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What Causes A Leaning Chimney?

Is your chimney starting to look like the Leaning Tower of Pisa? This is a common problem among older chimneys, and it’s not one you should ignore. You will want to schedule a chimney inspection sooner rather than later. If a leaning chimney isn’t fixed, it can cause serious structural damage to your home and put your family in danger. Let’s take a look at what causes a leaning chimney and how you can fix it.

leaning chimney, Madison TNWhy do chimneys lean?

There are many reasons why your chimney might be leaning. Here are some of the most common reasons this problem occurs.

Poor or Out-of-Date Construction

One of the biggest causes of a leaning chimney is bad construction or construction that doesn’t meet today’s standards. For example, many older chimneys are built without a footing or with a very shallow footing. The footing is intended to provide stability for the chimney, but when it isn’t built correctly, it can actually cause the chimney to shift.

If your chimney is made with cheap materials, this could also cause it to shift over time. Chimneys that aren’t constructed by professional masons are also susceptible to leaning. This is most common with older chimneys that aren’t up to building code.

Excess Moisture

Moisture buildup is incredibly dangerous to your chimney and can eventually cause it to lean. When moisture gets inside your bricks and mortar, it expands and contracts as the temperatures change. This can cause the masonry to shift, resulting in a leaning chimney. This often happens as a result of poor drainage, which can leave water pooled around your chimney. Moisture can also build up if you don’t have a chimney cap, especially in areas that see a lot of rain or snow.

Sulfur Buildup

Another common cause of leaning chimneys is chemical buildup. Oil appliances can create sulfur as a byproduct, which can eventually cause mortar to deteriorate. The best way to prevent this is by installing a chimney liner, which protects the inside of your chimney from chemicals.

chimney repair in Madison ALWhat should I do if my chimney is leaning?

If you see that your chimney is leaning, you should contact a specialist right away. You should also reach out to a professional if you notice any decayed brick or mortar, as this could eventually cause your chimney to lean. Don’t try to fix your chimney on your own – this will likely lead to more structural issues down the line.

Your chimney specialist will assess the structure of your house to determine what type of repairs to make. If your chimney is only leaning slightly, you may only need a partial chimney repair to keep everything in place. However, severe cases will likely require an entire restoration of the chimney.

If you’re in Southern Middle Tennessee or the Tennessee Valley and have a leaning chimney, A1 Chimney is here to help. Give us a call at (931)-967-3595 to schedule an appointment in Tennessee or (256)-285-4895 to schedule an appointment in Alabama. You can also contact us here to schedule an appointment online.