When was the last time you checked out your chimney? If you haven’t kept up on chimney maintenance, it may need some repairs. But how can you tell?

Learn how here with these five most common signs that your chimney needs repairing.Worker repairing brick chimney on a roof

1. Rust or Staining

Moisture is your chimney’s worst enemy. When your chimney is not working correctly or is in need of repair, you’ll start seeing signs of excess moisture. This moisture will quickly deteriorate your chimney, so it must be taken care of right away.

Rust on the firebox, damper, or other metal parts of your chimney is an obvious indication of excess moisture. If you notice the damper isn’t sealing well or becomes difficult to operate, check it closely for rust.

Another sign to watch out for is efflorescence. Efflorescence is a white residue left behind by excess moisture, and it often looks like white staining.

If you see rust or white discoloration in your chimney, call a professional right away.

2. Peeling Wallpaper

Peeling wallpaper around your chimney is another sign of moisture damage. This is a common result of excess chimney moisture.

3. Shaling and Spalling Tiles

If you notice pieces of flue tiles piling up in your fireplace, have your chimney repaired immediately. This is called shaling, and it usually means your flue lining is damaged, which could result in a house fire.

If you notice shaling in your chimney, discontinue use of your fireplace right away and get professional help.

Spalling is a similar symptom that occurs outside. When you notice bits of chimney brick and mortar accumulating on the ground outside your house, this is called spalling.

Spalling is essentially a sign of weather damage to your chimney. It occurs when water enters into the masonry, causing it to peel and flake off. If it isn’t repaired in time, your chimney will collapse, so it’s important to have it repaired as soon as possible.

4. Damaged Mortar Joints

You may need to get on the roof to check this one. Damaged mortar joints are a sign of advanced structural damage to your chimney. This damage can collapse your chimney or allow excess moisture in through the cracks.

This is especially hazardous in freezing weather. Moisture that freezes between mortar cracks expands, pushing the bricks apart, accelerating the damage.

5. Damaged Chimney Crown

While you’re up there, remember to check your chimney crown for cracks. The chimney crown is your first and main defense against weather damage.

As mentioned above, these cracks can quickly accelerate structural damage to your chimney. But a cracked crown can also allow moisture to get between the liner and the chimney, causing liner damage.

Don’t Put Off Brick Chimney Repair

If you’ve noticed any of these signs at your home, don’t wait till it’s too late. Call a brick chimney repair professional in your area immediately. Waiting too long to repair your chimney could lead to disastrous and very expensive complications.

Not sure who to call? Contact us for quality brick chimney repair in the Milwaukee area. We are experts, and we offer free estimates!