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Tackle that Tilting Chimney with Piers

Thursday, July 28th, 2016 by Holly Richards-Purpura

Fireplaces are excellent décor pieces and heat sources, but it’s important to maintain them and keep them clean for the best performance. This is also true of the attached chimney. Chimney sweeps can keep the chimney clean, but another professional is required for structural issues.

This chimney is beginning to pull away from the house, which is a sign of foundation settlement.Have you taken a look at your home’s chimney lately? Is it level with the rest of the house, or is it pulling away to look like the Leaning Tower of Pisa?

A chimney that has separated from the rest of the home is one of the more dramatic and frightening signs of foundation settlement.

Here are some signs you may notice:

  • Leaning or tilting of the chimney
  • Cracks where the chimney foundation meets the home foundation
  • Damage to the roof where flashing meets the chimney
  • Gaps between the chimney and home walls that have been filled with mortar, foam or caulk

These signify serious structural problems with your chimney and potentially the rest of your home.

When your home was built, the earth was excavated to make way for the construction of the foundation. After the foundation was built, some of the soil that was excavated was then backfilled around the exterior walls to fill in the gap around the outer edge of your foundation. If your chimney’s foundation or the soils underneath that foundation cannot fully support the weight of a masonry chimney, it will begin to tilt.

These structural issues with your chimney are often connected to other problems with stability of the rest of the home. The unstable soils underneath the chimney could be similar to the soils surrounding your house.

These signs can be alarming for homeowners, who might jump to the conclusion of needing a complete replacement. This is a major undertaking that may not solve the problem.

Helical Piers are being mechanically driven into the soil underneath the chimney's foundation.It does require some exterior excavation, but Ohio Basement Authority provides permanent solutions that are less invasive. Our unique piering systems installed underneath the chimney’s foundation will help stabilize and potentially lift the chimney back to level.

These two types of reliable foundation repair solutions are Helical Piers and Push Piers. The Helical Piers, featuring round-shaft piers, are mechanically “screwed” into the ground, and the Push Piers’ rugged steel tube sections are hydraulically driven into the soil.

Both of these heavy-duty, galvanized steel systems are designed to be driven down to competent, load bearing soils or bedrock. This ensures the chimney’s foundation will be permanently stabilized.

This chimney has been stabilized and lifted back to level against the house after Helical Piers were installed underneath its foundation.

If you are concerned with the stability of your chimney and want to ensure your home’s safety, contact Ohio Basement Authority to schedule a free, no obligation inspection. Our expert foundation repair specialists are eager to help you create a safer home!


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Columbus, OH 43219
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