You see it quite often, shifting in structures. Old homes may have a crack across a wall or ceiling, most often painted over and forgotten. Is this type of shift any different if it affects your chimney? A leaning chimney can mean a few things, but it may not be as dangerous as you think. You’ll never know until you schedule your chimney inspection!

What Causes a Leaning Chimney?

Leaning chimneys are most common among chimneys that are on the exterior of the house, especially in older homes. It can affect the entire chimney, or just the part above the roof. There are four main reasons that you may experience a leaning chimney:

  1.  The foundation at the base of the chimney was not constructed adequately enough for the weight of the chimney. It may be smaller than the required 1 ft in thickness, and extended 6 inches on each side of the chimney.
  2. The soil beneath the chimney base is not able to support the weight of the foundation. Like everything else, soil expands and contracts with heat and cold. If this is common with the soil beneath your chimney’s foundation, it can cause structural shifting.
  3. Deterioration of the concrete footing can lead to a leaning chimney. The foundation may be subject to a freeze/thaw cycle if it is affected by moisture, or the rebar reinforcement has failed.
  4. The brick-covered chase cover leans toward the house because the brick is not adequately supported by the roof. This will need some bracing in order to not damage the roof of your home.

What to Do About a Leaning Chimney?

If you suspect your chimney is leaning, you can check it yourself. Use a level to check that each side of the chimney is straight up and down and your chimney is still ‘plumb’. If it is no longer plumb, then it is leaning. Don’t panic. If your chimney is leaning slightly, and is not in danger of falling over, you are not in immediate danger. You should call your trusted chimney professional as soon as you’re able, and get your chimney assessed. An experienced professional will be able to determine the safety of your chimney, and pinpoint the cause of the lean.

Scheduling an inspection with The Mad Hatter means that you will have a professional opinion in the matter of one appointment. Our technician can determine if the chimney is safe to use, if it needs foundation repair, or if the lean can be corrected using braces that hold it in place. We will discuss our findings with you so that you can make a decision that best suits your family. It is our goal to keep our customers safe and comfortable, and we strive to offer services that are quick and affordable to do so!

Call The Mad Hatter at 317-596-0200 or request an inspection online today!