Chimney separation and leaning: One of the earliest signs of foundation problems
The concrete for your home’s foundation and your chimney’s footing are often poured at the same time, though the chimney pad is much shallower.
Once your chimney begins to separate from your home’s exterior, it is likely that foundation cracks—or failure—are not far behind.
Acting immediately after you notice your brick fireplace separating from the wall is paramount to preventing water damage, bugs, structural damage and cracked chimney liners. Gaps—nomatter the size—are a sign of underlying structural problems.
Chimney separation is one of the earliest signs of foundation trouble.
Fix the damage at its source. Call in the professionals.
Why your chimney might pulling away from your house
Despite the fact that your chimney might be attached to the outside of your home, your chimney does not rely on your home for support. The entire weight of a masonry chimney—sometimes tons—rests on a small slab of concrete, often referred to as a chimney pad or footing.
So, if your chimney footing starts to weaken or crack, your chimney will pull away from your house. There are several things that can cause or expedite chimney separation, such as:
- Expansive soils underneath your home
Some soils provide good, solid support for homes. Others do not. Expansive soils—or soils prone to expanding and contracting during freeze-thaw cycles—can, over time, wear down the chimney footing, which can result in your brick fireplace separating from the wall.
- Your foundation was poured with low-grade concrete
There are different grades of concrete based on its quality, strength and durability. As you might imagine. low-grade concrete provides less support and cracks more easily than high-grade concrete, which could be the cause of your leaning chimney in the attic.
- Insufficient footing underneath your chimney
Chimney pads should beat least a foot deep, and extend at least 6 inches on each side of the chimney and should be reinforced with rebar, or a steel rod within the concrete. Sometimes, though, chimneys pads are not installed correctly, resulting in premature structural failure and brick fireplaces separating from your wall.
How much does it cost to repair a chimney that’s pulling away from my house?
Chimney repair costs can be minimized by fixing the problem at its source to prevent further damage. An experienced foundation repair contractor such as Helitech will be able to evaluate the damage, diagnose the problem and implement a long-term solution. The cost to repair a chimney that’s pulling away from your house can prevent further foundation problems and structural damage for your home.
Here’s how we will fix your leaning chimney without disassembling it:
- Drive helical piles down into ground
Your chimney is separating from the wall because it lacks the necessary support to stand on its own. We can solve this problem by re-stabilizing your chimney.Todo this, we drive down helical piles—long metal spears which extend deep into the ground to provide support—deep enough into the ground that the reach load-bearing soil.This process, which we complete with specialized hydraulic rotary drive equipment, will drive the pile deep underneath your chimney and your home without ripping apart the surface of your lawn
- Slip brackets underneath footing
Once we have the helical piles in place, we’ll put brackets underneath your chimney pad so that the strength of the piles are channeled toward supporting the weight of your chimney.
- Lift chimney back up using hydraulic jacks
Since your chimney has sunk lower than the desired level, we will secure hydraulic jacks to the footing, and lift your chimney slightly.
- Secure brackets and remove jacks
To ensure your chimney does not sink in the future, we will secure the brackets in place. Now the chimney is less reliant on the footing for support and less affected by water saturation in the surface strata of soil.
We’ll give you, the homeowner, a free quote for your foundation repair.
We’ll get back to you with a cost-effective solution.