Check your chimney condition yourself!

Warm and cozy by the fire, popcorn, tea

A healthy chimney can be the key to a warm and happy winter.  While we recommend any works on your chimney, fireplace or stove are carried out by professionals, there are some checks you can do yourself to help alert to any developing faults.

1. Overall condition
Take a look outside for any loose bricks or tilt.  If your chimney looks as though it is leaning away from your house, get in contact with a professional immediately.

This will eventually lead to water ingress past the lead flashings as the mortar deteriorates. This can result in dampness in attic space and possible collapse under adverse weather conditions.

2. Chimney Components
Ensure none of the parts of your chimney as missing or rusted.  Check out our Chimney Component Guide for more information on what should be there.

3. Chimney Cap
At the top of your chimney is a chimney cap.  Ensure this is there and intact.  If not, you will need to have this replaced.You should have at least some form of weather terminal to repel rain water and mesh to prevent nesting.

You should have at least some form of weather terminal to repel rain water and mesh to prevent nesting.

4. Chimney Flue
Faults in your chimney flue can cause fires and carbon monoxide poisoning.  Your chimney should be swept at least once a year.  Make sure you get a professional for your cleaning.

If burning wood, flue should be swept at least twice a year.

5. Chimney Flashing
Chimney flashings are lead or non-lead material at the base of your roof and chimney.  If mortar starts to perish, the lead flashings will no longer become watertight, and dampness will bypass this barrier into the body of the house.

In some minor cases of decay, the stack may be remedied by re-pointing. However, in cases where there is more disrepair, a stack rebuild is usually the only solution.

If you notice anything wrong, it is best to contact a professional.  Remember chimneys come with a long list of potential dangers like fire and carbon monoxide poisoning.  For your peace of mind, some things are better left to the professionals.