Leaning Chimney

leaning chimney Kansas CityWhen homeowners notice a leaning chimney, it is usually rather alarming. This is, in fact, a serious problem that should not be ignored. If not repaired immediately, the bricks could begin to fall out and damage the roof. Leaning chimneys also often form gaps when they pull away from the siding. This creates a place for bugs and moisture to enter the home. It may even mean that the chimney liner beneath is cracked, which is a hazard to you and your family, as dangerous combustible gases might leak into the home.

Because masonry chimneys are so heavy, they need to have a solid base. If they do not, they will most likely develop a lean. There are several problems with the foundation that can cause this to happen, including:

  • Footings that are too small
  • Footings that are too shallow
  • Deteriorating footings
  • Missing footings
  • Poorly compacted soil

leaning chimney repair Kansas CityAll of these are the causes of leaning chimneys. No matter what the cause, it is important to have the chimney fixed as soon as possible. To do this, you must first determine if the leaning chimney is in fact due to foundation failure. It can be rather difficult to determine if your leaning chimney is connected to foundation problems. There are a few key signs, however, that this is the case:

  • The gap between the siding and chimney: if there is a gap separating the siding on the house and the exterior chimney, the chimney lean is probably an indicator of foundation problems.
  • Leaning in the attic: If the chimney runs through the interior of your house, check the attic to see that it is properly centered. If the chimney is leaning, it will no be centered in the framed opening but will be most likely be pressed against one side.
  • Leaking chimney: If the roof around your chimney is leaking due to dislodged flashing, the chimney has probably settled along with the foundation.
  • Mortar joints are not level: Check the horizontal mortar joints to be sure that they are level. Some chimneys are built to look like they tilt, making it hard to tell if the leaning is intentional or not. You can, however, check the horizontal mortar joints; if these are level, then the chimney is fine and was probably designed to “tilt.”

Leaning Chimney Solutions

To fix a leaning chimney, you must go straight to the root of the problem; the foundation. The most common solution for this is to install foundation piers to support and stabilize the settling foundation. These piers are driven deep into the ground until they reach stable soil. The weight of the structure can then be transferred onto the piers. They can then be used to raise and level the foundation to its original position, restoring the leaning chimney to normal. We use helical torque anchor products from Earth Contact Products as well for adding support and lifting structures.

For professional foundation repair, contact Pro Foundation Technology. We serve Kansas City, Overland Park, Raytown, and the Columbia area.