage to worsen, leaving a larger hole in its place.
3 – Plants and Trees In The Area Near The Chimney
A tree with thick roots that is planted nearby may grow and cause damage to the chimney if its growth isn’t controlled properly. The roots may come to grow under the chimney and ruin the pad that supports the chimney. During harsh weather, the branches of the trees may hit the chimney as they sway in strong wind, causing damage to the structure.
4 – Poor Drainage
Poor drainage can affect a chimney because the excess moisture that is left on the brick may cause damage to the foundation. If the foundation is weak, there will be a higher likelihood of cracks and damage to the chimney.
If you notice overly large cracks, plants and weeds growing, or smoke stains on your chimney, you may want to consider hiring a masonry specialist to take a look at your chimney and not try to repair it on your own. These are telltale signs that your chimney may be deteriorating and may need more intensive repairs.
The tips mentioned above will help you maintain your chimney and make sure that no severe damage will affect it. However, if you were not able to properly maintain your chimney, its best that you contact a masonry contractor before the winter months roll in. they will be able to repair your chimney from the inside out, and make sure that you will not face the problem of a broken chimney when you need it the most.
If you are worried about your chimney, Red Robin Masonry offers chimney repair services in the Toronto area. We also offer brick repair services, waterproofing, and other masonry repairs. Don’t wait too long to have the cracks on your chimney checked, contact us today!