This winter, it’s important to look for telltale signs from your chimney that may indicate a need for a replacement. As seasons change and temperatures drop, homeowners should be aware of warning signs that could lead to costly repairs or replacements down the line.

According to the Better Business Bureau, most homeowners do not give their chimney a second thought unless it is giving them trouble. Though they are useful for keeping us warm during the winter months, having an inoperable or clogged chimney can create real problems for you and your home.

You need to be aware of signs that your chimney might be in need of replacement so you can catch these problems early and avoid larger, more costly issues. Many homeowners will not notice signs of chimney wear until smoke is coming out around the doors or through the window frames.

This problem can lead to dangerous carbon monoxide leaks inside your home that could cause accidents with serious health consequences.


If you are looking for signs of your chimney need replacement, look for these items:

  • Black soot at the bottom of your fireplace door or window frames are accompanied by a strong smell of smoke
  • Damaged mortar that is crumbling or showing cracks
  • A dirty fireplace with no visible flames
  • The damper will not open or close properly
  • Smoke is leaking into the house where it was previously fine
  • You notice a significant drop in heat while using your fireplace

If you do notice some of these warning signs, call a chimney repair company to come to inspect and assess the damage so you know if a replacement is necessary. In some cases, a simple cleaning or adjustment can resolve your problems.

If you need a replacement, do not be afraid to get multiple quotes.


Texan Residential Services has been providing the Austin area with reliable chimney services for years and can help you find out if your fireplace needs to be replaced.

If so, we have all the experience and expertise needed to provide you with a chimney that will meet or exceed industry standards.

  • Replace your old or damaged chimney with a new one.
  • Repair any damage done to the interior of your chimney so it is safe for use.
  • Ensure that the flashing, damper, and crown are all in good working condition.
  • Keep you warm this winter season with a properly working fireplace.


Chimney Replacement Needed

The flashing that sits at the top of the chimney is meant to divert water away from the area where your flue is located. If you notice moisture on the bricks or mortar around where your fireplace is, this could mean you need a new flue.

Over time, your chimney can become clogged with debris, which restricts airflow through it. When this happens, the area around your fireplace may not get warm enough for proper ventilation to take place within the chimney’s interior. This lack of heat flow is another sign that you need a new chimney.

It is also possible for the mortar of your chimney to erode, which can provide a way for smoke and heat to enter your home. This will be obvious if you notice that warm air from the fireplace is entering into areas where it never did before.

Frequent inspection or replacement of a chimney isn’t required unless it fails to function properly due to wear and tear. While you can inspect it yourself, it is best to call the professionals at Texan Residential Services if you notice any of the signs that indicate a replacement needs to be done.


Other signs of a chimney that needs a replacement

Low Flows through the Chimney

One telltale sign of a chimney that needs replacement is reduced flow as a result of blockage. When the hot gases and smoke from your fireplace start to flow slowly through the flue, it’s time for an inspection and possible replacement.

If you notice that more creosote build-up has accumulated within your chimney flue, this may also cause reduced flow.


Chimney Damage

Another sign that you need a new chimney is if you notice damage to brick or mortar. If the bricks are breaking away from the mortar, it’s time for a replacement. Additionally, cracks in the flue lining can indicate potential problems.

These cracks may allow dangerous gases and smoke to escape into your chimney’s interior.


Warm Air Entering your Home

If warm air is suddenly entering your home through the fireplace you use most, this could indicate a problem with your chimney flue lining.

When the excess heat from the gases of fireplace combustion are not properly vented out to the exterior, they start to warm up the surrounding walls and floor.

Eventually, this may lead to overheating and damage to your fireplace and chimney’s interior.


Unusually Cold Interior Floors

Finally, one of the top signs that your chimney needs replacement is if you notice cold floors inside your home. The brick or mortar within the chimney flue is supposed to rid your fireplace and interior walls of excess heat.

When this doesn’t happen, it can cause the floor and surrounding area to become cold and drafty. Before calling a professional for an inspection or possible replacement, there are a few things you can do at home to check out your fireplace and chimney.

The National Fire Protection Association has a helpful website that outlines a few ways you can inspect your chimney yourself.


How do you fix a chimney?

To fix a chimney is to replace or repair parts of the masonry that allow for smoke and hot gases to flow out of your home.

If you notice cracks in mortar, bricks, or the lining (the flue), it means it’s time to call a professional chimney repair company like Texan Residential Services.

The mortar and brick form a lining between the exterior of your house and the interior where you have a fireplace.

When this type of masonry starts to show significant wear, it’s time for a replacement or repair.

If there are cracks in your chimney that allow smoke and heat into the surrounding area, then it needs to be fixed right away.

It’s also common for chimneys to be used as access points by animals or pests, such as raccoons or squirrels.

Being that the vents of a chimney are on the exterior of your home, it is easy for these animals to gain access and cause problems with their presence. If you notice areas where there was chewed on insulation, there may be an animal living inside your chimney.


How often do chimneys need to be replaced?

To answer this, we can look at what chimneys are built from.

The interior structure of a chimney is made from bricks and mortar, both of which are likely to erode or crack over time.

This means that you will start having cracks in the inner walls. In order for your fireplace to function properly, these cracks need to be repaired or you will need to replace the entire unit.

Another reason for replacement is an animal getting into your chimney and living up there. That animal will eventually leave its waste behind, which can clog your venting system and cause more problems down the line.

As stated before, if you notice that smoke is coming out of your vent near the ground, it is likely that animals have made a nest inside your system.

This will reduce the amount of airflow that occurs through your chimney to below what you need to function properly.


Chimney replacement options

Depending on the situation and your budget, there are a variety of ways in which you can help ensure your home’s chimney is up to code. There are many different kinds of materials that can be used when it comes to getting a new flue lining for your fireplace.

With some masonry types such as bricks, you may be able to just use mortar or another type of adhesive to fix the issue you are having with your chimney. If this is not an option, then applying aluminum flashing around the area where the flue meets the exterior wall of your house can provide a solution. The great thing about using this material is that it provides further protection against water damage and loosening.

If the flashing doesn’t work, then you may be looking at a full replacement of your chimney. No matter what kind of material you choose to use, it is important to maintain it properly so that it continues to provide positive results.

The professionals at Texan Residential Services can help with this, giving you peace of mind that your chimney is performing well.


How much does a chimney replacement cost?

A chimney replacement can cost several hundred dollars, depending on the materials needed and the extent of work to be performed. The best thing you can do is call a professional for an estimate as they will have the tools and knowledge to give you a better idea of how much their services will cost.

For those looking for a DIY option, the cost of materials may be lower, but you need to consider the amount of time it will take you to complete the work. This is why hiring professionals is highly recommended as they are trained in the proper installation techniques for your chimney replacement.


What is the top of a flue called?

The top of the flue is called the crown. This is where water can accumulate, increasing the risk of damage to your home. It may be necessary to replace the crown if it has been damaged by this water or if you notice that mortar between bricks is loose.

This process will require a specialist who has experience with creating these masonry systems to ensure that they are done properly. A professional can best determine if your crown needs replacement. The benefits of having them do the work include saving wear and tear on your chimney, as well as minimizing damage to your home’s exterior.

There are some situations where you will need to replace the entire unit because it is too damaged. This can often happen with chimneys that have been neglected for a long time, but might also be caused by an animal getting into the structure. These animals are more likely to create gaps between bricks or mortar which makes it necessary to rebuild your chimney.


Benefits of replacing a chimney

Once you have had a professional inspect your chimney and determine that it is no longer functional, you will be able to discuss the benefits of having a replacement with them.

One of the most obvious reasons for getting a new flue in your home is because it is keeping your family safe. If there are problems with its functionality such as cracks or loose mortar, then there is a greater risk that smoke and hot gasses could escape into the home.

The professionals at Texan Residential Services can help with this, giving you peace of mind that your chimney is performing well.

If you have an outdated chimney for your fireplace but it is still in good condition, rebuilding it with newer, more efficient parts can help you save on your energy consumption. This is helpful for those who are trying to lower their monthly bills and also the amount of power that they use.


How long does a chimney replacement take?

Most flue replacements should not take any longer than a day to complete. The entire process is likely to take at least half a day, but you should allow at least eight hours for the work. After all, the technicians need time to make sure that your chimney is back in working order and also need some extra time to clean up the area after they are done. The best thing you can do is contact the office to get an idea of how long it will take before the team arrives on site.

If you are buying a new flue for your fireplace, make sure to check out what other customers think about the products before you commit to one brand or another. This can save you time and money in the long run as you will know if it is durable enough to last. You should also make sure that the company you are purchasing from offers a warranty for their products, which can help protect your investment.

Chimneys, fireplaces, and other masonry structures do not last forever. They need to be inspected regularly for wear and tear. If you notice any damage, such as loose mortar between the bricks, your crown needs to be replaced in order to prevent further problems from occurring.

Getting a professional inspection from Texan Residential Services can help to determine if your chimney is ready for a replacement.


Contact us today at (512) 273-7838 and schedule an appointment with one of our professionals who will give you peace of mind by ensuring that your chimney is working safely and efficiently.