Cracks in your chimney alone are unlikely to indicate structural issues with your house. At this point, though, having a professional undertake an inspection will be beneficial to all parties. However, if you find it leaning or tilting slightly, this indicates a foundation failure. So, if you find that your chimney is tilting, you should have it checked as soon as possible.
A chimney that has been tilted or leaned is an unsafe chimney. It is critical at this stage for your personal safety that you address this problem as quickly as feasible. This is due to the fact that not only will it cause damage to your property, but it may also pose severe safety concerns because the chimney could collapse at any time.
If you discover that your chimney is tilted, you should contact a professional right away to get it fixed. If you do this, you will be able to restore the stability of your chimney. Also, this will help you to solve the problem at very little cost.
Leaning chimneys are also an issue because:
- They create a gap for moisture, mold, and vermin to enter your home.
- Aside from that They are also a potential fire hazard.
- They are a potential health/legal risk due to falling bricks/mortar debris.
Signs your chimney is tilting or may tilt soon
If you see any of these signs, contact a licensed chimney repair services provider in your area for an inspection. Then, following their recommendations, make the necessary repairs.
- The first indicator of a tilting chimney is that you can see it with your own eyes. Because chimneys are tall structures, the early stage of tilting may go undetected.
- If your chimney is leaking, this indicates that your chimney is about to or has already tilted. Water in the firebox, wet patches on the walls and ceiling, or white discoloration on the external chimney bricks signal that your chimney is leaking.
- If there is a gap between the chimney structure and the outside walls of the house, it appears that the chimney is already tilted when the previous owner lived there.
- If you notice a distorted flash, it signifies that water is beginning to harm the parts of the exterior chimney. It might also suggest that the chimney has pulled away from the flashing.
Reasons behind tilted chimneys
- Improper Installation
The chimney footing is the part of the chimney that holds the entire structure together. A chimney’s faulty construction may cause it to tilt over time, causing numerous types of damage. Furthermore, poor quality bricks and mortar may result in cracks in the chimney’s structure.
- Insufficient or Inferior Footing
Because chimneys are compact and heavy, they are built with a concrete base known as a chimney pad. The footing keeps the chimney structure steady and prevents it from leaning away from the house. When the chimney has insufficient footing or the chimney pad is too small to sustain the weight, the structure may fail or tilt over time.
- Soil Issues
When a structure is built on poor supporting soils, it might cause tilting issues in the chimney. When the earth beneath the chimney fails to sustain its weight, the structure may sink, fracture, or crumble. This can cause it to detach from the rest of the house and tilt inward or outward. If the soil is not strong enough to sustain the weight of the chimney, it will be necessary to excavate deeper and wider footings to support the strain on the foundation.
- Improper Water Drainage
In houses with poorly constructed drainage systems, gutters and downspouts may carry water directly to the foundation instead of diverting it away from the house. As a result, water seeps into the spacious soil around the house, putting pressure on the building’s foundation and chimney. It can cause cracks in the foundation of the house, especially at the base of the chimney.
- Normal House-Settling
The shifting or movement of a home’s foundation is an expected occurrence. It can happen at any time, but it is most likely to happen when the water around and within the foundation begins to expand as it freezes. The movement of the foundation can cause the footing of the chimney to shift, causing the structure to begin leaning or tilting toward or away from the house.
What to do if your chimney is tilting?
Only A thorough inspection will assist you in determining the severity of internal and external damage to the chimney and property. As a result, if you detect any indications of your chimney tilting, you should contact a local certified chimney repair services company or a foundation-laying firm first. These professionals will provide you with the best option available, and you will be able to have your chimney repaired in no time.