7 Signs You Need Chimney Repair

Oftentimes if there is no visual damage, homeowners take it for granted that their chimney is okay. Though there are sometimes visual symptoms, this is far from always the case. A damaged chimney is a serious fire hazard, so when your chimney needs repairs, it is important to know how to tell. Here are six signs to look out for.

Large Amounts of Smoke

If you have large plumes of thick black smoke coming out of your chimney, it’s, unfortunately, a bad sign. This is probably the result of creosote building up in your chimney over the years. Having a large buildup of creosote can lead to fires. So, to ensure the safety of your family, it’s a good idea to have this problem checked out by a chimney cleaning or repair service.

Damaged Chimney Crown

The primary purpose of the chimney crown is to prevent your chimney from becoming water-damaged. The chimney crown does this by resting on the top of the chimney and stopping snow and rain from entering the chimney. However, if the chimney crown becomes damaged, it can no longer adequately keep the rain and snow out of the chimney. Unfortunately, this can result in a number of problems, such as broken flue tiles or a rusted damper. So, it’s essential to quickly determine if your chimney crown is broken or cracked before serious damage occurs. To do this, it needs to be examined closely, which is typically best left to a professional chimney repair service. They can safely inspect the chimney crown and see if it needs repaired and perform repairs if necessary.

Loose or Cracked Bricks

If you notice that the bricks on your chimney are cracking or coming loose, it is probably due to a moisture problem. Most likely, moisture is entering the bricks and causing them to expand and then contract, which results in them cracking or even coming off.

You’ll need to fix this issue; however, that’s not always easy. It will be necessary to track down where the moisture is coming from. The best way to do this is to have your chimney inspected. This will let you know what’s causing the damage and how bad it is. The chimney will likely need repair work, and if the damage is extensive, the brickwork may need to be replaced.


Rust is a major problem in chimneys, and many homeowners don’t even realize it’s an issue until their chimney stops working properly. This is understandable since most people don’t pay a lot of attention to their chimney. But, unfortunately, rust can actually ruin your chimney. Rust often indicates serious damage, such as a broken flue. So, it’s best not to wait until your damper stops working right to have your chimney inspected. Keep an eye out for signs of rust in your flue, firebox, and damper, and if you see any signs of rust, call a chimney repair service. Waiting for the problem to get worse will likely mean something will need to be replaced, which could be expensive.

Mortar Joints

Another problem that tends to develop in chimneys over time is damaged mortar joints. These joints tend to weaken over time as they are exposed to ice and water, which causes them to expand and contract. Eventually, the mortar will deteriorate, and the chimney will break apart. If your mortar joints break, they will need professional repair.

Sometimes you may find tiles are falling off of your chimney. If this happens, it likely means the lining of your flue is damaged. Frequently, this is due to water damage, but it’s also possible that it’s a result of poor construction. But, in either case, it’s vital to get the problem fixed, or the damage will worsen. It could even lead to a fire.

Peeling Paint or Damaged Wallpaper

There are other signs to look out for that could indicate problems in your chimney, and these signs are easy to see. If you see damaged wallpaper or peeling paint near your chimney, this was probably caused by moisture from a damaged flue or cracks or chips in the chimney. Sometimes, it could even be caused by an improperly installed flue liner.


If you see a white powdery substance on your chimney, it probably means water has been leaking into your brickwork or mortar over time. This substance is called efflorescence, and it probably means that your chimney crown, cap, or mortar joints are damaged.


A damaged chimney can cause severe damage to your home and make your fireplace dangerous to use. It is important to pay attention to any of these signs and arrange for professional inspection and repairs immediately.

Contact Us

For more information, a professional inspection, or repairs call North Shore Roofing at (978) 977-3816 or connect with us on Facebook.