• Tilting Chimneys: Why It Happens & How to Fix It

    Tilting Chimneys: Why It Happens & How to Fix It

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    Noticing a gap between your home’s siding and the exterior chimney?  If so, your property could be plagued with a tilting chimney.  Although a tilting chimney is a serious problem that will need be address quickly, there is no reason to become alarmed.  Your best course of action is to inform yourself on why tilting occurs and then how to address the issue.  Read on to learn more about this chimney ailment and how you can tackle it head-on.spalding

    Why It Happens
    The main reason for many of the tilting problems chimney’s experience is directly related to their hefty weight.  These masonry chimneys can weigh many tons with the load being concentrated in one tiny area.  Most often chimneys are built on something called a concrete footing (also known as a chimney pad).  The concrete footing helps the unit from sinking and is often poured during the same time as the foundation.  When the footing fails, the chimney may begin to tilt.  Here are some common reasons the footing may begin to weaken and be unable to support the chimney’s weight:

    • Loose soil underneath that cannot support the chimney’s weight or erosion of soil in the area
    • Footing that is not sized correctly for the amount of weight
    • The ground expands during periods of freezing underneath the footing causing a heaving effect
    • No footing was included in initial construction
    • Footing is cracking, deteriorating or was built of poor quality concrete

    How to Fix It
    When you begin to notice your chimney tilting, it is important to take care of it right away.  This job is one best left to an experienced expert.   A foundation expert can help alleviate the problem using hydraulic jacks to lift the area and then placing helical piers along with brackets underneath the chimney for additional support.  The jacks help lift the chimney into its original place and the brackets are left attached.  Although not often an easy fix, this work is necessary to secure a sound and safe chimney.

    If you are concerned that your chimney may be tilting, the best first step is to contact a certified chimney sweep to inspect your unit.  One of the most trusted professionals in the Chicagoland area is Lindemann Chimney Service.  We can inspect your chimney and fireplace and advise you on any problem areas that may need addressing.  Contact us today to schedule an appointment.

    Contact us for more information or to schedule an appointment.

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