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Old Smokey's Fireplace & Chimney's Blog

Now is the Best Time to Get Ahead on Chimney Repairs!

It’s officially summer, so your fireplace and chimney is the last thing on your mind. However, now is exactly the time you should be thinking about masonry inspections and repairs. In just three or four quick months, it will be time to cozy up by your fireplace again. Will your fireplace be ready to operate when you need it? Old Smokey’s can help you get a jump on your fireplace maintenance needs by scheduling a chimney inspection this summer!

The Offseason is Also Tough on Your Chimney

Your chimney may have been running perfectly at the end of the winter, but your chimney’s health could have been compromised since it’s last use. Springtime brings rainy weather, meaning now is a great time to see if there are any leaks in your masonry. Leaky masonry can lead to larger problems including crumbling bricks and weakened mortar joints. If moisture seeps into your masonry, it can freeze when it becomes cold out and shatter bricks from the inside out. It is best to get ahead of masonry problems before they grow to larger problems.

Get Ahead of the Busy Time

The Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) and National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) both suggest annual chimney and fireplace inspections.  Summer is a great time to schedule your annual chimney and masonry inspection because we can schedule you in before our fall and winter rush. During the colder months, chimney sweeps are incredibly busy performing inspections and repairs. Therefore, it may be harder for us to schedule a meeting time that fits your schedule. However, if you schedule an inspection in the summer, we are a little more flexible with our schedule and can easily fit you into a time-slot that works for you. Remember, chimney inspections should only be carried out by a CSIA-certified chimney technician, like the ones at Old Smokey’s. Only a certified chimney technician has the training and knowledge to safely and effectively inspect your chimney masonry.

Extra Time for Repairs

Sometimes during a chimney masonry inspection, we will find an issue that requires some repair. Masonry issues can sometimes take a while to repair. This can be frustrating in fall and winter when you want to use your chimney. However, if issues with your chimney are found in the summer, we can usually schedule to have it fixed before you need to use it.

At Old Smokey’s, we like to get ahead of housing projects before they sneak up on us. If you’re like us, you’ll also want to get ahead of the game and schedule your chimney masonry inspection before our busy season. Call one of our CSIA certified chimney inspectors at 260-424-0009 or schedule an appointment online today!

What Causes Chimneys to Crack?

Have you noticed cracks in the masonry of your chimney? If you have, you may wonder what causes your masonry to crack as well as how it can be fixed.  At Old Smokey’s we want you to know that cracking brickwork and mortar can be a serious issue that may have a number of different causes. However, by keeping a watchful eye on your chimney and catching cracking issues early, you may be able to save your chimney from a more serious, and costly, repair.

Improper Construction

You may not see it, but your chimney system contracts and expands as it heats up and cools down. When you start a fire in your fireplace, it heats up your chimney flue, causing it to expand. If there isn’t proper clearance between the flue and the inside of the chimney wall, the expanding flue will start pressing into the brick causing it to crack.


Moisture can also cause masonry to crack. It can seep into the tiny pores in your brick and mortar where small amounts of water can settle. If it gets cold enough to freeze, the water will expand enough to weaken and even crack masonry. This is why it is important to protect your chimney from moisture with sealants and a chimney cap.


Having a good, solid foundation is important for any construction project. The same rings true for constructing a chimney system. If the footing for your chimney starts settling, it can cause your chimney to lean, which can lead to masonry cracking.


A good portion of your chimney is outside of your home. This means that it is exposed to a lot of naturally caused stress. Exposure to wind, hail, and other blowing debris gradually stresses your chimney, causing cracked masonry.

What can I do?

Depending on the location and severity of masonry cracks, a chimney mason may suggest different solutions to fix the issue. The best thing you can do to remedy a cracking chimney is to have it inspected by a Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) certified chimney technician. Cracking can be a sign of a larger problem, so if you notice a crack, don’t hesitate to call us at 260-424-0009 or schedule an appointment online. At Old Smokey’s our certified masonry experts can give you proper guidance regarding your cracking masonry and fix any issues you may have.

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