What Causes a Leaning Chimney & How to Fix It

Is your chimney starting to look a little less than straight? Does it seem to be leaning one way or other? A leaning chimney may not seem like a big deal, but think about the damage it might do to your home, car, or anyone near the area should it fall.

Don’t let your eyes deceive your because in reality a leaning chimney could actually be an indication that your home’s foundation may be sinking or shifting.

Accessing the Situation and Determining the Cause

If your chimney is leaning, the first thing you should do is inspect the joint between your chimney and the siding of your house. If you find a gap between the two, or find metal straps, or excess foam insulation, that could be a good indication that there is a problem, and that the problem has been previously patched but not addressed.

Next, you should inspect the interior of your home, and see if your chimney is leaning to one side of its opening. Another sign that your chimney is leaning is the appearance of leaks.

Now that you’ve assessed your chimney situation, you may be wondering what could cause it to lean. There are actually several reasons why the leaning could have occurred, including:

Foundation Settlement : Loose, missing or shifting soil which can no longer hold the weight of the foundation or chimney.
• Seismic Activity & Climate Changes:  Crumbling footing caused by seismic activity and climates changes, such as a drought.
• Footing Issues : Shallow footing or footing that is too small, which causes instability and displacement.

Fixing Chimney Leaning with Foundation Repair

If foundation issues are causing your chimney to lean, there are repair options available to you. At Foundation Technology, we can use Push Piers or Helical Piers to stabilize your foundation, which in turn can straighten your leaning chimney.

These piers are made of galvanized steel and are hydraulically installed into the earth underneath your home, until they reach solid bedrock or strata. Then the piers are mounted with a steel bracket to either your foundation footing or the chimney structure to help achieve a more permanent stability.