Think about anything that may have happened to cause damage to the chimney. An example of this would be if any larger objects have fallen on it such as tree limbs or scaffolding, etc. Earthquakes, even small ones, could damage a chimney. The weather also plays a role by gradually eroding the bricks and mortar of the chimney.
So, what would a damaged chimney look like? If something has fallen on it the damage should be apparent but there are other observations you can make. For instance, when you look at the chimney, is it leaning or listing in any way? Take a step back to see the whole of the chimney, has it started to separate from the rest of the home? Do the chimney's footings show signs of deterioration? What condition is the mortar in? A good way to test it is to take a screwdriver and scrape the mortar if it starts to crumble easily then the chimney is in need of repair.
As we’ve mentioned, a homeowner can look for obvious signs of deterioration in a chimney, however, many other parts of the chimney are not so easy to see and these will require a professional inspection. So, if you are worried about your chimney, please feel free to contact us for more advice.