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While you may not have a great deal of knowledge in house construction and repair work, it can be very useful for a homeowner to gain a basic understanding of how a home functions, as well as some basic maintenance checks they can make. So, let’s take one area, the chimney. How can you tell if a chimney requires some maintenance?


Firstly, has anything happened to the house that could have damaged the chimney? For example, a bad storm, small earthquake, or another natural disaster. Has anything fallen on it like scaffolding or a tree limb that would compromise it? Even the weather, over time, can slowly erode mortar and bricks.


You can also perform a visual check of the chimney as this will tell you a lot about its overall condition. Step back far enough from the house so that you can see the entire chimney, from the ground to the roof. Does it appear to be listing or leaning at all? Can you see any signs that it is beginning to separate from the rest of the house? You will also want to look at the footings of the chimney to see if you notice any signs of deterioration. Take a screwdriver and scrape a bit of the mortar. Does it crumble easily?


If, after performing your own basic inspection, you can answer yes to any of these questions, your chimney may be in need of some maintenance and you may want to get it professionally inspected.

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