Posted on: 20 February 2019Share
If your home has an older fireplace, you may start to suspect that there could be an issue with the chimney because it does not seem to draw the smoke out as efficiently as it once did. If so, look for the following signs that your chimney is damaged and needs to be repaired.
1. Presence of Efflorescence on the Bricks
One sign for which you should be on the lookout that means there is a problem with your chimney is the presence of efflorescence on the bricks. This white, crystalline powder is the result of water pushing through the bricks and depositing minerals on the surfaces.
If you see efflorescence, this means that excess moisture is affecting the chimney. There could be a problem with the flashing, the flue, or the mortar between the bricks that is allowing water to penetrate the structure. If allowed to continue, the chimney will continue to deteriorate at a rapid pace.
2. Evidence of Damage to the Wall Around the Fireplace
Along with the presence of efflorescence, another indicator that there is damage to the chimney that is allowing water to seep in is damage to the wall surrounding the fireplace. Especially if the damage is extensive, water will start to run down inside the walls.
While looking for evidence of damage, see if you find any patches of paint or wallpaper that are bubbling up or cracking. You may also find that the wall itself is soft and spongy when you touch it, indicating that there is interior deterioration going on.
3. Pieces of Flue Tiles in the Fireplace
Another thing you should look for when determining whether there is a problem with your chimney is flue tile pieces laying in the bottom of the fireplace. The flue is an essential part of your chimney, as it helps draw the heat, gases, and soot from the fire up and out of your house.
If you find pieces of the tile, this means that the flue's structure has been compromised. If you continue to use your fireplace without having the chimney repaired, you will find more soot inside your home, as well as run the risk for a fire caused by excess heat or the combustion of gases from the fireplace.
If you notice any of the above signs while looking over your fireplace, there is most likely a serious problem inside your chimney that needs fixing as soon as possible to avoid further issues. Before using your fireplace again, contact a chimney repair service, such as Excel Chimney & Fireplace Service, to have them inspect the structure and discuss your options for getting your fireplace back to safe working condition.