As a homeowner, it’s important to stay on top of home maintenance because it can quickly get away from you. A small to-do list can become insurmountable if it’s never looked at or worked toward. What’s more, if routine maintenance is neglected, the damage will be the result—especially where chimneys are concerned. It’s a good idea to add your chimney maintenance to your spring cleaning list so that it isn’t forgotten.
A Healthy Chimney
When your chimney was built, it was built to last. If it was built correctly, by a certified chimney sweep, it should last the life of your home—with routine maintenance. A healthy chimney should be built by a professional, should be swept regularly, and should be inspected annually. Failing to schedule routine maintenance for your chimney can result in devastating damages (fire, water damage, carbon monoxide poisoning, and more). Many homeowners don’t know what to look for and won’t notice signs of chimney damage until it’s too late. By the time signs are visible, there is serious damage to hidden portions of the system.
A Sick Chimney
The #1 cause of chimney damage is neglect. If you build anything, and then do not maintain it or protect it from the elements, it will become damaged. Robinson Maintenance Repair, Inc. sees chimney damage quite a bit in the Chicago area, and most of it is preventable.
The most common signs of neglect that RMR sees in the Chicagoland area include:
- Stains on chimney masonry is a sign that the masonry has not been waterproofed, was constructed incorrectly, and was not repaired in a timely manner.
- Spalling masonry is a sign of the same.
- A corroded flue liner is a sign that the chimney system wasn’t swept and corrosive chemicals were allowed to damage the liner.
- A dripping and leaking chimney and areas around the chimney are caused by damaged or missing parts (crown, cap, flashing).
- A smoky chimney is a sign of a draft problem caused by damage to the system, a dirty system, or the wrong fuel type.
Get An Inspection Today
If you’re new to your home, you have no way of knowing if the chimney is safe. Home inspectors are not certified chimney professionals and don’t know the ins and outs of the chimney system. You can avoid costly damage by scheduling routine maintenance and services when they are needed. If you discover there is an issue with the chimney system, you don’t want to wait! Get it taken care of right away to avoid fire, winter damage, and wasted wood and utilities. Constant water exposure can make your chimney a potential safety hazard, especially during winter.
Don’t neglect your chimney. Call RMR at 847-290-1883 and find out what we can do for your chimney and for you.