Watch For Chimney Damage After Storms

Storms can be traumatic. Whether it’s a snow and ice storm, thunderstorm with hail and lightning, tornado, or any extremely cold or hot spell your chimney will probably be damaged. Home Safe Hearth & Chimney has seen it happen over and over. And worse than the apparent exterior damage, is the internal damage happening during a storm.

After every storm homeowners should look for visible signs of damage to your chimney and any chimney debris on your roof and lawn. If the storm is severe it’s important to contact a chimney professional to look for any issues that may cause leaks of water and toxic gasses and present potential fire hazards.

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Many homeowners’ insurance policies cover the cost of repairs from storm damage. However, strict limitations and conditions usually apply before a claim is paid. So be sure to do your due diligence before and after the storm so you have proof that the compensation for the damage you are seeking is storm related rather than neglect. Documentation that you have yearly inspections and service by a chimney professional will help you show your insurance company the damage was a direct result of the storm.

In his book, Forensic Engineering: Damage Assessments for Residential and Commercial Structures, Stephen Petty provides insights to the type of information you will need when filing an insurance claim:

  • Have there been any recent modification to the brick masonry or chimney? When and by whom?
  • What date and time did the event(s) occur?
  • From what direction did the storm arrive?
  • What are the damages to the chimney?
  • When the damage was first observed?

After the storm, it’s important to have a chimney professional perform a thorough inspection of both the interior and exterior of your chimney. Hail can damage the masonry and covers of your chimney. Lightning not only can affect the exterior of the chimney, but the electrical jolts can also travel through the chimney and cause internal damage. Powerful tornadoes can actually lift the chimney completely. If this happens, the bad news is you will need to have the entire chimney replaced. Since your chimney is located on your roof, a thorough inspection of your roof and gutters also needs to be performed.

After the storm, the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) recommends that your CSIA certified chimney technician perform a Level 2 or 3 inspection. There is a very informative video describing what is included in Level 1, 2, and 3 inspections and the need for each. Click here to learn more.

After storms, many self-proclaimed chimney sweeps may approach you and ask to do your repairs. Be cautious and do your homework. Check with the BBB and Angie’s List, ask and verify the sweep’s certification with CSIA, insurance, and other claims they may make. Your chimney plays an important role in providing safety from fire and toxic gas hazards.

Home Safe Hearth & Chimney provides the highest level of expertise for preventative maintenance or damage repairs for you whether it is before or after the storm. Call us today and be a responsible home owner who is prepared for storms.

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Home Safe Hearth & Chimney | 504 St. Francis S Wichita, Kansas, 67202
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