Chimney Problems

A leaning or tilted chimney tends to be a more noticeable foundation failure sign. It is also a very dangerous problem. When your chimney tilts, it can either fall in on your home or be a danger to you as bricks can come loose and fall. It is also a big, red flag that you have foundation problems.

If you notice your chimney tilting it is wise to inspect the rest of your home and foundation. Look for cracks in your walls, ceilings, and foundation. Watch for water leaks. Check for stairs or porches that are pulling away from the foundation. Keep an eye on your basement walls for bowing. All of these things are signs of a larger problem: foundation failure. If you notice your chimney leaning you need expert help. For your safety and the safety of your neighbors, get your leaning chimney checked out right away.

Causes of Chimney Problems

There are quite a few reasons that your chimney can begin to lean, tilt, or separate from your home. Most of them have to do with problems in the ground around your chimney. Here is a list of the most common problems that cause a leaning chimney and other chimney problems:

  • A footing that is too small for the chimney – Stability is determined by the size of the footing for your chimney. If it is too small issues will arise. The standard is to have a footing is as least one foot in thickness, and sticks out on all sides of the chimney by six inches.
  • Poor soil quality – Soil that is loose has a habit of expanding and contracting frequently based on the amount of water in the soil, or lack thereof. Erosion of the soil can also play a big part in weakening support for the chimney structure.
  • Footing that is falling apart – In many areas of our country freezing and thawing is common and this can cause big problems for concrete.
  • Footings that are too shallow – If the ground is shallow beneath the footing, rapid freezing and expanding can occur causing a heaving of the footing which can surely cause displacement of the chimney above it.

Solutions for Chimney Problems

Your chimney needs added support to stabilize and straighten the structure. This can be done with an installation of helical piers. Our network of foundation specialists use helical piers from Earth Contact Products.

Helical piers almost look like a giant screw. It can be installed with little interruption to your yard and home. They will be able to support the load of your chimney. The job can be done in any type of weather and is usually completed in a short time.

So if you notice your chimney leaning, tilting, cracking, or separating from your home, don’t ignore it. It might also help uncover other foundation problems you might be experiencing and save you money in the long run. Use My Foundation Repairs to find an expert in your area for foundation repairs. You can get a free inspection and estimate, too!

 

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