We were having a leakage issue in our basement that was due to moisture in our chimney. The frigid Chicago weather has caused quite a havoc this winter. Lindemann was able to diagnose the problem and ... - Steve M. (Chicago, IL)
My experience with Lindemann was excellent. They came out and did what no one else could. Mine was a smoke issue. After having a fire the entire house would smell of smoke. I could have hung pork bell... - Frank F. (Mount Prospect, IL)
These guys are great! We had our chimney inspected/cleaned by Jim who was extremely knowledgeable and super nice! Definitely recommend these guys! And free wood with the chimney cleaning! Super! ... - Steve S. (Chicago, IL)
You don’t have to be a professional chimney sweep to keep an eye on the state of your system. Most homeowners can do a great job at giving their masonry an adequate visual check. While this will never replace a thorough chimney masonry inspection by a qualified pro, it can help you be proactive in detecting problems early on.
Here are five chimney masonry tips for spotting common problems:
1. Look for spalling bricks – Spalling bricks are ones in which the face of the brick itself is crumbling apart. This occurs when moisture makes its way inside bricks and then freezes. This is one of the most obvious signs of masonry damage.
2. Notice crumbling or cracked chimney crowns – Chimney crowns which are falling apart are a clear sign that an inspection is in order. Crowns are often constructed of mortar rather than concrete. When constructed of mortar, the crown itself is more susceptible to cracking which can in turn allow water to penetrate the flue.
3. Check for broken chimney tiles at the bottom of the flue – If you have a chimney liner constructed of clay, you could experience shaling of the flue tiles. If you notice broken tiles at the bottom of the flue, the liner itself could be cracking and crumbling. Replacement will most likely be necessary.
4. Assess for chimney discoloration – Staining on the chimney walls is not something to be ignored. It can be one of the first signs that the chimney masonry is absorbing and retaining moisture. The most common symptom is a white residue called efflorescence.
5. Exam for rust – If you notice rust on your chimney cap or even dripping down the sides of the flue, this could be a telltale symptom of a worn cap. Most chimney caps are constructed of metal and will corrode over time. When they do, replacement should be done as soon as possible.
Don’t let your chimney masonry go unchecked because you don’t think you have the skills to give it a good onceover! Use these five chimney masonry tips to inspect your chimney every season. This habit alone will save you thousands of dollars because you will be more able to remedy small problems before they turn into costly repairs. If any warning signs are noticed on your Chicago home, call the team at Lindemann Chimney Service right away! Schedule an appointment with any one of our licensed and insured professional chimney sweeps!