Even if you don’t use your fireplace on a regular basis, keeping your chimney in good repair is still important. Plenty of things can damage your chimney, and it’s understandable that you might not notice until the damage is extensive. At Seacoast Chimney, our team helps New Hampshire homeowners keep their chimneys in good repair and advises them on what services they need. When your chimney reaches a certain level of disrepair, repairs won’t be enough; you need a chimney rebuild.
How do you know if your chimney is damaged enough to need a rebuild? Here are the signs to look for.
Structural Damage, Mortar Damage, and Leaning
Your chimney is attached to your house, but it still needs to be structurally sound. Structural damage, such as large cracks or bulges, indicates serious issues that are best resolved by rebuilding the chimney. Sometimes small cracks can be repaired, but if there are a lot of them, rebuilding may make more sense. Damage to the mortar is also a problem that can require rebuilding. The mortar is what holds the bricks together, so you don’t want to risk the whole chimney collapsing. In the same vein, if your chimney is leaning, it’s time to rebuild. At that point, the structure is so compromised that there is no better or safer solution.
Fire Damage or Excessive Creosote Buildup
Your chimney is—obviously—designed to withstand fire. However, if a fire in your chimney gets out of control, it can cause serious damage, even if you can’t see it. If you have a chimney fire, bring in our team to assess the damage and determine if you need to rebuild the chimney.
You should also keep an eye on creosote buildup in your chimney. Creosote is a byproduct of burning wood. If enough builds up, it can be a fire hazard. When you fail to keep up with chimney maintenance, the excess buildup can require rebuilding your chimney.
Obsolete or Unsafe Designs
Building and safety codes change over time, and if you have an older home, your chimney may not be up to code. Depending on the current design of your chimney, you may be able to bring it up to code with some modifications. However, if your chimney has an obsolete design, there may be no way to bring it up to code without completely rebuilding it.