Common Chimney Stack Problems & Repair Options

Our focus here is to discuss the process of chimney stack repair as well as the problems that necessitate such a fix.

Chimney maintenance or repair could involve any part of the system. One of the major sections; the chimney stack which is the visible part seen outside may also require repair services.

Chimney Stack Problems Needing Repairs

Unlike other parts of the chimney system, the stack is mostly exposed and gets the most weather activity. This increases its vulnerability and requires constant maintenance to keep it in top shape.

Common problems include damaged liners, damaged mortar joints, and leaning stacks.

Others include cracked bricks & joints, and water damage. All of these issues hinder the normal functioning of the stack and ignoring the problem can only worsen its condition. You’ll need to act fast to save your chimney stack as its deterioration will affect not only the stack but other parts of the system.

The next section will discuss all of these common chimney stack problems and also discuss how to fix them.

Stack Problems and Repairs

We’ve only mentioned the common chimney problems and not how to fix them.

Here, we’ll be doing more than that. More detail has been provided about these problems as well as how to have them fixed.

i. Damaged Liners

Liners are part of the chimney stack structure found within. When the liner is damaged, smoke flow is negatively impacted. This creates a problem for occupants of the building as the interruption of smoke flow means its fumes return into the building.

This can result in a significant health hazard.

Another common problem that results in damaged lines is an overheating chimney system. When the chimney becomes too hot, it creates a problem. Liners along the stack or lower may eventually drop into the fireplace.

This increases the risks posed and will have to be fixed immediately.

  • Repairs

It’s important to act fast when faced with this type of problem. A damaged liner within your stack won’t only lead to them falling into the fireplace but also increase the likelihood of a fire. All of that can be avoided by calling a chimney repair company.

The technicians you call for the job need to be real professionals and experienced enough. The right tools also help to accurately detect and fix chimney issues.

Sometimes, chimney stack problems are only detected when the symptoms start to show.

The best way to ensure your chimney stack remains in perfect working condition is by scheduling inspection visits each year.

That way, the stack, as well as other parts of the chimney, is repaired immediately problems present themselves.

ii. Damaged Mortar Joints

A chimney stack will require repair when it starts showing signs of damaged mortar joints. The joints are spaces between bricks that are filled with mortar. These aren’t as tough as the bricks and are likely to first experience wear and tear.

As a matter of fact, damaged mortar joints are among the most common chimney stack problems people face. Immediate repair should be implemented to prevent a further worsening of the problems.

  • Damaged Mortar Joints Repair

When faced with a damaged mortar joint situation, the next step to take is to have it repointed.

Repointing is a process that involves grinding out the damaged mortar and filling it in with fresh mortar. This helps solidify your stack by holding the bricks in place.

Unless you have the skill and equipment necessary to get the job done, it’s best to allow the professionals to handle it.

This is necessary considering the risky nature of the job. You’ll have to climb up a ladder to reach the stack. Such an area may be steep and difficult to balance on.

iii. Leaning Stacks

One of the most difficult problems you’ll face with your chimney is a leaning stack. A lot of factors could be responsible for it. One of the major causes of a leaning stack is extreme weather action such as a storm.

The strong winds and rain accompanying storms come with a lot of force that could displace a chimney stack. This causes it to lean sideward.

  • Leaning Stack Repair

You’ll need to act as fast as you can to fix a leaning stack. This is because significant risks are posed. The stack could topple over and cause major damage to your property. Another possibility is the likelihood of serious injury or even death resulting when it falls on anyone.

Fixing this structural instability will involve calling a reputable chimney repair company as soon as you can. The stack may be dismantled and rebuilt again among other possibilities. Early detection is one way to limit the risks posed by a leaning chimney.

After every storm, go out and inspect the condition of your chimney.

Even if it leans slightly, call for further inspection. A slightly leaning chimney may worsen when the next storm happens.

iv. Cracked Brick & Joints

In this situation, the mortar joints aren’t only affected but also the bricks. Cracked bricks and joints are among likely problems you may encounter with your chimney stack. This is due to environmental action or stresses which happen constantly.

When you have a cracked brick and joint on your chimney stack weather action sets in.

Here, moisture enters in-between the cracks which freezes in winter, resulting in the formation of ice. Continuous freezing and melting activity widens the cracks which may lead to greater structural problems.

  • Cracked Bricks & Joints Repairs

It’s important to have this problem fixed early on.

Ignoring the cracks may worsen the problem to the point that the entire chimney stack will need to be torn down and rebuilt. This leads to a significant increase in repair costs.

v. Water Damage

Water penetration into your chimney stack leads to lots of problems. One of them includes spalling bricks; a situation where moisture within bricks freezes causing such bricks to pop out.

This results in an uneven brick surface.

Also, when excess moisture enters open cracks on the stack, it seeps down the chimney system finding its way into the chimney breast. Such dampness results in the growth of molds.

This creates health problems for your family.

  • Water Damage Repair

All cracks on your chimney stack will have to be fixed. However, existing problems will have to be assessed to determine the level of damage and the appropriate action to take.

A reputable chimney repair company will have to be called to perform this task.

Chimney stack repair is an important maintenance action that’s needed whenever problems are detected. We’ve mentioned the common chimney stack problems that often result.

Leave a Comment