It might be unnoticeable at first but over time you may notice that your chimney seems to be tilting, like the Leaning Tower of Pisa. In some cases the chimney isn’t leaning but the problem lies with the house’s foundation. A contractor or structural engineer should be called in to take a look at the house. in order to determine the cause of the problem. If in fact the problem is caused by the chimney leaning, a chimney professional such as Professional Chimney Cleaners will be able to fix the problem.
Although this isn’t a common problem, a leaning chimney’s occurs when a masonry chimney’s foundation or the soil that supports the foundation can’t handle the weight of the chimney causes it to tilt. Sometimes a chimney can weigh several tons. Factors that affect the stability of the soil include the size of the foundation’s footing (1 foot thick and six inches around the chimney), soil that has expanded and contracted due to water infiltration or freezing and concrete that has deteriorated over time.
Some of the signs aside from the obvious tilting include cracks that appear where the chimney foundation and the home foundation meet, damages to the roof and the appearance of gaps between the chimney and exterior walls of the home. Other symptoms of a leaning chimney include water leaks because the chimney flashing has been knocked loose.
There are a couple of ways to repair a leaning chimney. If the chimney is too far out of place, we might have to tear it down and rebuild it in order that it would be safe to use. Another effective technique requires the use of steel helical piers that will hold the chimney in place and doesn’t require dismantling them. These helical piers are installed under your chimney onto more stable soil and brackets are then placed on the piers and slipped under the chimney footing. The chimney is lifted back into its original position. The advantage of this technique is that the land surrounding the chimney doesn’t have to be excavated, leaving almost no mess. If you have a tilting or leaning chimney and don’t know what your next step should be, give us a call, we would be glad to help you with your problem.