If you’re a potential home buyer, then you definitely don’t want to purchase a property that comes with a cracked chimney. However, the truth is that – cracks are a part of most brick or concrete structures out there. Some cracks are inevitable, some look ugly while some end up being dangerous for the integrity of the property.
Therefore, when a home inspector inspects your dream house that you’re planning to buy, it’s essential to segregate the consequences from the causes of cracks. Most chimney cracks happen because of the constant heating & cooling cycle. Since bricks are porous, they will absorb snow & rain, allowing the temperature to fall. And when the same bricks are heated due to passage of hot air through the chimney, cracks begin to appear.
Fire Outage Can Be Dangerous For Chimneys
Professional home inspector in Independence points out that even though chimneys are built for the sole reason of safely containing the fire that is burning inside of them, the reality is that, the same heat can impact their durability over time.
One of the major ways through which extreme heat can lead to chimney cracks is through a damaged liner or even a build-up of creosote. Any build-up of creosote can quickly attract fire from the fireplace to climb up the chimney and thereby destroy its integrity.
When a home inspector inspects a chimney, he or she looks for the presence of proper footings. If footings are not present, then it’s a matter of time that cracks will appear later onwards. Moreover, any suspicious flashing or caulking must also be detected between the roof and the chimney. If such instances occur, then it can be possible that the chimney and building are getting separated slowly from one another.
The other main cause that leads to chimney damage is the outgrowth of plants, especially vines if they are allowed to grow alongside the house’s chimney structure. The roots of these vines can easily penetrate the small cracks in the brick & concrete, thereby ultimately enlarging them and destroying the overall structure. While it might be surprising to you, but you must learn that vines can grow thick and therefore has the ability to support the full weight of a person or even pull down a healthy mid-sized tree.
Therefore, regardless of what may be the reason for the chimney damage, the structure should be repaired quickly. The longer you let the crack to stay open to the external weathering elements of nature, the more moisture will continue to infiltrate it and thereby make the chimney fragile.
We sincerely hope that our above-mentioned suggestions have been able to educate you more on chimney structures and if you want to learn more, simply reach out to our experienced home inspectors.