Why is the chimney tilted and leaning away from the house?

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

We see a leaning chimney occasionally, when the fireplace is on an exterior wall and is an older, masonry type (not manufactured). The foundation under the fireplace carries a tremendous, concentrated load due to the towering stack of bricks and the fireplace itself is separate from the wood-frame wall structure. 

   Soil erosion around the exterior of the house can cause the foundation pad under the fireplace to settle to one side, typically away from the house. Any slight tilt at the base causes a crack between the fireplace and adjoining house walls that widens as it goes up the wall. The opening is a place where rainwater can get into the wall and cause considerable damage over time. 


   We often see heavy caulking along the crack that is created by the settlement, and  the caulk is also almost always separated from the wall a little because the settlement has continued since the caulking, like in photo above. Also, in the photo at the top of the page, the gap between the fireplace and adjacent wall was artfully concealed by a large piece of metal flashing running up the open crack. The only solution is for this problem is the installation of structural piers under the fireplace foundation pad. In many cases, the foundation repair company can jack the fireplace back into something close to its original position.

    Also, see our blog post Why does the house have a chimney but no fireplace?

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Here’s links to a collection of our other blog posts about FIREPLACES AND CHIMNEYS:

 Is a gas log lighter dangerous?

What is the 3-2-10 rule for masonry chimneys? 

What causes black soot buildup on my gas fireplace logs?

Why is creosote buildup in a chimney dangerous?  

How is a factory-built fireplace different from a regular fireplace?

• The fireplace doesn't have a chimney. Is that alright? 

    Visit our FIREPLACES AND CHIMNEYS page for other related blog posts on this subject, or go to the INDEX for a complete listing of all our articles.

Water Heaters

Water Heater Age

Wells

Septic Tank Systems

Structure and Rooms

Plumbing Pipes

Termites, Wood Rot

& Pests

Sinkholes

Stairs

When It First

Became Code

"Should I Buy A..."

Park Model Homes

Site

Shingle Roofs

Safety

Stucco

Remodeling

Wind Mitigation Form

Roof and Attic

"Does A Home

Inspector...?"

Pool and Spa

"What Is The Difference Between..."

Radon

Brick

Plumbing

Concrete and

Concrete Block

Metal Roofs

Foundations

Modular Homes

Rain Gutters

Mold, Lead & Other Contaminants

Condominiums

Older and

Historic Houses

Crawl Spaces

Mobile/Manufactured Homes

Building Permits

Life Expectancy

Clay Soil

Insurance

Floors

Insulation

Toilets

Exterior Walls & Structures

Generators

Common Problems

HUD-Code for

Mobile Homes

Garages and Carports

Flat (Low Slope) Roofs

Electrical Panels

Sprinkler Systems

Electrical Receptacle Outlets

4-Point Inspections

Hurricane Resistance

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Home Inspection

Heating and Air Conditioning

Building Codes

Fireplaces and Chimneys

Inspector Licensing

& Standards

Energy Efficiency

Washers and Dryers

Electrical

Kitchens

Doors and Windows

(placeholder)

Cracks

Electrical Wiring

Click Below  

for Links

to Collections

of Blog Posts

by Subject

Plumbing Drains

and Traps

Appliances

Smoke & CO Alarms

Aging in Place

Top 5 results given instantly.

Click on magnifying glass

for all search results.

Bathrooms

Lighting

AFCI, CAFCI,

DFCI, & GFCI

Sinks

Air Conditioner & Furnace Age/Size

Attics

Electrical Switches

Siding

Search

This

Site

Water Intrusion

Electrical - Old

and Obsolete

(placeholder)

Foundation Certifications

Tiny Houses

How To Look At A House

McGarry and Madsen's home inspection blog for buyers of  

site-built, mobile/manfuactured and modular homes

About Us