A chimney is built to last. In fact, it should be standing long after your home, but it may not be functional. Even strong, well-constructed masonry can be damaged by water. Water penetration is the most damaging thing that can happen to your chimney system, and it’s preventable.
The Problem with Water
Masonry is constructed of various materials, most of which are adversely affected by water, so prevention is important. If the chimney system is penetrated by water it can cause substantial damage to all parts of the chimney and home including:
- Rusted damper assemblies
- Deteriorated metal or masonry firebox assemblies
- Rusted fireplace accessories and glass doors
- Rotting adjacent wood and ruined wall coverings
- Water stained walls and ceiling
- Clogged clean out area
- Deteriorated central heating system
- Stained chimney exterior
- Decayed exterior mortar
- Cracked or deteriorated flue lining system
- Collapsed hearth support
- Tilted or collapsed chimney structure
- Chimney settlement
Water damages the chimney from the inside out and is hard to recognize before there is a real problem. By the time the average homeowner detects a chimney leak, it’s caused damage behind the scenes. It’s best to assess regularly and make yourself aware of the signs of damage.
- Look and listen for dripping in the chimney and fireplace. Dripping means water is in the system already and might have caused damage.
- Moldy/mildewy odors from the fireplace and chimney clean-out area means water has been in the chimney long enough for bacteria to grow.
- Dark stains on the interior or white stains on the exterior are a clear indication of water penetration.
- A leak in any part of the house is most likely from the chimney. When water enters the home by way of the chimney, it can run through ceilings and walls for several feet before it pools and leaks through.
- Missing or damaged flashing or chimney cap means that water is falling into the flue opening and/or into the intersection of roof and chimney.
Call a Professional and Avoid Chimney Water Damage
When you suspect a chimney leak, your first call should be to your chimney sweep. A general contractor will not know how to properly assess and repair your masonry chimney. You should also call your insurance provider.
When your chimney sweep arrives, you will get a diagnostic assessment. Our sweeps are experienced in not only detecting damage but also finding the source of the leak itself. Then so that we can repair the damage, and fix the problem so there’s no reoccurrence.
We like to finish the job by preventing water penetration in the future. Our technicians can apply a waterproofing sealant that prevents water molecules from entering the chimney at all while allowing vapors and smoke to continue to escape.
Are you interested in preventing a chimney leak before it causes catastrophic damage to your masonry? Look no further than White Glove Chimney and Air Duct. Start your scheduling now and you can avoid damage from summer storms and be ready for winter.