The Problems with a Broken Chimney

You can’t always tell that something is wrong with your chimney, which is why it’s important that you know the kinds of problem a broken chimney can cause. Chimney safety is extremely important because, as an unsafe chimney can be a fire hazard. To make sure your chimney is safe, keep your eye peeled for all of the telltale problems that a damaged chimney will cause.

Damaged Mortar Joints

Mortar joints are the spaces between the bricks in your chimney that are filled with either mortar or grout. While your chimney may be made out of good quality bricks, mortar can crack and crumble after a number of years. The best way to notice this is usually from a roof-top view of your chimney. Damaged mortar joints allow moisture to get inside the bricks, which will eventually create large cracks. If this problem is not addressed, the chimney may collapse.

Rusted Damper

A chimney damper is usually just above your fireplace or just above the top of your chimney. It is used to seal off the chimney flue while it’s not being used, keeping warm or cool air inside the house. If your damper becomes difficult to operate or isn’t sealing properly then you should take a look at it. If it’s rusted, that could mean that there is too much moisture in your chimney. Moisture inside your chimney can cause flue tiles to crack, which is highly dangerous because they are what prevent the chimney from absorbing too much heat.


When water enters the bricks in your chimney, it will force the surface of the masonry to pop out, peel off, or flake off. This kind of damage is relatively easy to spot because you’ll notice bits of masonry falling from the chimney. If you don’t do anything about this problem, it will become an even bigger issue. It will eventually cause your chimney to crumble and fall apart.

Shaling Flue Tiles

Flue tiles are clay, ceramic, or metal liners inside your chimney that are made to contain combustion and release it outside, as well as to protect the chimney walls from extreme heat. If you notice thin slices of these tiles piling up at the bottom of your chimney then that could mean the liner is damaged. If this is not addressed it could result in a house fire. If you need to replace them, consider using stainless steel liners instead because they usually have lifetime warranties.

Damaged Wallpaper

If you can tell that the wallpaper around your chimney is damaged it might be because of excess moisture. As mentioned above, excess water in your chimney is never a good thing. Not only does it pose a safety risk, but it also causes aesthetic damages in your home.

Being familiar with these kinds of problems can help you locate the root of the problem with your chimney and deal with it effectively. If you need your chimney repaired or checked out, be sure to contact Blackwell Masonry today!

Blackwell Masonry Ltd. – Masonry Specialists for Kitchener/Waterloo

Blackwell Masonry has served the Kitchener/Waterloo region for over 25 years, and specializes in all areas of residential masonry. Visit our services page for a full list of the services that we provide.

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