Chimney cracks are one of the most common problems with masonry chimneys. A cracked chimney puts you at the risk of getting injured in the event it collapses. Chimney masonry repair professionals also report that a cracked chimney doesn’t work as effectively as it should. Due to this, you end up spending a lot of money keeping your house warm. An ineffectively working chimney also puts your house is at the risk of catching fire as the creosote tends to accumulate in cracks. If the chimney sweeping professionals don’t remove the creosote soon enough, your chimney is at great risk of catching fire.
Causes of a cracked chimney
There are many factors that can bring about the cracking of a masonry chimney. These factors include:
Improper construction: Just like when you are installing any other unit, there is no way that your chimney will be strong if it’s improperly installed. One of the major mistakes made by inexperienced chimney contractors is the failure to install an air space gap between the chimney and flue lining. Due to this, the expansion of the flue causes the cracking of the surrounding brick. Inexperienced contractors also tend to install the chimney while leaning on one side thus putting it at the risk of developing cracks and even collapsing.
Moisture damage: Chimneys have a mortar and crown that prevents moisture from getting into the chimney. When a lot of water gets into the masonry, there is the freezing and thawing cycles resulting in the movement of the chimney bricks. Due to the movement, cracks come about.
Wind tension: Formation of cracks due to wind tension is common in areas frequented by strong winds. The strong winds blow onto the chimney causing it to crack. To avoid this problem you should install steel rods inside your chimney.
Age: This is a common problem where the chimney develops cracks over its life.
Tips on how to fix chimney cracks
As mentioned above, there are plenty of dangers that come with a cracked chimney. To avoid the dangers you should hire a masonry contractor to fix your unit as soon as you notice the cracks. The repair required depends on the extent of the damage. If there is only minimal damage, the contractor will need to seal the cracks but if the damage is extensive, the professional may have to bring down the entire chimney and construct it afresh.
Chimney cracks are a life risk to you and your family thus you should have them fixed as soon as you notice them. To prevent the cracks from happening in the first place you should hire an experienced and certified chimney contractor to install your chimney.