Why is My Chimney Pulling Away From My House?

January 8, 2024
Avatar for Michael HaimMichael Haim
Why is My Chimney Pulling Away From My House

Why is My Chimney Pulling Away From My House?” – a question that might have popped into your mind as you noticed an unsettling gap between your chimney and home. This isn’t just about appearances; it could signal underlying issues. A leaning or separating chimney not only looks worrisome, but can also pose safety risks.

To put it simply, your chimney may be pulling away due to foundation issues, settling of the house, or water damage, requiring professional inspection and possible repairs to ensure stability and prevent further damage.

In this blog, we’ll take a closer look at why your chimney is separating from the house and talk about some effective ways to fix it.

Signs Your Chimney is Pulling Away from the House

If you see any of the below-mentioned signs, it’s really important to get help from a professional as soon as possible. 

Signs Your Chimney is Pulling Away from the House

Visible Gap

Sign: You can see a gap between your chimney and your house.

Explanation: If you can see a gap, that means your chimney might be moving away.

Leaning Chimney

Sign: The chimney looks like it’s tilting or leaning away from your house.

Explanation: If your chimney is leaning, it’s a big clue that there might be something wrong with how it’s built.

Cracks in the Bricks

Cracks in the Bricks

Sign: There are cracks in the bricks of your chimney.

Explanation: Cracks mean there’s stress or movement, and it shows your chimney isn’t holding on like it should.

Misaligned Flashing

Sign: The metal stuff (sealant) at the bottom of your chimney looks crooked or damaged.

Explanation: If this metal stuff is off, water can get in and make your chimney weaker.

Interior Wall Cracks

Sign: You see cracks or damage on the walls inside your house near the chimney.

Explanation: If your chimney is moving, it can mess up the inside walls too.

Strange Sounds

Sign: Your chimney makes weird sounds like creaking or popping.

Explanation: If you hear strange sounds, it might mean your chimney is moving or under stress.

Damaged Mortar Joints

Damaged Mortar Joints

Sign: The stuff between the bricks (mortar) is falling apart or has gaps.

Explanation: If the mortar is weak, your chimney isn’t holding together well.

Separation at the Roofline

Sign: There’s a gap or space where your chimney meets the roof.

Explanation: If your chimney is coming off, it can leave a gap at the roofline.

Visible Tilting of the Chimney Cap

Sign: The top part of your chimney looks tilted or not straight.

Explanation: If the cap is off, it means your chimney might be moving or not stable.

Sagging Roofline

Sign: The roof above your chimney looks like it’s sinking.

Explanation: If your chimney is having problems, it can affect the roof above it, too.

Besides, are you wondering how to clean soot off the chimney? Don’t wait. Visit our insightful blog to find out the process.

Why is My Chimney Pulling Away From My House? 

So, why is your chimney pulling away from the house, and how to fix it? 

Here are some common culprits:

Foundation Problems

Sometimes, the ground under your house can cause your chimney to move away. The dirt around your home might change or sink, making the bottom part (foundation) of your house shift. When this happens, it can make your chimney not stay in place.

Fix: Talk to someone who knows a lot about houses (a professional). They can check your foundation and see if there’s a problem. If they find one, they might need to do some repairs to make sure your house stays strong and your chimney doesn’t move anymore.

House Settling

As time goes by, houses can sink a bit into the ground. This often happens, especially in the first few years after the house is built. When this settling occurs, it can make things in the house, like the bricks or the chimney, move away from each other.

Fix: Keep an eye on your house for any signs of settling. If it looks like it’s settling a lot, talk to a smart person who knows about buildings (a structural engineer). They can figure out the best way to stop the settling from causing more problems.

Water Damage

Water can quietly cause trouble over time. If water gets into the stuff holding the bricks together (mortar) or behind the bricks, it can make things weaker and lead to the chimney pulling away.

Fix: Take good care of your chimney by making sure it’s protected from water. If you see any leaks or cracks, fix them right away. Also, think about using a special sealant that keeps water away to avoid future damage.

Poor Construction

Sometimes, the problem comes from not building things the right way. If the chimney wasn’t made with good materials or the right methods, it might start moving away from the house.

Fix: Ask someone who knows a lot about chimneys (a professional chimney inspector) to check how it was built. If they find a problem, they might need to make the chimney stronger or, in really bad cases, build it again.

Soil Erosion

The dirt around the bottom of your house can wash away over time, making things shaky. This can affect how well the chimney stays in place.

Fix: Make sure the ground around your house is taken care of. Planting things and putting up walls can help keep the dirt from washing away and make your house and chimney more stable.

Temperature Changes

When it gets very hot or very cold, the stuff in the chimney, like the bricks, can expand or shrink. Over time, this can cause problems with how the chimney is put together.

Fix: Add special parts (expansion joints) to the chimney so that when things expand or shrink, they don’t make the chimney break. This helps the chimney stay strong without getting stressed out.

In addition, do you know why the chimney leaks and how to fix it? Take a look at our blog on this topic to find out the right answer.

Contact a Pro

If you need help fixing your chimney from pulling away or want a professional chimney sweep in Los Angeles, choose Air Duct Now. With over 15 years of experience, our family-owned service ensures safe and efficient operation. 

We offer thorough cleaning, affordable prices, and quick responses. Trust us for a cozy home, licensed and insured operations, and a 12-month guarantee. Call now for a chimney inspection and repair service that exceeds expectations.

Wrapping Up

To wrap it up, understanding the reasons behind “Why is My Chimney Pulling Away From My House?” is crucial for maintaining a safe and stable home. Whether it’s problems with the ground under your house, the house settling, water causing damage, not building things right, the dirt around your house washing away, or the weather making things change, paying attention to the signs and getting help from smart people quickly is really important. Just remember, taking good care of your chimney doesn’t just make your home look nice; it also keeps you safe and comfy.

FAQs

Why is sealing the gap between the chimney and the house important?

Sealing the gap is crucial to prevent water infiltration, structural issues, and energy loss.

Will insurance cover the cost of leaning chimney repairs?

Coverage depends on your policy; consult your insurance provider for details.

How do foundation issues affect bricks separating from the house?

Unstable foundations can cause shifts, leading to the separation of bricks.

Can I address a falling chimney myself, or should I seek professional help?

Professional assistance is crucial for a safe and effective assessment and repair.

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