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Chimney Repairs You Shouldn’t Ignore

Keeping your chimney in good condition is essential to fire safety, structural integrity and overall home comfort. Chimney repairs typically cost less than replacing the entire chimney and can be done in a variety of ways, from targeted fixes that upgrade fundamental components to full-scale chimney rebuilds.

Water leaks in your chimney are a big red flag and can lead to a host of other issues that compromise masonry integrity, safety and efficiency. Learn 5 common signs that your chimney needs repair to avoid more expensive and extensive damage. Contact Chimney Repair Charleston SC now!

Chimney brick cracks aren’t just cosmetic — they’re a sign of a serious structural foundation issue. These cracks are most likely caused by movement in the soil your home sits on, which can cause chimneys to sink or even detach from the house itself. Because of this, it’s important to have these cracks repaired as soon as you spot them.

Cracks are most often seen around the flue, or at the chimney crown. The chimney crown is a sloping cap at the top of the chimney, and it’s designed to protect the masonry section from water while also preventing the accumulation of ice and snow. However, if the crown is damaged or cracked, moisture can linger in the area, leading to moisture problems and ultimately deteriorating the masonry structure.

If your chimney has a flue liner, cracks or gaps in the lining could lead to dangerous creosote build-up and even fire. Chimney liners can be repaired using a process called tuckpointing, where the old mortar is removed and replaced with fresh material. A specialized concrete fortifier or color additive helps ensure the new mortar matches the rest of your chimney’s brickwork.

While the exact method of repair depends on the cause of the cracks, most of these fixes will include stabilizing your chimney for maximum safety and longevity. Chimneys that aren’t stable can become a health and safety hazard, threatening your family and putting your home at risk of collapse. An expert chimney repair team will know the best method to stabilize your chimney so it can remain strong and safe for years to come. Contact Ohio Basement Authority today to learn more about our chimney repairs and foundation stabilization solutions.

Damaged Crown

The crown protects the chimney from moisture and deterioration but it isn’t impenetrable. In fact, it can be damaged by pounding rain and freezing snow. Over time, the constant freeze thaw cycles can cause cracks in the cement that forms the chimney crown. Once these cracks surface, water can leak inside the chimney, damaging masonry walls and the metal components.

Chimney crowns aren’t easy to repair and it can be dangerous unless you know what you’re doing. A professional chimney sweep can inspect your chimney for crown damage and can recommend the best course of action. If a chimney crown is severely damaged, it may be necessary to have it rebuilt.

If you notice a crack in your chimney crown, it’s important to call a professional right away for inspection. They can determine the extent of the damage and if a chimney sealant will be sufficient or if the crown will need to be rebuilt.

Once the chimney crown has been repaired, you can prevent future problems by applying a chimney crown sealant. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for application and ensure that it is a product specifically designed for chimney crowns.

Besides sealing cracks, a chimney crown sealant will also help protect the structure from rusting and deteriorating masonry. A rusted firebox or damper is an indicator that moisture has penetrated the chimney and caused damage to the masonry. This type of damage is more expensive to fix than a cracked chimney crown and can even lead to a chimney collapse. By investing in a chimney crown sealant, you can keep the moisture from wreaking havoc on your fireplace and chimney system for a relatively low cost.


The white staining known as efflorescence is one of the most common chimney issues homeowners experience. This powdery residue can appear on the exterior masonry surfaces of a chimney and is the result of water seeping into bricks and then evaporating on its outer surface. Often, the water that erodes bricks is rain or melting snow, and it can be a sign of an underlying problem like chimney leakage or structural damage.

Efflorescence isn’t dangerous, but it can be unsightly and a clear indication that there is moisture in the chimney structure. A professional chimney technician will examine the structure and look for other signs of moisture problems in addition to the white stains on the bricks. This may include checking for cracks in the masonry and installing a chimney cap to prevent water from entering the chimney.

A reputable chimney company will be able to remove efflorescence with the help of a stiff brush and a special cleaning solution. More severe cases of efflorescence may require sandblasting to fully clean the chimney. Efflorescence that has been left untreated will continue to form, and this can lead to more significant problems like structural damage or mold.

Having a clean and functioning chimney is essential for your safety, as well as the health of your home. If you’re noticing any of these chimney issues, contact your local chimney professionals today. They’ll be able to help you schedule an appointment for a repair that will keep your family safe, and will make sure that your chimney is protected against water damage in the future. Water inside a chimney can cause rot, damage metal components and even lead to the formation of mildew and mold.


Rust is a red or orange discolored residue that forms when ferrous metals, like those in the chimney cap and damper, mix with oxygen and moisture. Homeowners often see rust on the exterior chimney brick and mortar, chase cover and damper, and even inside their firebox. If this corrosive material isn’t promptly addressed, it will speed up masonry and metal deterioration.

Chimney rust is also a sign that your chimney hasn’t been properly cleaned. A professional chimney sweep should remove rust stains with a high-powered water sprayer and a specially formulated cleaning solution like ChimneySaver Brick and Mortar Cleaner. This non-corrosive solution doesn’t contain muriatic acid, which would accelerate damage to masonry materials.

If you notice rust in the flue liner or any other masonry component, it’s time to call for a chimney inspection and cleaning. A corroded chimney flue liner will lead to a faster buildup of creosote and increased risk of a chimney fire. It’s also a sign that your chimney isn’t effectively protecting your home from carbon monoxide poisoning.

The best way to protect against rust is to replace any rusted chimney components with stainless steel ones, which have an added protective layer of chromium that’s resistant to corrosion. This includes the chimney cap and flashing, which is a key point where water leaks into the masonry materials of your chimney. A stainless steel chimney cap and a top sealing damper like the LockTop system not only keeps birds, animals, and other critters out of your fireplace but also seals off your chimney at the top, keeping cold air out and warm air in when the chimney isn’t in use. These systems are also much easier to maintain than traditional clay flue tiles and can help extend the life of your chimney.


Brick spalling is a serious condition where crumbling, flaking, or chipping bricks are causing deterioration to the surface of your chimney structure. When left untreated, spalling can lead to serious structural damage that compromises the safety and integrity of your chimney. Typically, spalling is the result of water intrusion, which causes the masonry to erode over time. It starts as a minor problem and can quickly turn into a big issue that requires professional repair to avoid further damage to your chimney and living spaces in your home.

Chimney Solutions professionals use a number of different methods to repair spalling bricks and ensure it does not recur. The first step is to fully assess the extent of the deterioration by carefully inspecting the bricks, mortar joints, and other areas of your chimney. The inspector will also evaluate the structural stability of your chimney to determine if it is leaning or has other signs of movement that could indicate deeper problems.

Moisture is one of the biggest causes of spalling, so the inspector will also look for any areas where moisture is leaking into your chimney. This includes the area between the chimney flue and chimney crown, which is where gaps often form after years of exposure to wet weather conditions. This area can allow water to flow down the inside of your chimney and cause other health and safety concerns like mold outbreaks in your home.

Once the inspector has a complete understanding of the extent of your spalling bricks, he or she will recommend the appropriate steps for repair. In many cases, the bricks can be repaired with a process called tuckpointing, which uses mortar that is expertly color-matched to your chimney’s unaffected areas. The repair can be a quick, affordable, and effective solution to your chimney spalling.