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Common Chimney Problems

A surprisingly large number of things can go wrong with a chimney. Fortunately, every one of them has a solution.

The Chimney Guys provide licensed chimney repair, inspection, and cleaning services throughout the Greater Columbus, Ohio, region. Here are some common chimney problems and what should be done about them.

Professional chimney cleaning in Grove City OH & Columbus OHExcess Creosote Buildup

Creosote forms when smoke condenses in the flue. It’s highly flammable and should be professionally swept once a year. Most chimney fires and many house fires in and around Columbus are started by ignited creosote.

Obstructed Flue

Leaves, twigs, the nests of small animals, dead animals and creosote and soot buildups all contribute to an obstructed flue. When this happens, smoke won’t draft efficiently and can back up into your home, carrying with it deadly carbon monoxide. Chimney sweeping removes the debris. Installing a proper chimney cap prevents recurrence.

Liner & Fireplace Mis-Sizing

Aside from flue blockages, a chimney may draft poorly if the liner isn’t the right height and diameter for the fireplace. This needs to be inspected and rectified as soon as possible.

Smoky Chimney or Fireplace

Reasons for smoke backing up into a home include:

  • Obstructed flue
  • Mis-sized chimney liner
  • Negative air pressure in the house
  • Wet firewood that makes tons of smoke
  • HVAC system pulling air from the fireplace
  • Damper isn’t fully open

Smoke problems should be inspected and then resolved sooner rather than later.

Smelly Chimney

A buildup of creosote and soot can make a chimney smell bad. So can rotting debris, dead animals, and mold. Have the chimney cleaned, and then address drafting issues and leaks, if there are any.

Leaky Chimney

Chimney leaks can be caused by:

  • A missing or damaged chimney cap or chase cover
  • Cracked chimney crown
  • Damaged masonry
  • Warped or rusted chimney flashing

If ignored, a chimney leak can spread and seriously damage the chimney structure as well as roofs, attics, walls, and ceilings.

Chimney Stains

White stains mean water is getting into bricks and leaching out salts. Rust stains mean that certain metal components (like a chimney chase top) are beginning to fail. Greenish-blue stains signal a growth of algae, which may come from within the bricks. Black stains mean excess creosote and soot in the flue and possibly one or more chimney fires.

Fireplace Damper Issues

A rusted damper won’t open and close fully. Mechanical problems can also cause faulty operation. Some dampers can be repaired; others should be replaced.

Masonry Damage

Cracked bricks and crumbling mortar joints allow water to penetrate the masonry. Once inside, it will freeze and expand, causing more damage. Eventually, your chimney structure can begin to lean, or the chimney might collapse entirely. Brick replacement, tuckpointing and a water-repellant application are among the solutions.

Highly rated chimney repairs in Lewis Center OH & Columbus OHSolve Your Chimney Problems

The Chimney Guys is standing by to help with all your chimney issues and ensure that your system runs safely and efficiently. We provide experienced chimney repairs, licensed inspections, certified chimney sweeping and the installation of fireplaces and stoves.

Since 2004, we’ve brought chimney solutions to our customers in Columbus OH, Westerville OH, Reynoldsburg OH, Pataskala OH, Mount Vernon OH, Hilliard OH, Blacklick OH, Powell OH, Galloway OH, Grove City OH, Delaware OH, and many other Ohio communities.

Reach us at (614) 446-1221 or get in touch with our contact form.