Home Tap to Call Now Visit Blog

TN / 931-967-3595AL / 256-285-4895

How Concerned Should You Be About Cracks in Your Chimney?

This is a question a lot of people wonder about. If there are signs of cracking in your chimney, should you be concerned about it and take action? In most cases, the answer is yes. Here’s why.

It’s not just the cracks, but the water in the cracks

Chimney Damage Huntsville, ALCracks in a chimney’s bricks or mortar open a space for water from rain and snow to get inside. It doesn’t take much of an opening for water to seep through, and when it does, it can cause serious damage that you may not be able to see right

Water deteriorates chimney masonry. You might have noticed chimneys that have loose bricks and mortar that’s crumbling away. In many cases, these problems were caused by water infiltration.

How chimney masonry becomes cracked

A variety of events and circumstances can cause the bricks and mortar of a chimney to crack. Here are some of the common causes.


  • Normal house-settling
  • A badly built chimney footing that moves in its soil
  • Chimney fires
  • Lightning strikes
  • Season after season of extreme weather temperatures
  • Earthquakes
  • Pounding hail storms
  • Poor-quality bricks and mortar compounds used to build the chimney
  • Old age

Based on this list, you might be thinking that just about every chimney is going to have some cracks at one point. And you’d be right. The question to ask is, how will you address cracks when they happen?

Repairing a cracked chimney

rebuild chimney TN ValleyMinor cracking: When the crack lines are thin and few in number, a waterproof chimney sealant will prevent future water infiltration through the cracks.

Moderate cracking: If some of the bricks are showing larger cracked areas, a professional chimney services technician can carefully replace the damaged bricks.

Crumbling mortar: Mortar joints that have deteriorated need to be addressed with a process called tuckpointing, which removes old, crumbling mortar and replaces it with a strong new compound

Major cracking: If your chimney has major cracks throughout the masonry, it needs to be partially or completely rebuilt. Compromise at this level can lead to a leaning chimney or one that collapses.

For your safety and protection, only a certified, licensed chimney professional should be allowed to perform repairs to your chimney.

Why you need a chimney inspection

Trained chimney inspectors are able to assess cracking within a chimney structure and recommend the best way to fix the problem. Inspectors also will determine if other damage has occurred because of the cracks.

Collateral damage could include:

  • Interior masonry leaks
  • Water damage to areas of the home adjacent to the chimney
  • Damage to the chimney liner
  • Rusted fireplace damper

These and other possible issues stemming from cracks in the chimney can be fixed fairly simply, if caught in time. This is why the Chimney Safety Institute of America and most other hearth-industry agencies and professionals recommend annual chimney inspections.

If you’ve noticed cracks on your exterior chimney, contact A1 Chimney Specialist of Winchester, TN. We’re CSIA-certified and equipped to address all levels of chimney damage. We provide other chimney repair services, chimney sweep services

Reach us in the Winchester area at (931) 967-3595. In and around Huntsville, AL, call (256) 285-4895.