Your chimney isn't something to simply ignore. Just like your hot water heater or your HVAC unit, it does its job without an issue...most of the time. But then, there's a problem. The sooner you recognize the issue, the more likely it is to be a simple DIY fix. For this reason, it's important to not only know what the most common chimney problems are, but also how to fix them. Here's a great list to get you started:

#1 Obstruction or blockage

Animals like birds, raccoons, rats, mice, and squirrels often try to make their homes within chimneys. After all, it's pretty warm and cozy! These animals can enter and block a chimney without a cap. A chimney cap plays an important role in your home’s chimney system. If your home doesn't already have one, now is the time to order one. 

#2 Masonry damage

You don't always have a fire going. Water can enter the surface of your chimney, freeze and expand. This leads to damage to the masonry structure. Left unrepaired, this damaged masonry will further deteriorate, leading to serious structural problems for your home. Thankfully, this is easy to prevent with certain measures, like installing a chimney cap and waterproofing the structure. Major masonry issues, such as cracks or damaged mortar, can be repaired by a professional in order to prevent added problems down the line.

#3 Flue damage

A flue is the channel or pipe through which gases and smoke travel from your fireplace to the outside environment. It's easy to see why the chimney flue would undergo a lot of stress. High temperatures and creosote deposits can eventually cause damage. Too much stress can lead to cracking or other damage to the chimney lining. A chimney liner protects your flue from serious damage and risk of combustion. If yours has worn down, it should be replaced as soon as possible.

#4 Chimney cap wear and tear

Nothing lasts forever, not even your chimney cap. Any wear or damage to your cap should be dealt with as quickly as possible. A rusted chimney cap cannot function effectively. If you notice any cracking, rusting or wear on your chimney cap, you should order a new one right away.

#5 Creosote Buildup

As gases from combustion head up your chimney flue, they cool down, stick to the sides, and form highly flammable, tar-like creosote deposits. If the creosote is allowed to build up without any inspection or cleaning, it could lead to a dangerous chimney fire. Annually, schedule a chimney sweep and inspection to remove creosote buildup and prevent a chimney fire.

As a homeowner, you know that the mechanisms of your house require regular maintenance and care to run safely and smoothly. This is particularly true of your fireplace and chimney. Thankfully, Fireside Chimney Supplies makes it incredibly easy to order these pieces.