When your chimney was built, it was built to last. Oftentimes, even after a home burns down or has been neglected and abandoned, the chimney can be seen still standing. If it’s built properly, and maintained regularly, it will last, and will work safely and efficiently. Some circumstances can cause your chimney to need repairs, though, especially during winter, and especially when they aren’t repaired promptly.

Common Chimney Damage

At The Mad Hatter, we service chimneys year-round, and commonly repair winter damages to chimneys throughout the Indianapolis area. We have seen serious structural damage, and minor masonry issues during this time of year. These are both issues that are important to repair.

Spalling Masonry—Cracking, flaking, and falling mortar creates voids in the masonry that allows water into the system. Water can damage parts of the chimney and home, but water and cold temperatures can also lead to serious structural damage.
SIGNS: Visible cracks in the masonry. Pieces of mortar or bricks on the roof or yard below the chimney.

Leaky Chimney—Caused from faulty cap, flashing, or masonry, a leaky chimney allows water into the chimney system. Water can damage a masonry from the inside out, and often goes unnoticed until serious damage has occurred.
SIGNS: Visible dripping or sounds of dripping in the fireplace or chimney system. Stains/white substance on the chimney exterior, dark stains/green growth on chimney interior, rusted parts, missing cap/flashing, mildew smells from the fireplace, and leaks inside the house.

Draft Issues—Draft issues can be caused for various reasons. Any problem with any part of the chimney system can affect the efficiency of the system, causing drafts and raising the risk of fire.
SIGNS: Cold drafts coming into the house from the chimney, smoke pushing into the house from the fireplace, difficulty lighting a fire or keeping a fire lit to reach a desired temperature.

Leaning Chimney—A leaning chimney may be serious, endangering lives if it is unsteady, or it may be applying pressure to structural materials in the home, which can lead to wall weaknesses and more.
SIGNS: Gaps between the chimney and house, visible evidence that the chimney isn’t ‘plumb’, cracks in the masonry.

If you’ve noticed an issue with your chimney, you should contact a licensed and insured chimney sweep right away. If you haven’t had your chimney inspected or serviced in the last 12 months, you should schedule now. Routine chimney maintenance is the best way to prevent damage. By the time the average homeowner notices signs of a chimney problem, serious hidden damage has likely already occurred.

The Mad Hatter offers repairs including: chimney cap/chase cover installation and replacement, damper replacement or repair, chimney crown replacement and repair, water repellent application, heat reflector installation, refractory panel replacement, and more. You can call The Mad Hatter now at 317-596-0200, don’t wait until winter is over. Call now and find out what The Mad Hatter can do for your damaged chimney.