Watch Out for These Common Chimney Safety Issues in Old Houses

January 14, 2020

If you own (or are about to own) a house that’s more than 30 years old, take a good look at the chimney. While newer homes are likely to be built in compliance with modern safety codes, older homes are often built to older standards, and therefore are at high risk for safety issues. Old chimneys also are more likely to need repairs, as they have deteriorated with time and use. Below are some common safety issues our Apex chimney contractors often see in old houses.

Lack of a Chimney Liner

One of the most alarming issues we see in old chimneys is the lack of a chimney liner. Unlined or poorly-lined chimneys can leak life-threatening gases into the home; encourage the formation of tar and creosote; and present a significant fire hazard. Therefore, if you have an older house, it is important to schedule a chimney inspection as soon as possible to ensure your chimney liner is present and intact. Do not use your fireplace until you have ascertain that you have a structurally sound chimney liner.

Block (Masonry) Chimneys

Although chimneys that are built out of blocks will get the job done, they are generally less optimal than brick chimneys. Block chimneys that aren’t surrounded by bricks are more subject to cracking, leaning, leaking, and a host of other chimney problems. Furthermore, if you have a block chimney that has been built right against the side of the house, chances are high that it is not within code. In order to protect your home and avoid potential litigation, you may have to surround all four sides with brick. Ask us if you have questions about your masonry chimney.

Cracks Caused from Shifting Ground

We don’t feel it, but the ground is constantly moving ever-so-slightly beneath our feet. Fortunately, most houses are a bit elastic, and allow enough give that the push and pull doesn’t affect them much. However, over multiple decades, constant ground shifting will eventually cause small cracks in a chimney’s exterior and interior components. Not only does this lower your house’s curb appeal, it can also be very hazardous to your safety.

Need a Chimney Inspection in Apex NC?

If you live in an older home in Apex, Cary, or Raleigh, and are unsure if your chimney is up to code, call Nexus Chimney Services! Our CSIA-certified chimney sweeps provide quality chimney inspections, cleanings, repairs, and installations in the Apex area. Schedule an appointment with us today!