Review Our Business
Schedule an appointment TODAY!

Clean Sweeps of Michigan's Blog

Top 5 Reasons You Need Chimney Repairs

We rely on our fireplaces and chimneys to burn safely and efficiently year after year. For many homeowners, it is difficult to know when our chimneys are damaged or need repairs. The following are top 5 signs that your chimney need repairs.

1. There is water in the fireplace

masonry chimneyThe exterior masonry of chimneys is designed to withstand the exposure to wind, rain, sun, and more. The interior fireplace components, however, are much more delicate. Because of this, even small amounts of water in the fireplace can cause serious damage.

When water gets inside your fireplace, this results in a leaky chimney. When a leak occurs, it is important to have a chimney inspection and repairs by a certified chimney sweep. This ensures damage caused by water is properly repaired – and keep water from coming back.

2. There are cracks in the masonry

Small areas of chips, cracks, or missing masonry on the chimney are caused by long-term water damage that needs repairs. Oftentimes, the tuckpointing process can be used to remove old and damaged mortar by water. The chimney sweep carefully removes the old mortar before mixing and replacing new masonry. The result is a seamless repair that is indistinguishable from the original masonry.

Large cracks in the chimney can also be caused by the settling of your house or chimney. If the chimney is not built on proper pads or footing, the chimney can crack as it shifts and settles over time. A chimney inspection is often needed to determine if damage from settling is a structural issue or merely a cosmetic issue.

3. The chimney stinks

There are a number of causes for chimney odor. The type of smell your chimney has can be a clue to what the underlying cause is. Smoky odors, particularly on hot or humid days, are often the result of creosote buildup in the flue. A chimney sweeping can remove creosote, eliminating the smell and reducing the risk of an accidental chimney fire. Dank or damp odors are usually the result of a leaky chimney. The combination of water and cold, dark flues can result in mold or mildew growth when there is water present in the chimney.

4. The outside of the chimney is stained

Exterior masonry stains affects more than just your curb appeal. The color of the stain can reveal the root of the problem. Dark brown or black stains are often the result of drafting issues or an excess of creosote in the flue. Red or orange stains are usually caused by metal chimney components that are rusted, which is common on the sides of manufactured or factory-built chimneys.

5. The fireplace smokes when used

A fireplace that blows smoke back into the room when in use is the result of drafting issues. Drafting problems are caused by chimney height, the addition of new landscaping or nearby buildings, the installation of a new insert, or switching fuel sources. Having the flue relined or adding or subtracting height to the chimney are two ways to help improve fireplace drafting issues.

Our chimneys need regular maintenance to burn their best. For more information on chimney repairs or schedule your next appointment, contact Clean Sweeps of Michigan today!

Let Our Experts Handle Your Masonry Repairs, Restorations, Repointing, or Rebuild!

Chimneys are built to withstand the elements and regular wear and tear. Despite this, moisture, lack of maintenance, regular use, or age can all cause chimney systems to deteriorate. If your fireplace or chimney is damaged, or simply is deteriorating due to age, it is important to have it repaired by a certified professional. At Clean Sweeps of Michigan, our Chimney Safety Institute of America certified chimney sweeps are here to help with all your masonry repairs, restorations, repointing, or rebuilds!


Let Our Experts Handle Your Masonry Repairs, Restorations, Repointing, or Rebuild - Ann Arbor MI - Clean Sweeps of MichiganExposure to the elements, water entry, natural disasters, or aging all cause damage to your chimney system. Repairing these damage is the best way to prevent further deterioration and keep your fireplace burning safely and efficiently. Water entry is one of the most common causes of damage to a masonry chimney. It affects both the exterior as well as the interior components. If the source of the leak and the damage is not repaired, other serious issues can follow.


Fireplace systems, particularly in older homes, are often deteriorating because of the lack of understanding on how to properly maintain them. However, there are a number of ways to refresh and restore an older chimney to its former glory! Use masonry-specific cleaning products can remove years of staining from soot, ash, and smoke. This is one way to restore the masonry without painting the original masonry. Replacing old fireplace and chimney components such as the chimney cap, damper, or fireplace doors can also improve burning efficiency while helping an old fireplace feel new.


While masonry is one of the strongest building materials available, the mortar often deteriorates before the bricks. When this happens, the chimney can be repointed, a process that removes and replaces the damaged mortar without affecting the surrounding bricks. Repointing is a great solution to replace small areas of damaged mortar, particularly when water damage occurred. During the repointing process, the damaged mortar is carefully removed using special tools; new mortar, which is mixed to match the color and texture of the existing mortar, is then applied to create a seamless repair.


Significant structural problems or damage from natural disasters can sometimes cause extensive problems that cannot be repaired. In these cases, rebuilding your chimney or fireplace is recommended. While rebuilding may seem like a daunting process, it gives homeowners the chance to customize the design for a new fireplace system.

Many homeowners worry about the size of the project, the time, and the cost of rebuilding a fireplace system. However, our expert staff can work with you to get the job done correctly – on time and on budget – to make the process as easy and stress-free as possible. If the masonry of your chimney needs repairs, don’t delay – contact Clean Sweeps of Michigan today for more information!

Recent Posts

Find Posts About