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4 Chimney Problems You Need to Address Right Away

Chimney Building in in Madison, TNAs strong as chimneys and their components are, certain problems are likely to arise as the system ages. No chimney problem is a good problem, but there are some issues that you simply should not ignore. Here are four of them.

Damage to the chimney masonry

Brick and mortar damage can lead the way to a leaning chimney or one that collapses entirely. Over time, cracks in the mortar joints and loose bricks can begin to appear, signaling the need for swift repair work.

Many things can cause damage to chimney masonry including:

  • Old age
  • Lightning strikes
  • Earthquakes
  • Shifting of the house or the chimney footing
  • Water leaks (see below)
  • Searing summer temperatures and frigid winter temperatures
  • Hail storms
  • Gale-force wind


Minor masonry cracks often can be waterproofed. Bricks can be replaced, and missing sections of mortar can be filled in through tuckpointing. Severely damaged masonry can be partially or

Creosote buildup in the flue

Wood fires create a substance known as creosote, which forms in the flue and clings to the chimney liner. Creosote can be puffy, flakey or solid and is responsible for most chimney fires in the

Only a CSIA-certified chimney sweep with the proper equipment and training should be allowed to clean creosote out of your chimney flue. A novice simply won’t be able to do a safe and thorough job. Annual chimney sweeping is recommended to keep your home and family safe.

Drafting obstructions

If your chimney operates without a chimney cap or one that is damaged, a variety of debris can enter the flue and cause smoke to draft sluggishly. This debris may include leaves, twigs, fruit, and nuts from nearby trees as well as small-animal nests and dead small animals such as squirrels, birds, and rodents.

Chimney Cap Installation Services in Madison, TNWhen smoke doesn’t have a clear path to exit through the chimney, it can back up into your home and carry with it carbon monoxide, an invisible, odorless gas that is known to be deadly to

Chimney leaks

Chimneys can leak for a lot of reasons. The most common include:

Cracks in the bricks and mortar

Damaged or missing roof flashing

A damaged or missing chimney cap or chimney chase cover

Cracked chimney crown

Any time water is allowed into a chimney system, problems likely are on the horizon.


In addition to masonry damage, water can rust metal components, destroy areas of the home adjacent to the chimney, and create strong odors that flow into your house.

Part of an annual chimney inspection includes looking closely for early signs of a leaky chimney.

You can keep an eye out for the following signs:

  • Water in the firebox
  • White staining on the exterior masonry
  • Damp patches on walls and the ceiling near the fireplace/chimney
  • Strong, musty odors coming from the fireplace

Ideally, you should schedule regular inspections and see to necessary repairs before any of these signs show up. But it’s good to know the symptoms of a leaky chimney, just in case.

Resolve your chimney issues now

Are you experiencing problems because of damaged chimney masonry, excess creosote, drafting obstructions, or a leaky chimney? A-1 Chimney Specialist is your solution to these and other problems. We provide expert chimney repair, chimney sweeping, chimney inspection, and complete chimney rebuilding services throughout the Winchester, TN, region.

Call us today at (931) 967-3595. In the Huntsville, AL, area, reach one of our certified technicians at (256) 285-4895.