Most homes now operate on modern furnaces. A chimney that travels straight down through the center of a home is no longer needed unless there is an attached (and usable) fireplace on some level. Other chimneys are on the outside walls of homes. When you do not need the chimney anymore but it appears it may be falling apart, it may be removed, repaired or repurposed as the exit point for furnace exhaust. If you cannot decide if you want to remove the chimney, repair it or repurpose it, here are some arguments for chimney repair, removal and/or repurposing that you may want to consider and which may help you make the right decision.

The Chimney Acts as a Load-Bearing Support

This is one major reason for repairing a chimney rather than removing it. Because some part of the chimney (or all of it) as it travels upward through your home supports a wall, a ceiling or part of the roof, it cannot be removed without the risk of that area of your home collapsing inward. When the chimney acts as a load-bearing support, it needs to stay put, and if it is falling apart on the outside of your home, you will need a chimney repair expert to fix it.

The Chimney Is Large and Consists of Some Very Heavy Stones

Another reason to repair your chimney rather than remove it is that any chimney that is overly large and/or consists of some very heavy stones will only cause enormous damage if left unrepaired. Imagine sitting down to a meal and then having one of your chimney's enormous stones break off and come crashing through the ceiling into your home's interior. If you cannot remove a large or large-stoned chimney such as this, you will need to make sure that none of the stones ever come loose. Maintenance and safety checks are the only way to prevent more damage and a possible tragedy when you have this type of chimney.

Arguments for Removing the Chimney or Repurposing It

If the chimney is small and cannot be repurposed as a vent for your furnace because it is positioned too far from your furnace, then you may want to have it removed and/or filled with cement to keep pests from entering your home. If it is on the outside wall of your home and there is no fireplace or wood stove attached to it on the inside of your home, you can have the chimney removed under these circumstances as well. Repurposing your chimney as a vent only works if your furnace is close enough to the chimney that an exhaust pipe can go straight from the furnace into the chimney within a short distance. Your chimney repair expert can install a filter or grate over the top of the chimney so that no pests (e.g., squirrels, birds, etc.) can enter and get stuck.

To learn more, contact a chimney repair company like Excel Chimney & Fireplace Service