Chimney cracks are problems that should not be ignored, and ABC Cleaning, Inc. chimney technicians have the know-how to provide the facts about the cracks. We will diagnose the cause of the cracks in your chimney and provide needed repairs, including a complete chimney rebuild if needed. The following are some basic facts about chimney cracks.
Chimney problems in general are caused by water more than anything else. Water leaking into the masonry chimney system is serious. If repairs aren’t made quickly, water intrusion will cause the freezing and thawing cycles of winter to create destructive movement in the masonry, as the water expands and contracts. Cracks are among the ill effects of leaks. Spalling may occur, as well, which means that the brick face crumbles, flakes, and breaks off due to the effects of water intrusion. Effervescence or white staining on the chimney is also caused by water within the chimney system, and it can occur when the masonry contains water-soluble salts.
There are certain aspects of chimney building that help to ensure a sound structure. If something in the construction is lacking, the result could be a cracked chimney. A common construction error is a failure to leave a thermal expansion gap between the clay flue liner and the sides of the chimney masonry.
The surrounding brick will crack after repeated use of the heating appliance, as the flue expands and contracts.
The specifically designed footing must be part of the construction of a masonry chimney. In addition to the usual foundation, the footing is needed for chimneys because they are extremely heavy. If the chimney footing and/or the foundation are not secured properly, the chimney may lean, and cracks may appear.
Various circumstances can stress a chimney to the point that cracks develop. A chimney-mounted antenna could cause chimney cracks. Nearby site blasting or an actual earthquake can also cause mechanical damage that results in chimney cracks.
If there are cracks in your chimney, it’s important not to use the venting system until masonry repairs have been made. The potential risks of using a cracked chimney include the following:
- Toxic gases could leak into your home. This includes deadly carbon monoxide, which is known as the “Silent Killer.” Carbon monoxide is tasteless, odorless, colorless, and symptomless. Unless there is an operational carbon monoxide detector in a home where exposure to the deadly gas is occurring, occupants often don’t survive.
- There is an increased risk of a house fire because if the chimney is split, the sparks could get to combustible parts of the home.
- When masonry chimneys begin to lean or crack, there is a very real risk of a sudden catastrophic collapse of the entire chimney structure. People could be injured and structural damage could be extensive.
At the very least, a cracked chimney could adversely affect the operation of the chimney. When fumes don’t rise up and out of the chimney, carbon monoxide exposure can occur.
About ABC Cleaning, Inc. of Orlando, FL
Serving Central Florida since 1992, ABC Cleaning, Inc. has been the acknowledged leader in air duct cleaning, chimney cleaning and dryer vent cleaning. We’re NADCA certified, we consistently invest in and have the most modern equipment and utilize the latest technology available with the best-trained service technicians in all of Orlando. If you need help deciding whether to replace or repair faulty ducts, please contact us at ABC. We provide quality HVAC service throughout Orlando and the surrounding communities.
Please give us a call today at (407) 381-2120. We are here to help!