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Chimney Repair or Rebuild: How Do You Decide?

October 10, 2020

Chimneys in Norfolk, VA, don’t fall apart overnight. The damage has existed for years, but you may have overlooked it. How do you know whether you need a simple chimney repair or an entire rebuild? The answer is in the signs. Read on to learn more.

Visible Damage

Have you noticed white discoloration on the bricks? This effect is called efflorescence, a sign of excess moisture in the chimney. Maybe you see rust on the damper or pieces of masonry around the bottom of the chimney. These issues may only need a quick repair, but deteriorating mortar joints could lead to a collapse.

Failing Chimney Crown

It’s hard to see chimney crown damage from the ground, so it’s best to have a professional get on the roof to check it. The chimney crown protects the structure from the elements. If it’s damaged, rain and snow will get inside the chimney and affect the bricks and mortar. If the damage is severe, a professional will have to rebuild the entire chimney crown.

Fireplace Debris

If you see thin slices of debris in the fireplace, it could indicate a damaged chimney liner. When water seeps into the gaps between your chimney and the flue lining, cracks will appear and pieces will fall to the bottom. It’s called shaling and a sign that a professional should inspect the chimney right away. Sometimes the pieces won’t fall to the bottom and will remain cracked in the liner. A professional chimney sweep can repair the damage, so it’s important to schedule routine inspections to keep the damage from getting worse.

Chimneys withstand years of weather and neglect, often outlasting a crumbling home. White bricks and fireplace debris are signs that your chimney is in need of immediate attention. Contact Rooftop Chimney Sweeps to determine whether a rebuild or a quick fix can remedy the problem.

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