If your chimney is starting to tilt to one side, you might just shake it off and tell yourself that it is simply an illusion. Do not ignore your gut; a leaning chimney is not only more common than you think, but it can also be dangerous in many ways. The best thing you can do is get a chimney repair.

If you live in the middle Tennessee area and believe that your chimney may be pulling away from the roof, Nashville Brick + Ember Outfitters (B+E) has the chimney service experts to call. Don’t waste another minute!

The Signs

If there is a gap in between the chimney and the roof, this is obviously a sign that the chimney pulling away and leaning off kilter. However, other signs and repercussions may include:

  • Leaks of rain and snow caused from displaced flashing
  • Intrusion of fumes and insects inside the home
  • Falling bricks and mortar

These are all highly dangerous to the structure of your home. Although you might believe that mortar or caulk will adequately patch up the holes, you unfortunately will likely need a more extensive repair.

One way to check for leaning yourself is to peek into your attic to see if the chimney is centered in its framed opening. You can also use a long level on the outside to determine whether the chimney is vertical and the mortar joints are horizontal. Some chimneys are meant to be tilted, so rely on your measurements—not just what you see.

The Causes

Because chimneys are so compact and heavy, they must be constructed on what is called a concrete footing, or a chimney pad. 

A common cause of a leaning chimney is footing that is made too small for the chimney or that has deteriorated. Expansion and contraction, which may happen when the weather changes, also results in instability. 

Repairing your chimney

Brackets, claps, and systems of underpinnings and helical piers are used to straighten and support the chimney. This can only be done by a professional chimney sweep; never try to fix this on your own!

Because it can be difficult to spot a tilting chimney, get an annual chimney cleaning and inspection. Once detected, problems can be addressed before they become more severe and costly down the road. B+E of the Nashville area has the knowledge and tools to get the job done!