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Why Is My Chimney Tilted?

If your chimney is leaning, an inspection and repair are needed right away. As we’ve said before, chimney maintenance is essential, because it can help keep moisture, animals, and debris out of the masonry system. But annual chimney maintenance can also keep your chimney standing up. If your chimney is tilting, there are a few things that could be causing the problem.

There Could Be Moisture In Your Chimney

One reason your chimney could be tilting is because of moisture. While the damage isn’t always immediate, but it doesn’t take long to occur either. All it takes for damage to happen is moisture getting into the masonry, and the freezing and thawing cycles in the winter will cause the water inside to expand and contract. The freezing and thawing cycle will create tears down the bricks, and the brick face will eventually begin to pop and flake off, creating debris around the chimney.

Over time the masonry will deteriorate and the chimney will start to tilt. If chimney maintenance is put off for a length of time, you could have a complete chimney collapse, creating more problems in the end.

There Could Be A Possible Foundation Problem

If your chimney is tilting and there isn’t a clear sign of moisture in the chimney, it could be because there is a foundation problem, whether it’s shifted or cracked. There are a few clues that foundation repair might be needed, including:

  • A gap between the exterior chimney built with an exterior wall and the home siding.
  • Foam insulation, caulk, or mortar may have been previously used to fill the gap, which only masks the issue at the time.
  • Holding the chimney in place is metal straps
  • The metal flashing on the chimney stack has dislodged.

Your foundation might have also shifted, for a number of reasons including:

  • The footing is undersized, and the specific requirements for the footing weren’t met to withstand the weight. There should be a minimum of one foot thick and have six inches of open space on all sides of the chimney.
  • Using poor quality concrete to create the footing can crack while moisture and the freeze-thaw cycle can damage the chimney.
  • Even the soil underneath the foundation can become loose and unable to hold the heavy load of the chimney.

How Valley Chimney Can Help Your Tilted Chimney

Our experts have over 40 years of experience, repairing and rebuilding masonry chimneys and providing standard chimney sweep services. We’ve been inspecting thousands of chimneys in the Chicagoland suburbs and can ensure your chimney is safe. For chimney sweeps, repairs, and maintenance contact Valley Chimney today.

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