While the chimney is often ignored, it’s actually one of the most important structures of your home. Both its exterior and interior should be maintained.
Many people forget that the fireplace is only as good as the chimney above it. The moment you realize that your chimney is not working as well as it should, you must take action to have it fixed.
After all, a faulty chimney will not only negatively affect your fireplace, but it also compromises your safety. Being proactive beats being reactive. Keeping the chimney in good condition now will save you from costly repairs in the future, and might save your life.
The general rule is to have your chimney inspected and cleaned at least once a year. However, that doesn’t mean you should ignore your chimney in between inspections. You need to always be on the lookout for potential problems with your chimney to avoid costly repairs and to prolong its lifespan.
Being knowledgeable about the parts of a chimney will help you identify problems. Here’s an overview.
The exterior of your chimney is not just for appearance. It has many essential parts that contribute to the safety and performance of your chimney and fireplace.
The bricks are not only the facade, they provide stability to the chimney stack and allow for the performance of your fireplace. If the bricks are damaged, there’s the risk of water seeping into the cracks and freezing then thawing with temperature changes. This will cause spalling.
Spalling is deterioration of the mortar between the bricks causing the mortar to crack, crumble and fall out. Spalling will eventually cause the brick facade to become weak and the individual bricks to become loose.