While fireplaces are made to be durable, there ultimately comes a time when you will need to repair yours. There are a lot of things that can go wrong, like fire hazards caused by the so-called holes in the system. However, looking at your chimney is not enough to tell if it is safe and sound. This means that the signs that your fireplace is not functioning properly are not always that obvious. Since fireplace safety is vital, every homeowner should become aware of the three most important signs of damage. Otherwise, how will you know if it is necessary to seek fireplace repair in Ottawa?

White staining

When you brush off a powdery substance off bricks, you are dealing with efflorescence. This discoloration is a clear sign that there is a moisture problem with the masonry. What happens is that the moisture actually pushes the salt to the surface and leaves it behind once it evaporates. The result is the look similar to white staining, or white discoloration. Although you can easily remove the stain using soapy water, you do not get rid of the cause of the problem. The most likely cause of efflorescence is a missing chimney cap, or damaged mortar joints. Moisture can damage the masonry, reason why you should call in a repair technician.


At the top of every flue technicians place special tiles with the purpose of protecting the chimney from exposure to toxic by-products of the fire. If you notice that the small tiles have accumulated at the bottom of the fireplace, then your flue is damaged. You need to replace the flue because it is vital to the safe operation of the chimney. This means that an annual inspection is a must if you have a chimney in your residence. The expert can analyze the flue lining and notice any problems in time. Additionally, do not light a fire until you have taken care of the situation.

Busted mortar joints

Another issue that is relatively difficult to spot is damage mortar joints. To identify this issue you will be needing rooftop vantage, but it is necessary because failing mortar joints affect the entire masonry construction. When the masonry is exposed to moisture the chimney itself begins to deteriorate at a fast pace. This can cause you a great deal of trouble during wintertime because the moisture freezes within the bricks and the cerement, resulting in larger cracks. If you do not address this problem, then the entire chimney can collapse.