Chimney Assessments And Repairs

by Jenny Banks

Chimney assessments are a critical part of a fireplace maintenance plan. If cracks in masonry materials are detected, a chimney repair process should be sought promptly. Cracks can lead to water damage, or become a fire hazard.

A Chimney Assessment

A chimney assessment should be conducted during the late fall or the beginning of the winter. During an assessment, a mason will inspect the structural materials that comprise the chimney and crown. Then, they will conduct an inspection of the inner parts of the chimney. Fallen tree limbs can cause cracks to form in masonry. An improperly installed chimney is also prone to becoming cracked.

If water enters a chimney, it will mix with the creosote that is stuck to the interior walls of the chimney. The combination of water and creosote becomes acidic. The acidity of the water and creosote could lead to the premature rusting of the chimney's damper. Masonry cracks provide plenty of space for waste particles and carbon. The residue that is collected in the cracks is a fire hazard.


The composition of a chimney will determine the manner in which masonry materials will need to be replaced. A mason will remove old mortar and masonry materials that are damaged. They will use new materials to form a pattern that is consistent with the parts of the chimney that are not cracked.

The crown of a chimney should contain an overhanging drip edge. Portland cement is used to anchor the crown. If a crown becomes loose, water won't be routed off of the side of the crown.

For this type of repair process, a mason will remove the crown and the cement that was originally used to anchor the crown. Next, they will clean the top of the chimney and the crown materials. Portland cement will be prepared onsite. It will be brushed across the top of the chimney. Anchoring equipment will be used to stabilize the crown while it bonds to the chimney.

Additional Concerns

Cleaning creosote from the interior walls of a chimney will reduce the risk of a fire spreading. A chimney sweep may use a camera to inspect the interior walls. The creosote buildup needs to be removed by a professional chimney sweep.

A mason can aid with repairing the flue, flue lining, and the smoke box. These chimney parts are responsible for transporting and expelling smoke. A waterproofing agent is often applied at the end of a chimney repair process. The agent will preserve the masonry materials that a chimney is made of.

For more information, contact a chimney repair service near you.