How Do You Know If Your Chimney Needs To Be Rebuilt

A chimney is an important part of your property’s overall structure. However, most homeowners tend to take it for granted. As a result, as the years go by, you may need chimney repair or your chimney may need to be rebuilt completely. Let’s take a look at some signs that will help you fix the issue before it turns into a fire hazard. Let’s begin!

White Staining Or Efflorescence

White staining or efflorescence is perhaps the first indication that your chimney needs to be rebuilt. If you were wondering, white staining occurs due to moisture entering your chimney. It is usually due to cracks or damage. Some people believe that cleaning the stains will solve the problem but it won’t. The reason is as long as the moisture is making its way inside the chimney, the stains will continue to exist.

With that said, if you observe white staining or discoloration of the chimney, you will need to get down to fixing it immediately. Otherwise, the lifespan of your chimney will reduce in a short span of time, leading to an expensive rebuild sooner or later.


Rust is the worst enemy of your chimney. Your firebox and damper should always be rust-free. However, if you see some signs of rust, it means that there is moisture existing somewhere in your chimney. Plus, in some cases, you might not notice rust readily but if your damper does not operate well or seal properly, it might be because it’s rusting.

Furthermore, if your chimney has excess moisture inside, it could also be due to cracked flue tiles. Under no circumstances should moisture enter any part of the chimney. If you are worried that there are some, you should hire a professional who will conduct a thorough inspection of the flue lining using a camera to ensure the chimney system is not facing a breach.

Deteriorating Mortar Joints

The mortar joints are as important as the flue lining which might cause moisture to break in if they are worn out. If your chimney has damaged mortar joints, you will need to get them repaired immediately. The reason is that as the mortar deteriorates, it leaves the masonry exposed to more moisture, which speeds up the deterioration of the entire chimney.

Moreover, as the weather turns freezing, the moisture can freeze in rocks, bricks, and cement, leading to even larger cracks. And in the worst-case scenario, the chimney can collapse if the damaged mortar is neglected and not repaired.


One of the signs that your chimney needs to be rebuilt is thin slices of chimney tile collecting in the fireplace. Keep in mind that the flue lining plays an important role when it comes to the safe operation of the fireplace as well as the chimney. However, you can prevent it if an annual inspection is performed.

Apart from preventing serious hazards from taking place, professional annual inspections can analyze and detect problems before they turn serious and would otherwise go undetected. For instance, if the tiles tend to be cracked but not crumbling, you won’t be able to identify a moisture breach in the system.


Spalling as compared to shaling is relatively easier to identify as it occurs outside the chimney with masonry bits existing around the bottom of the structure. As the moisture enters the masonry, it can force the surface of the concrete, brick, or stone to pop out, peel or flake out. Therefore, it is important to replace the damaged masonry to prevent prolonged crumbling and eventual destruction of the chimney.

Chimney Crown Damage

While inspecting the mortar joints, it is advised to visit the roof to spot any damage to the chimney crown. Considering the fact that the chimney crown is the first line of defense against extreme weather conditions, you will need to provide it with the attention it needs. If the chimney crown happens to be damaged, the moisture can easily develop larger cracks. In addition to that, water can also seep between the flue lining and chimney leading to spalling and shaling.

Therefore, the best way to prevent any damage to the chimney crown is by weatherproofing it. This will allow the chimney to withstand extreme rainfall, snow, and winds, preventing any serious damage down the road.

Final Word

Concluding, if you observe any of the above-mentioned signs, you will need to contact chimney contractors Columbia MD. In the meantime, make sure to opt for annual inspections so that you have plenty of time to fix potential issues that might directly or indirectly influence the overall life of the chimney.

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