What To Do If Your Chimney Collapses
Your chimney is a valuable asset of your house which provides you warmth in the blistering winter nights. But if you fail to take care of your chimney and don’t perform chimney inspection frequently then it can be a cause of major destruction for people and property.
Immediate Steps To Take If Your Chimney Collapses
- The first thing you need to do is instantly put down your chimney fire. The masonry and bricks can fall inside the chimney opening thereby pushing the wood and the fire inside the house which can lead to fire and damage inside the house as well. If the fire catches furniture or cloth then it may spread very fast and cause the house to burn down.
- In some instances, the collapse of the chimney may cause the masonry to block the top of the chimney opening. This may lead to carbon monoxide; (a dangerous byproduct of burning wood, which is colorless and odorless but can cause several reactions and infections if inhaled or interacted with. In rare cases it can also be fatal.) to enter the house and can become absorbed in all the porous materials of the house.
- Instantly a person from your house should go out and remove any things which could become damaged due to exterior fall of the chimney bricks and masonry. Any person should also be informed to run to safety.
- Do not try to check the cause of the chimney damage or the extent of the collapse by going on the roof to check the chimney or going outside to see the collapse.
- Call in a chimney repair expert. Many chimney professionals deal in accident cases and come quickly to repair the chimney.
Causes Of The Chimney Collapse
There are many causes that are associated with chimney collapse. Some are natural which unfortunately cannot be prevented while others may occur overtime and can be prevented.
Strong winds, earthquakes, hailstorm or severe storm and rainfall are some reasons which may cause the sudden collapse of the chimney. They lead to damage and weakening of the structural foundation of the chimney in which it is built and thus the chimney collapses.
Cracks In The Flue
Cracks may appear in the chimney and flue due to wear and tear. The birds and small animals also make their homes and build nests in the chimney opening for safety and warmth and can also cause cracks. Time and weather conditions may also lead to deterioration of the chimney structure. These cracks are a sign that the chimney structure is weakening.
Missing Bricks And Mortar
Over time the mortar which joins two bricks together weakens and crumbles away due to moisture and external weather conditions. When the mortar falls the bricks become weak. Sometimes bricks also fall off from the chimney.
Soil erosion is another factor which causes the foundation of the chimney to become disrupted. The soil erodes causing a shift in the ground thereby shaking the chimney.
When wood is burnt there are many gases which are released. These gases deposit in the interior walls of the chimney as they travel up and cool down. They become a sticky tar-like substance called creosote. When the buildup increases it can cause cracks and deterioration of the chimney bricks, mortar, and masonry.
How To Prevent Chimney Problems?
The only preventive measure is thorough inspection by the experts and immediate repairs. Sometimes the telltale signs appear when the damage is beyond repair and it can get dangerous. But if you notice cracks or some masonry or bricks missing or crumbling chimney mortar then immediately call in a repair expert to fix the issue. You also need to install a chimney cap and also a good quality flue liner. Also get your chimney cleaned by a chimney sweep to clear away the buildup of creosote.
Get your chimney assessed and inspected on an annual basis by reliable chimney contractors Columbia MD. If the person notices any issue even if it is small then get it repaired as a strong chimney is for your own safety. Choose professionals that are reputable in your locality to ensure they are not cutting corners or overcharging.