Causes of Structural Chimney Damage
Anything that causes a chimney to move, even slightly can cause damage. In some parts of the country, earthquakes are responsible for significant damage to chimneys. In other areas of the country, he’ll force winds can cause chimneys to shift. In any part of the country where a chimney is not footed correctly, movement from these things can cause damage.
One key element of chimney construction is the footing at the base structure. Ideally, the footing should begin from the stone or concrete to provide a solid base for decades of stability. Unfortunately, not all the footings are constructed in this manner.
If footing is not solid (or if there is no footing at all), a variety of events including normal ground settling, can cause the entire chimney structure to shift. Solid brick and mortar do not fare well because the entire structure cannot be moved as a whole, therefore breaking often happens somewhere within the building material.
When a home is purchased with an existing fireplace, your first professional inspection should include a focus on footing and the chimney structure.
The final reason for chimney damage is poor construction. A chimney may look like a fairly simple structure, but much know-how is needed to complete the construction in a way that is both safe and durable. More chimneys than you might expect are built with less than sound practices, and your RAM JACK chimney foundation technician will be able to spot problems in this area quickly. If you suspect your chimney might be damaged, have cracks inside or outside in the brick, walls or doorways, RAM JACK can correct these issues professionally.
If your chimney’s flashing is loose or missing, water can seep into the chimney structure, or attic, causing wood rot, mold, and drywall damage. Moisture damage is extremely costly to deal with after the fact, so it is crucial to take preventative measures to avoid complications from widespread water damage. Contact your chimney expert at RAM Jack to find out more about flashing repair services.