Does Your Chimney Need Repairing?

Although not all of us still have an active use for our chimneys, with some having them filled in years ago as central heating took over from open fires, they still have the potential to cause issues for roofs if they fall into disrepair.

Whether it’s just the stack remaining on top of the house (admittedly providing an attractive feature) or the chimney itself is still in full use with a fireplace below it, there are a number of problems that can arise due to chimney neglect.

So how do you know if it needs repairing?

While there are often some visible signs that your chimney needs repairing, some of the more ominous ones aren’t always easy to spot. One of the most prominent (and perhaps most dangerous) is damage to the mortar joints between the masonry on the chimney.

Even the smallest cracks present a problem, as the potential for water ingress is increased, leading to mould and damp issues. Water can also go through a freezing and thawing process in small cracks, making them large cracks in no time at all that can very seriously damage a chimney’s structural integrity, leading to collapse.

Signs of dampness on internal walls of your chimney breast or in your fireplace could be another indication that there is an issue. Cracked or aging flue lining not only exposes the building to rain damage, it can also allow too much smoke and heat to escape into areas of the home that could be at risk from fire.

Damage to the chimney crown can be the precursor to a number of chimney problems. As the hood on top of the stack, the chimney crown is the first line of defence against the elements. Water entering through a damaged crown can cause a range of problems, from spalling (moisture entering the brickwork and compromising its structural integrity) to shaling (flue tiles that become damaged, leading to thin slices building up at the base of the chimney. Paying attention to the chimney crown, whether replacing it or fully waterproofing it, can prevent a lot of issues forming down the line in other areas of the chimney.

Most chimney damage is hard to spot without getting up on the roof, which can be incredibly dangerous for those that are not completely sure of what they’re doing. A regular chimney inspection from an expert is the best way to spot any necessary repairs without risking serious injury. It’s recommended (by the National Association of Chimney Sweeps) that those burning smokeless fuels have their chimney inspected once per year, while those burning wood should be more regular – around once per quarter.

Morgan Asphalte are the leading providers of roofing services in the Wimbledon and wider London area. Our expert team are on hand to carry out chimney inspections, repairing any that are exhibiting faults, including pointing and even full chimney removal in a safe and efficient manner. Get in touch today to find out more.

Posted on 19 December 2014 in Chimney.

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