Your chimney withstands a great deal of wear, as it is exposed both to actual fires below it and the elements outside of it. This means that over time, your chimney can become extremely worn or damaged and no longer function as it should. This can create a number of problems within your home, including drafts and leaks. Thankfully, there are a few things that you can keep an eye on to help determine when you should contact a professional like those at Excel Chimney & Fireplace Service to have your chimney repaired.

White Staining

If you notice any sort of white staining on the sides of your chimney, you most likely have a break somewhere within the chimney. This white staining is caused by water seeping into the interior of your chimney, leaving behind those stains. This can cause mold and mildew to begin to grow within your chimney, which is a fairly serious health concern, and it can also cause further cracks to develop by wearing down the masonry and grout of your chimney.

Rusted Damper

If you notice any signs of rusting on the damper or other metal parts of your chimney, you likely have a leak somewhere that is causing excessive wear on the metal components. If you can't get a good look at your damper, try moving it. A rusted damper won't seal itself completely or move very easily, which is clear indication that you should contact a professional to have the damper looked at.

Crumbling Masonry and Grout

Get up on your roof and do a visual inspection around the edges of your chimney. Examine the base for signs of crumbling brick and masonry, or for crumbled grout. Most of the time, you can see where this crumbled material has come from by looking at the sides of your chimney for signs of cracks, pits, or other forms of physical damage. This is usually caused by excessive age coupled with weather exposure, causing the building material to dry up and fall apart.

Damaged Paint and Wallpaper

If you notice that there is any sort of discoloration, peeling, bubbling, or warping on the paint or wallpaper within your home on walls that are located next to the chimney, you likely have a leak in the actual chimney. This allows water to seep behind the walls of your home and cause water damage, which can turn into mold infestations and cause the drywall of your home to fall apart if not addressed quickly enough.