The Ultimate Chimney Cracks Repair Quiz
by Staff
Masonry and stone chimneys are a common fixture in most homes. Do you know that it is important to inspect chimneys regularly and to repair problems promptly? Give your chimney knowledge a checkup by taking this quiz.

At what age should you expect that a well-constructed chimney would start to experience problems with its mortar joints?

  • 20 to 25 years
  • 25 to 30 years
  • 30 to 35 years

What is a good way to do a routine check on a chimney to see if it requires a thorough inspection?

  • Check it from the edge of the roof without leaving the ladder.
  • Set up a routine inspection schedule with a chimney sweep.
  • You can check it with binoculars from the ground.

What is the cause of cracks and flaking of chimney mortar?

  • expansion and contraction caused by summer sun
  • older mortar is weaker
  • freeze and thaw cycles

What is another common enemy of brick and stone chimneys?

  • attachments
  • reverse osmosis
  • bird droppings

What puts chimneys installed in historic homes in greater risk of problems?

  • acid rain
  • modern heating systems
  • leaching of lime

Why is it important to inspect your chimney regularly if it is 20 or more years old?

  • Leaks can allow dangerous exhaust gases such as carbon monoxide into your home.
  • Chimneys 20 years old or older are fire hazards.
  • You will want to catch problems before they turn into a major repair.

When should you check your chimney immediately even if it is not 20 years old or older?

  • When temperatures dip below -22 degrees Fahrenheit have your chimney inspected.
  • When you experience a significant earthquake in your neighborhood, have your chimney inspected.
  • After you have had a very hot fire burning in your fireplace for more than four hours.

What is metal or lead sheeting installed around all chimneys called?

  • water guard
  • weather strip
  • flashing

If you detect what appears to be serious damage to a chimney, should you proceed with your own repair?

  • Sure, just be careful on the roof.
  • No, do not attempt the repair yourself.
  • Only after, you have researched the proper repair procedures first.

What is a step you can take to protect your chimney before it has any damage?

  • You should install a chimney cap if you do not already have a good one.
  • You should tuck-point the mortar now.

What should you do yearly if you burn wood in a fireplace or stove?

  • Burn a commercial creosote removing powder in a hot fire following the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • During bright sunlight use a large mirror under the flue so you can see the inside of the chimney.
  • Clean the inside of the chimney with the proper shaped and sized brush.

What do you need to do first if you plan to clean your chimney yourself?

  • You need to rent a roofers safety harness along with the brushes.
  • You need to seal up the fireplace opening.
  • Have a spotter on the ground in case you get into trouble.

Tuck-pointing is a process used to restore mortar where you:

  • Tuck a special compound into cracks with a pointed tool.
  • Use a special power tool to grind out failed mortar.
  • Chip out flaking and broken mortar to prepare for fresh mortar.

What should you consider doing when you are only fixing a few areas of defective mortar?

  • Tuck-point the entire portion of chimney protruding from the roof.
  • Use an artists brush and mortar stain so that old and new mortar joints appear the same color.
  • Mix a pigment with the prepared mortar so repairs do not stand out from the rest of the joints.

If you are removing old mortar from between your bricks or stones, how deep should you chisel into the old mortar?

  • minimum 1 inch
  • minimum 2 inches
  • minimum 3 inches

What consistency are you aiming for when you mix mortar for your repair?

  • molasses
  • peanut butter
  • honey

Where should you start when applying your mortar to the joints?

  • Start with the vertical joints.
  • Start with the horizontal joints.
  • Alternate between vertical and horizontal joints.

What is a good way to ensure that your repairs last as long as they should?

  • Cover the chimney with a tarp or plastic sheet until the mortar has dried completely.
  • Light a fire in your fireplace four or five hours after you complete a repair to help speed curing.
  • Keep the mortar damp for three or four days to promote curing of the cement in the mortar.

What should you do if you are noticing dampness around your chimney near the ceiling?

  • Invest in a dehumidifier as excess dampness tends condense around warm surfaces like a chimney.
  • Check your chimney for hairline cracks or cracks in the crown.
  • Have a professional replace the flashing where the chimney exits the roof.

Why do experts recommended that you remove vines or ivy from your chimney and brick?

  • Experts do not recommend removal, as vines not only beautify your chimney they also help to preserve it.
  • Experts actually recommend that you simply keep vines trimmed so air can still circulate around the mortar.
  • Experts claim that vines push roots into the mortar causing early failure due to moisture penetration.