Don't Let Cracks Ruin Your Beautiful Fireplace

Posted on: 7 August 2023

A chimney is more than just a vent for smoke and gases. It's also a vital safety feature that protects your home from fire, carbon monoxide, and water damage. That's why it's crucial to inspect your chimney regularly for cracks and loose bricks and to have it cleaned and repaired by a professional chimney sweep.

Common Causes

A chimney is exposed to environmental factors causing it to deteriorate over time. Some of the common causes of cracks and loose bricks in a chimney are:

  • Improper construction
  • Water damage
  • Creosote buildup

Creosote is a dark brown to black substance that forms when wood smoke condenses on the cooler surfaces of the chimney. Creosote is highly flammable and corrosive and can cause the chimney to catch fire or deteriorate faster.

Cracks and loose bricks in a chimney are unsightly and dangerous. They can lead to several problems.


Cracks and loose bricks can create gaps in the chimney structure, allowing heat, sparks, or flames to escape and ignite nearby combustibles. Creosote buildup can also catch fire inside the chimney, creating a powerful blaze that can spread to the roof or other parts of the house.

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Cracks and loose bricks can also create gaps in the flue liner, allowing carbon monoxide to leak into the living space. 

Water Damage

Water that enters the chimney through cracks and loose bricks can leak into the walls, ceilings, floors, or foundations of the house, causing stains, mold growth, wood rot, structural damage, or electrical hazards.

Chimney Crack Inspections

The best way to inspect your chimney for cracks and loose bricks is to hire a certified chimney sweep who can perform a thorough visual inspection of your chimney from top to bottom. A chimney sweep uses various techniques to find damage in your chimney system. 

Chimney Crack Prevention

The best way to prevent cracks and loose bricks in your chimney is to maintain it properly and regularly with these steps:

  • Have your chimney cleaned yearly
  • Have your chimney inspected regularly
  • Install a chimney cap 
  • Seal any cracks to prevent water infiltration 

Use seasoned hardwoods for your fireplace or wood-burning stove, and avoid burning trash, paper, or green wood that can produce more creosote and smoke. Also, follow the manufacturer's instructions for your fireplace or wood-burning stove, and avoid overloading or overheating it. By taking all of these precautions, you'll be able to enjoy your fireplace without having to worry.

For more information on fireplace maintenance, contact a professional near you.