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Do You Have a Leaning Chimney? The Time to Act is Now

A leaning chimney is a sign of foundation failure

The Hazards and Causes of a Leaning Chimney

The symptoms of foundation failure are often subtle and can happen slowly over time. One unmistakable sign of foundation failure is very easy to see: a leaning chimney. If you have not taken a close look at your chimney as of late, then now is the time to do it, as a leaning chimney is dangerous for more than one reason. Let’s examine the hazards associated with a leaning chimney as well as the causes.

Act Now to Avoid These Hazards

There are several frightening hazards that can result from a chimney that is leaning or pulling away from your home:

Hazards to people and property: Depending on the direction it is leaning the chimney could fall away from the home raining down bricks on people, vehicles, and other nearby properties. If a chimney is leaning toward the home it can fall onto the roof and damage it or even worse, come through the roof.

Pest Infestation: Bugs and other small rodents can enter your home through cracks caused by your chimney tilting or pulling away from the home. These pests can cause unseen additional damages before you are even aware that they are there.

Damaged Chimney Lining: Combustible gases can potentially enter your home through cracks or tearing in your chimney liner. This can be very dangerous and another reason to have your chimney inspected immediately.

How Did This Happen?

You may be wondering why your chimney is leaning or there is a gap between it and your house. Several reasons can be due to the footing at the base of the chimney:

  • Undersized footing: Your footing should be at least a foot thick and come out six inches on each side of the chimney
  • Shallow footing: As soil freezes and then expands this can affect the depth of the footing and cause it to be too shallow
  • No footing: If during construction a footing was not poured then the chimney should be stabilized with a new footing.
  • Deteriorating footing: Cracks are often caused by freezing and expanding or due to improperly placed rebar.

Additionally, a tilting chimney can be caused by changes to the soil around your home due to freezing and expanding. Movement in the soil can shift your foundation and leave the chimney behind. Regardless of the cause a leaning chimney is a sign of foundation damage or failure and should not be ignored.

Tar Heel Foundation Solutions Will Answer the Call

If you have observed a leaning chimney at your home, then Tar Heel Foundation Solutions is here to help. Our foundation professionals will inspect your chimney and determine the best method to repair the damage and keep it from happening again. One of the more popular and effective methods of repairing a leaning chimney is through the use of helical piers from Earth Contact Products. These helical piers have been proven to provide strength and support to your chimney. Contact us today to set up a free inspection. It is our goal to make your house safe and secure again!

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