Chimney adds more beauty to your house, and a fireplace gives off a holiday vibe. But it doesn’t stop there; behind the elegant look it offers, it requires regular maintenance. Chimney deterioration and other potential issues may arise if left neglected. Therefore, a homeowner should not set aside chimney maintenance to enjoy the best of it. Signs of chimney problems may show, even if you don’t frequently use it.

But what are these problems, and how should one address them?

What are the common chimney problems?

There are various reasons why chimney progresses issues, and identifying the problem should be your first action to avoid extensive damage. Here are the five most common chimney problems you may encounter:

Chimney creosote buildup

One of the reasons for chimney problems is creosote buildup. When you use a wood-burning fireplace, expect that it will produce creosote. There are three degrees to a buildup of creosote:

  1. First degree: This occurs when the wood burns relatively well, and the flue gas temperature is relatively high. And this can still be removed using a chimney brush.
  2. Second degree: If you notice shiny black flakes, that means the buildup has worsened.
  3. Third degree: Incomplete combustion or low flue temperatures cause this. Observe a tar coating inside your chimney.

No matter what the degree is, your chimney performance will still reduce due to this. Creosotes are carcinogenic to humans and are highly flammable materials, resulting in dangerous chimney fires if left unchecked.

Chimney obstructions

The most common problem with old chimneys is obstructions. They are not just caused by objects or animals from outside but may also occur due to construction factors. For example, you have a shorter chimney. The smoke won’t vent out properly, which will later result in excessive soot buildup (a fine carbon powder) that may hinder your chimney flue.

Moreover, a chimney blockage could also be because of animals, leaves, and other debris. Other than fire, another danger of chimney obstructions is a deadly carbon monoxide in the flue lining.

Problems with chimney brickwork

Damage from moisture may eventually become a brickwork problem, especially in old chimneys. Perform regular maintenance with mortar tuckpointing to keep the masonry damage controllable. In addition, the mortar replacement process done by a professional will help keep the moisture out.

Damaged chimney crown and caps

Your chimney caps and crown are your chimney’s protective gear against severe weather conditions or elements. These can also fight water damage, making your chimney waterproof. Ensure to have it checked regularly since moisture will break in and cause additional damage to your property once broken.

Fireplace flue cracks

Flue damage is dangerous since it can start a house fire, making homeowners exposed to gases such as carbon monoxide. If not constructed of steel, chimney linings are often damaged owing to excessive heat and stress. Annual chimney inspections are necessary because they ensure the flue lining is intact.

How to cure chimney problems?

Enjoy cuddling around the fireplace with your loved ones with peace of mind knowing that your chimney is being taken care of properly. Here are some of the ways you can cure these chimney problems above.

Chimney sweep

Schedule an annual chimney cleaning to address creosote buildup preventing chimney fire. Make sure to ask for professional chimney sweeps in your area. Experts guarantee a high-quality service. Dirty chimneys don’t work correctly, which makes chimney sweeping a critical process in treating the problems.

Regular Chimney Maintenance and inspection

Regular maintenance will solve any issues with chimneys you have. It’s better to identify the problem before the situation worsens. It would help if you did a chimney inspection at least once a year. Homeowner’s negligence is the chimney’s silent killer. Make sure to understand that a chimney requires a lot of maintenance before adding it to your home.


Chimney tuckpointing is your friend when it comes to repairing damaged mortar. Due to water penetration, mortars and bricks may start to crumble, which calls in tuckpointing for help. In addition, the new mortar offers chimney stability and protection.

Replacing the bricks will be your other option if the brickwork has already had severe damages. Take note that repairs are better than replacing the entire chimney. It will break your bank.

Waterproof your chimney

You may install a chimney cap and crown to avoid damage from water. In addition, you may also add a water sealant on the exterior of the chimney for additional water protection. There will be no moisture breaking in and damaging your bricks and mortar.

Need help? Ask a professional

You may be able to perform the procedures without the help of a professional. Still, it would be best to hire chimney experts to deal with the issues. Damaged chimneys are dangerous to deal with for the hazards and risks they pose. It’s better to entrust it with a professional masonry contractor for guaranteed chimney care.