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In order to function safely, a chimney must be structurally sound. If damage to the structure of your chimney is left unrepaired, it could eventually collapse and create even more problems. One of the reasons why national fire safety organizations like the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) recommend your chimney be professionally inspected at least once a year has to do with checking out the condition of the structure of your chimney to look for deterioration and damage. Ashbusters would like to share some information with you from Chimneys.com about collapsed chimneys and the dangers they present.

Collapsed Chimney - Charleston SC - Ashbusters

What causes a chimney to collapse?

The CSIA cites water penetration as the biggest cause of masonry chimney damage and deterioration. When water leaks into the bricks and mortar of a chimney, it freezes inside the masonry materials in the winter as the temperature falls. When water freezes, it expands, and this expansion causes the bricks and mortar to crack when the water thaws as the weather gets warmer. As this process repeats, the bricks and mortar joints of the chimney can break apart and fall out of the structure.

What kinds of danger does a collapsed chimney pose?

If the bricks and pieces of loose mortar fall inside your chimney, they can cause dangerous updraft blockages that can be deadly to you and your family. When your chimney is blocked, there is no airflow to pull toxic gases out of your home. This causes these gases to leak into your house and can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning. Another hazard of a collapsing chimney is the possibility of the chimney structure falling from the roof to the ground.

What are the warning signs that my chimney could collapse?

Missing bricks and mortar pieces from the exterior of your chimney is a clear sign that your chimney is in need of repair to prevent it from collapsing. However, there are also signs that can only be found in the interior of your chimney, which is why you should schedule a professional chimney inspection from the CSIA-certified chimney sweeps at Ashbusters. Our expert chimney technicians can be sure that the updraft of your chimney is properly functioning and that there are no blockages or cracks in your flue. If damage is found, Ashbusters can repair any deterioration to prevent your chimney from collapsing and becoming a hazard.

Has your chimney been professionally inspected this year? Click here to contact Ashbusters to arrange a visit from our certified chimney sweeps to ensure your safety.