Among the ways a chimney can sustain structural damage are if large objects fall on to it such as trees or scaffolding etc. Earthquakes are another way a chimney can become damaged. Extremes of weather can also cause a chimney to deteriorate. Whatever the reason for the damage, if not taken care of, the chimney may end up being in danger of collapse which not only creates a hazard for the exterior of the property but a chimney can even fall in on itself, placing anyone inside the home in harm’s way.
What are some of the warning signs that a chimney is damaged? Stand back and take a look at the entire chimney, does it look like it is leaning or listing at all? Can you see signs that it is coming away from the home? Scrape some of the mortar on the chimney with a screwdriver, what condition is it in? Does it easily crumble? Have a look at the footings of the chimney, do they look like they are in bad condition and deteriorating?
These are just some of the ways you can tell what condition a chimney is in, however, there are other parts of a chimney that are not easy to check, what then? If you are concerned that the chimney is not working the way it should or that it is not structurally sound, it would be best to have it inspected. This way, your home inspector can point out any issues that are found and advise you on what will be the next step to take.