December and January are the coldest months for Texas, which means your chimney needs to be in order before you can start enjoying the crackling of wood. Fresh Air Duct Cleaning offers professional chimney sweep and repair services. Our team is also capable of annual chimney inspections to maintain the health and safety of your chimney.

We often get calls from homeowners asking for last-minute inspections or repairs. Well, there are signs you can look for to know when chimney repairs are necessary. By watching for these signs, you can have your chimney repaired well before the winter months arrive.

1. Cracked or Missing Mortar Joints

A mortar joint is a space between masonry or bricks typically made from mortar or grout. The joint binds the layers of masonry together, so the structure stays in place. Your brick chimney has hundreds of mortar joints that help keep the smoke within your chimney. Cracked or missing mortar joints are a serious issue that should be addressed before you start a fire.

Damaged mortar joints may not always prompt a chimney cap repair. However, if damaged mortar joints loosen the cap, then you can expect the need for a chimney cap repair.

damaged or missing mortar joints

2. Loose or Missing Brick

Missing or damaged mortar leads to loose brick. The elements such as rain can worsen this damage as the water gets into cracks and further erodes the surface. In addition, loose or missing bricks can lead to structural integrity problems with the entire chimney. If it is found at the top where the chimney cap is located, the cap could come loose and easily blow off from a strong wind.

Without a chimney cap, rain and animals will find their way into your chimney. Rain is extremely detrimental to the inside of your chimney as it can increase the degradation of the chimney liner and masonry. It is important to have a properly fitted cap, so rain and animals stay out of your chimney.

loose brick and mortar

3. Damaged Wire Mesh

Your chimney cap should have a wire mesh or netting to allow smoke to pass through and animals out. This mesh is critical for keeping rodents and birds out of your chimney. Some birds such as chimney swifts like to create nests within chimneys because of their verticality and protection from predators. More importantly, once chimney swifts nest within your chimney, they cannot be removed. These bird species are endangered, so you won’t be able to use your chimney until their mating season is over.

Starting a fire with animals nesting inside of your chimney can be a serious problem. Firstly, the animals within will suffer from smoke and heat. Secondly, you are creating a fire hazard within your own home as nesting can easily catch on fire and start a fire within the chimney flue. You should have your chimney cap repaired or replaced as soon as possible. You’ll save yourself time, money, and the potential harming of an animal.

damaged wire mesh on Chimney Cap

4. Damaged Chimney Crown

The chimney crown sits between the chimney flue and the cap. It is the area on top of the masonry that is smoothed out using mortar or grout. Essentially, it is the top of the masonry. The chimney cap is typically set into the crown so that it stays attached to the chimney. If pieces of the crown are falling off or there are serious cracks, then the crown can loosen and easily get blown off.

cracked chimney crown

Do You Need a Chimney Cap Repair?

Fresh Air Duct Cleaning can perform chimney crown repairs to fix the issue. For most, the damage to the crown most likely means chimney cap repair is also in order. Our team can repair the masonry and the cap at an affordable price.

Contact our team via phone or email to receive a free quote. The quotes we provide are affordable and honest, so you can trust our services. Contact us today to learn more about what we can do for the health of your chimney.