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Is Your Chimney Leaning?

A chimney that has begun to lean is a very serious safety risk. If left too long, the chimney could eventually collapse, damaging your home and potentially injuring you or your family. In this blog, we’ll discuss common causes of a leaning chimney, how you can tell if your chimney is beginning to lean, and how to correct the problem before disaster strikes.

What Causes a Leaning Chimney?

Leaning chimney repairs in Buffalo NY

Structural or Foundational Issues

If the foundation your chimney is built on is not even or stable enough, it could allow shifting in the chimney which will cause it to lean. Once the chimney begins to lean, its immense weight will drag the rest of the structure along until it eventually falls.

Poor Construction

If your chimney was not soundly built by an experienced professional or is very old, it may have constructional issues that lead to leaning. Chimney masonry must be secure enough to hold the weight of the structure.

Masonry Damage

As your chimney ages, it is sure to experience some masonry decay in the brick and mortar. It is crucial to keep up with annual inspections and repair any damaged masonry in order to maintain the chimneys structural integrity.

Moisture Damage

As we stated above, masonry damage is a very common source of leaning chimneys. Water and moisture can soak into your masonry causing the brick and mortar to crumble and decay over time. During the winter the moisture will go through freezing and thawing cycles that can expedite the deterioration process. 

Footing Issues

The footing at the base of your chimney structure needs to be built of a sturdy material such as concrete or stone in order to hold the chimney in place. If the footing is not secure or becomes damaged it could allow your chimney to shift and lean.

Signs of a Leaning Chimney

It may not be as easy as you would think to spot a leaning chimney with your naked eye if it is not severe enough, but it’s important to know the warning signs in order to stop the problem before it is able to escalate.

Gaps Between the House and Chimney

Your chimney should rest right up against your home. If you notice any gap or space between the two structures, it could be a sign that your chimney has shifted.

Damaged Flashing

Chimney flashing is installed where your roof meets your chimney, and its purpose is to prevent a chimney leak and moisture damage. If the flashing has come loose or disconnected from either structure this may indicate that your chimney has begun to lean.

chimney repairs in Cheektowaga NYSave a Leaning Chimney

The best way to save a leaning chimney is early detection and action. Keeping up with annual maintenance and inspections will allow a professional to spot any of these warning signs and perform necessary repairs before the chimney begins to lean or leans too far. Always hire a certified professional to perform these inspections and repairs.

Call Felgemacher for your Chimney and Fireplace Needs

Felgemacher has a trusted and trained team of chimney technicians who can help with repairs, inspections, cleanings, and more. Give us a call today at (716) 907-4914 or contact us online to schedule your annual chimney services.