5 Common Signs of Chimney Damage

Chimney Masonry repair in Amherst, NHWhen a chimney or its components have fallen into disrepair or begin to function inefficiently, there usually are signs that tell you something needs to be addressed. Here are five signs of chimney damage for you to watch for so you can have problems fixed before they become expensive or hazardous.

Crumbling/loose bricks

When bricks and mortar begin to crumble, and when bricks start becoming loose, it’s very possibly a sign of water damage within the system. Water and bricks don’t mix, and over time, infiltrating water from rain and snow will eat away at a chimney’s bricks and mortar joints.

As cracks enlarge, more water gets into them and expands when the temperature outside drops below 32 degrees, leading to more damage. If you suspect there are issues with your chimney’s masonry, call a certified chimney inspector.

Water in the firebox

If your chimney has a secure chimney cap, then water in the firebox probably means there’s a leak somewhere in the system. (If your chimney doesn’t have a chimney cap, you should install one.)

The key to keeping a chimney leak from causing serious damage is to find out as quickly as possible where the leak originates and get it repaired. An experienced chimney technician can zero in on the problem, whether it’s caused by a cracked chimney crown, damaged masonry, faulty roof flashing or other issues.

Additional signs of a leaky chimney

Along with water in the firebox, there are other indicators that your chimney is leaking. They include:

  • White staining (efflorescence) on the exterior chimney masonry
  • Dampness/discoloration on walls and the ceiling near the fireplace or chimney
  • Strong odors emanating from the fireplace

Drafting issues

When smoke can’t draft properly from your fireplace, it’s not technically a sign of damage but rather a sign that something is impeding the air flow.

A few different things can cause drafting problems:

  • A faulty fireplace damper that won’t stay open
  • Way too much smoke caused by burning damp (unseasoned wood)
  • Obstructions in the flue
  • Excess creosote in the flue

Flue obstructions such as the nests of small animals and tree debris can narrow the flue and cause smoke to back up into the home. Of particular concern is the carbon monoxide that smoke contains – it’s an invisible and odorless toxin that’s potentially fatal to people and animals.

If excess creosote is blocking the passage of smoke, there’s a chance it will ignite and start a chimney fire. Professional chimney sweeps use tools such as rotating brushes, scrapers, solvents and vacuums to safely and effectively remove creosote and restore safety to the chimney.

Chimney component damageChimney Component repair in Concord, NH

Any of a chimneys parts and components can be damaged, leading to inefficient or unsafe operation. These include the chimney cap, chimney crown, roof flashing, chimney liner, throat and top-sealing dampers, smoke chamber and smoke shelf. Each of these parts should be inspected annually by a licensed chimney inspector.

The best way to keep your chimney safe and free of ongoing damage is to schedule regular cleanings and inspections. Black Moose Chimney of Antrim, NH, provides all the chimney services you need for safe and efficient operation. Call us today at (603) 525-7905.


First Thing

John RantaJohn Ranta
17:01 22 Mar 24
They arrived on time, worked quickly and showed me the results. Prfessional throughout. jr
william greenwilliam green
23:21 14 Mar 24
Really helped me out can't say enough good things highly recommend!!!! The young man that came to my home was very knowledgeable and friendly great attitude all around answered all my questions and left me stress free best of all left no mess.🤙🏻🤙🏻
Michael Dell'OrtoMichael Dell'Orto
18:39 14 Mar 24
Jaime ConleyJaime Conley
17:13 14 Mar 24
Sarah GilliattSarah Gilliatt
01:46 13 Mar 24
A very thorough and careful job done! Thank you.
Larry CookLarry Cook
15:11 07 Mar 24
I wanted to give 5 stars but they are very busy which meant I had a good wait for both the inspection/cleaning, then for a quote on repairs and then for the repairs. Their prices seemed a little high to me but I have nothing to compare with as they were highly recommended by someone I trust and other companies had plenty of negatives reviews which kept me from getting additional quotes. I am happy with the work and they promptly returned to fix a mistake that had been made. Chris the inspector, Jennifer in the office, and Alex and his repair crew were all pleasant and took the time to answer all of my questions. Alex and his crew even took their shoes off (it was winter) before entering my house without even being asked! So if you are not in a rush and want to ensure you chimney is as safe as possible then I think you'll be happy with Black Moose.
Rebecca DeFuscoRebecca DeFusco
22:35 21 Feb 24
After a recent sweep of our chimney, it was discovered that our flue tiles were cracked. Black Moose techs were hard working, detail oriented and professional! Nice jobs guys! See you next year for my cleaning!
Karen CKaren C
14:52 14 Feb 24
Excellent I highly recommend Black Moose Chimney and Stove; Kelly and Liam are awesome, they did a great job. Extremely professional, arrived early, went through everything with a fine tooth comb ensuring pellet stove was thoroughly cleaned. They also were respectful of my home, conscientious and cleaned up after themselves. Made sure stove worked prior to leaving and told me to call promptly if anything came up afterward. Will definitely use them again.
Denise ClarkDenise Clark
16:32 31 Jan 24
We've had Black Moose clean our chimney for a number of years.But recently, we had an emergency situation at our home involving our chimney & oil furnace flue, which was caked full of soot from a malfunctioning furnace. They came & cleaned out both flues in no time, even going up on the roof with snow on it! They cleaned up after their work in the interior rooms where the oil furnace and the woodstove are located. Great work. Reasonable prices. Very nice people. You can't go wrong with Black Moose.
Joe GJoe G
18:30 24 Jan 24
Goods: The technicians know their business, very efficient in cleaning/inspection along with cleaning up after the 'dirty work'.Others: Communications could be more effective. Despite early coordination about scope of work (multiple flues within same chimney) the estimate provided did not reflect this and the final invoice was significantly more than the estimate provided.Quote for follow-on chimney relining was significantly more than that offered by other companies in the area (and far more than neighbors experienced for similar work accomplished by other companies)