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Why is My Chimney Leaning?

Why is My Chimney Leaning? champion chimneys

If you want to know what may have caused your leaning chimney, read on to learn more.

Looking at your home and realizing your chimney is leaning can be frightening. You may wonder if it will fall, if it’s unsafe for your family, and how quickly you should act. It is a somewhat time-sensitive and dangerous problem to encounter, so you must call a professional chimney company as soon as possible to get it evaluated. If you want to know what may have caused your leaning chimney, read on to learn more.

Moisture-Damaged Masonry

Keeping moisture out of a chimney system takes work. Whether caused by damage to the chimney crown, flashing, chimney cap, mortar, liner, or masonry, moisture intrusion is the biggest chimney enemy. 

Moisture is a problem in winter because the water in masonry expands and contracts every time there is a freezing and thawing cycle. The movement breaks down bricks every time. When the bricks eventually flatten, the chimney begins to lean. As with other damage, a partial or full chimney rebuild becomes necessary.

Weak or Compromised Footing

Occasionally, the chimney footing is too slim or not buried deep enough and may, therefore, crack or crumble underneath the considerable weight of the stacked brick and mortar. Footings constructed of subpar material are more susceptible to fracture. A fractured footing is a common cause of tilting chimneys. Generally, the footing should be at least one foot thick and extend six inches beyond the chimney on all sides. In addition, the footings should be well below the frostline.  

No Footing 

When contractors build chimneys today, they are required to lay a footing. Due to the heaviness of the brick and mortar they must support, these footings require heavy, high-quality concrete. Unfortunately, some older houses do not have a footing, which can cause the chimney to slowly sink into the ground or pull away from the house. This can occur years later due to the house settling, excessive water, or other natural causes.

Masonry Wear and Tear

As time goes on, your chimney can take a beating from the elements. Snow, wind, rain, and debris can slowly cause wear on your chimney. Specifically, rain that gets into hairline fractures and freezes can wreak havoc on the stability of your structure. If this is caught early, it can be fixed on the spot, but sometimes, it can get out of hand and cause the chimney to lean.

Soil Issues

Not all issues directly relate to a chimney’s foundation or building materials. Some tilting chimneys can be due to inadequate soil to support a home. The water can compromise the soil that supports your structure due to excess moisture or faulty drainage. This is less likely than the previously mentioned issues but cannot be completely ruled out.

Schedule Your Chimney Cleaning from Champion Chimneys, Inc.

When you need a trusted company for your chimney inspection and chimney cleaning, you can trust our team. Champion Chimneys, Inc. is a fully licensed, bonded, and insured chimney service company that has served customers in Baltimore County, Howard County, and Anne Arundel County, Maryland, since 2001. Our team is trained and certified by Certified Chimney Professionals, Inc. (CCP, Inc.). We specialize in all aspects of your chimney system. Whether you need chimney and flue cleaning service or a full chimney rebuild or inspection, contact us at 443-Chimney today and let us fix all your chimney problems. Also, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.

This entry was posted on Friday, June 14th, 2024 at 10:23 am. Both comments and pings are currently closed.