What To Do About These Common Chimney Problems

When chimneys don’t work right, it can be very frustrating. Fortunately, there are answers and solutions to every chimney problem. You can solve some of these problems yourself; others will need professional intervention.

top mount chimney damper, zionsville inProblem: Sluggish drafting

If smoke is backing up into your home, or if fires are difficult to start and keep going, there could be several causes. One cause is flue obstructions, which we’ll talk about below. Other causes include:

House is too air-tight – crack a window to allow for a draft to start

Damper isn’t fully open – open it; if it’s damaged, have it repaired

Firewood isn’t dry – unseasoned wood produces a lot of smoke

Flue air is too cold – hold a lit rolled-up newspaper up in the flue to warm and lighten the air

Problem: Flue obstructions

  1. Built-up creosote

When you use your fireplace, creosote forms in the flue as a byproduct of smoke. Creosote not only is highly flammable, it’s also obstructive. It narrows the flue passage and can cause smoke to draft sluggishly and back up into your home.

  1. Animals and nests

Raccoons, birds, squirrels, rodents and other small animals like to seek shelter in chimneys. Some of these animals die inside the chimney, unable to escape. Some of them build nests. Dead animals and nesting materials are common causes of drafting problems and need to be properly removed.

  1. Tree debris

Falling leaves, twigs, fruit and other tree debris can enter a chimney flue and cause a serious obstruction.

(Note: having a secure, full-width chimney cap installed at the top of your chimney will keep animals and debris out of your flue.)

Problem: Cracked bricks/crumbling mortar

If you notice cracking and crumbling in your chimney’s bricks and mortar, it could be due to old age. It also could be due to water infiltration that is deteriorating the masonry.

Cracked bricks should be replaced by an experienced mason. Crumbling mortar should be tuckpointed, a process that removes decayed mortar and replaces it with a fresh new compound. These are not do-it-yourself jobs.

Problem: Chimney leaks

Chimney leaks can start in various places within the structure for various reasons. Common causes of a leaky chimney include:

  • Damaged or missing chimney cap
  • Masonry surface damage
  • Warped or deteriorated flashing around the base of the exterior chimney
  • Cracked chimney crown

Fixing a chimney leak is more involved than simply making a few repairs. You should hire a licensed chimney inspector to examine your entire chimney structure to determine the source of the leak, why it happened and how extensive the leak is. Often leak issues are widespread within invisible areas of the chimney and require several different repairs to resolve.

Problem: Leaning chimney

A chimney that leans is a dangerous chimney. Leaning could be caused by problems with the bricks and mortar. An improperly built chimney may start to lean. A chimney riddled with water leaks is prone to shifting and leaning. A badly built chimney footing can cause a leaning problem.

As with all other major chimney issues, a leaning chimney should be checked out thoroughly by a trained chimney professional before any repair or restoration work is started.

chimney masonry repair, westfield, inSolutions for your common chimney problems

If you have problems with your chimney that you can’t simply fix, call the experts at Chimney Solutions of Indianapolis. We provide licensed chimney inspections, chimney rebuilding and repair and complete chimney cleaning to solve your problems and get your chimney back into proper shape.

Talk with a chimney pro today at (317) 757-6979.


Our Service Area
If you live within 20 miles of Marion County, there’s no need to call any other chimney provider! The team here at Chimney Solutions Indiana will be in our marked trucks and clean uniforms and at your door on time! We travel to Zionsville, Carmel, Fishers, Brownsburg, Westfield, Geist, Eagle Creek, Noblesville and all throughout the Indianapolis, IN area.

Our Training & Memberships Keep Us Informed & Knowledgeable

We believe that education and ongoing training is important, which is why we continuously invest in ourselves and our team to deliver better service to you. We’re Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) – certified and members of the National Chimney Sweep Guild (NCSG), so whenever advancements are made within the industry, we’re among the first to know about it. When you work with Chimney Solutions, you can expect the latest information and the most advanced services and techniques. We strive to exceed expectations on every job from a routine chimney sweep and chimney cleaning to a full chimney restoration.

Call Chimney Solutions For The Best Possible Chimney Care!
Call Now (317) 757-6979

If you’re ready to speak with a knowledgeable and friendly team member or would like to request an appointment with one of our experienced technicians, give us a call.

We’re committed to providing the best service possible and look forward to serving you and your family, year after year. Call 317-757-6979 to get started! >>