Is a Damaged Chimney Harmful to Your Roof?

A damaged chimney equals an unsafe home, and could pose a hazard to your roof as well as the inside of your home.

Damaged Chimney

Your home’s chimney is one of the most critical parts of your building’s structure, so it’s vital to regularly inspect it for damage and conduct repairs swiftly, especially in times of harsh weather.

You can look at your chimney from the ground with a pair of binoculars, but don’t try climb out on the roof. Contact your trusted roofing contractor to take care of any up-close inspections, and spare yourself the danger. Professionals also will be able to quickly tell the difference between normal wear and a serious problem.

Intact Flashing

First, an inspection of a potentially damaged chimney will involve checking the condition of all metal flashing around it. Flashing is intended to prevent moisture from leaking between your chimney and the roof. It also encourages proper rainwater runoff, so no shingles or roof underlayment suffer water damage.

Even when flashing is expertly installed, it can still warp and buckle under extreme temperatures. It also may become detached from its rightful place due to the settling of the chimney itself. Since a chimney settles at a different rate than the building that surrounds it, you sometimes see detached flashing in this area of the roof, which allows moisture to seep in.

Secure Cap

An open chimney without a cover is an invitation to critters. You could end up with birds and small animals nesting and making their home inside, taking a toll on the structure.

Many homeowners don’t use their fireplace, but some do, and this could spell disaster for any inhabitants of your chimney. If you think live creatures are nesting in your chimney, call a professional to have them removed.

Replace a missing cap right away to help prevent such occupations from occurring, and to guard the inside of your chimney against excessive precipitation buildup.

No Exterior Spalling

Spalling is a crumbling of masonry work resulting from moisture buildup. You may see bits of mortar and concrete around the base of the chimney, or on the roof nearby. The crown, or top, of the chimney also could have cracked — a definite clue that repairs are needed.

Since cracking is a sign of the structure weakening, it is important to redo the masonry work and ensure the chimney is sound so it does not pose a threat to your roof and your home.

If you have questions on how a damaged chimney could negatively affect your roof, call The Roof Doctor team for an inspection — we’ll give you the answers you need.