Top 5 Chimney Problems

Top 5 Chimney ProblemsIf you’re a homeowner with fireplace, it’s important to know the top 5 chimney problems that you might encounter. Today, Chimney Sweeps of America in Denver has all the information you need, so you can learn how to avoid any damage to your home and danger to your family.


Smoke isn’t the only thing that works its way through the chimney when you burn wood in a fireplace. First, you’ve got soot which is the fine powder giving color to the smoke a fire produces. A fire’s other byproduct is a dark-tinged tar, either black or brownish in color. Together, they make creosote which can settle in your chimney, impeded the venting of dangerous fumes, as well as ignite. In fact, a large number of house fires are caused every year because built-up creosote catches fire in chimneys.


To work properly, chimneys need to have plenty of airflow, making blockages one of our top 5 chimney problems. Often when a chimney hasn’t been used in a long time, there can be a lot of debris or even animal nests inside. This creates blockages that impede the chimney’s ability to release dangerous carbon monoxide and traps this deadly gas inside your home. Plus, sometimes the chimney obstruction itself can catch fire and start a house fire.

Flue Cracks

The inside of the chimney has a lining that protects the rest of the house from the gases and the heat of the fire. A stainless steel chimney liner is very durable and will last virtually forever. However, this lining is often completely missing or even made of clay. While clay may be a more economical option, this material can crack and lead to a house fire or allow poisonous gases into the home. You should never use a chimney when the lining is cracked.

Masonry Issues

The mortar is often the weakest link in chimney masonry, making it one of the top 5 chimney problems. If a good mortar was used originally, the masonry could last around a hundred years or more.

However, in cases where the chimney mortar has begun to deteriorate, problems begin. Moisture starts to get inside and causes issues with cracking and settling. If the problem is addressed soon, repairs can be made. As soon as you notice problems with the masonry, call a professional to take a look.

Chimney Cap and Crown

The chimney cap and the chimney crown are there to protect your chimney from the weather. If they are damaged, rainwater and runoff can get inside your chimney, and start causing problems. Replacing or repairing a chimney cap or crown is a relatively simple job. It’s better to get this taken care of before the water causes more significant (and more expensive) problems.

Now that you understand what the top 5 chimney problems are, you can keep an eye out for them. The best defense against house fires and gas leaks is an informed homeowner who knows the warning signs. Most problems can be easily repaired by the professionals here at Chimney Sweeps of America. Have us inspect and clean your chimney at least once a year to avoid chimney fires. Our expert eyes will catch any existing problems with your chimney and provide a plan for safe, thorough repairs.

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