Over time, an exterior chimney may become detached from the home. This puts the masonry in a precarious condition. The bricks could collapse and crush the roof or worse—maybe even fall on someone’s head. A detaching chimney can also create an opening for pests and rodents to make their way indoors. If you suspect your chimney is tilting, then immediately contact a chimney repair contractor.
What Causes an Exterior Chimney to Pull Away?
Chimneys weigh several tons, and most of the weight is concentrated in a single area. To maintain its foundational strength, the structure needs to be built on a concrete footing known as a chimney pad. When a chimney detaches from the house, it is almost always due to a failing footing. This can be caused by poor soil or ground conditions that the footing rests on. Soil as well as pavement and concrete flooring can contract and expand. The resulting heaving can move and weaken the footing.
Visually inspect the point where the masonry and house siding meet. If a gap exists, then the chimney is pulling away. If the chimney partially runs through the home interior, head to the attic and look to see if the chimney is centered in its framed opening. If it’s tilted to one side or another, then it is detaching.
Do not Attempt a DIY Fix
We have observed that some homeowners try to fix the issue themselves by sealing the gap with caulk or mortar. Others have also placed metal straps to try to fasten the chimney in place. These ineffective methods offer only a temporary solution, at best. They also give homeowners a false sense of security. The masonry is still in a bad position and in danger of collapsing.
Bring in a Professional
Call Powers Chimney & Masonry to address a tilting chimney. Our warranty ensures that the repairs will last for decades to come. An exterior chimney detached from the home poses a safety hazard, so don’t ignore it.
Edited by Justin Vorhees
Full Chimney Foundational Inspections and Repairs
Serving the communities of Arlington, Everett, Edmonds, Seattle, Mercer Island, Bellevue, Kirkland, Woodinville and all South Snohomish & North King County