The last thing any homeowner wants to hear is that they have a chimney leak. The worst time to hear it? During burn season. Water can wreck a masonry system, and it must be repaired immediately in order to prevent serious damage during freezing weather.
Signs of a Leak
Most homeowners won’t notice a leak until damage is visible, which means there is extensive hidden damage. The best way to catch a leak in its earliest stages–or prevent it altogether–is to schedule annual chimney inspections with a professional. What you can do in between service appointments is simple: pay attention to the signs.
Stains – Interior stains that appear dark in color means there is a leak inside. White stains on the outside of the masonry (efflorescence) is a sign that water is moving through the masonry and leaving minerals on the outside. Rust stains on the top of the chimney means the cap or chase is leaking.
Dripping – Either sounds of dripping or visible dripping means there is a leak in the system. Dripping sounds indicate a hidden leak that’s affecting your system inside.
Odors – Stale odors and those of mildew or mold indicate water damage inside. Not only is there water present in the system, but it’s been present long enough for bacteria to grow.
Leaks – When there is a leak in the roof, not just near the chimney, it is a good indication there might be a chimney leak. Water enters through the masonry, then runs through ceilings, walls, and floors until it reaches a low point and pools before forming a leak. If you have a leak in any part of your house, call your chimney sweep right away. A contractor may fix the damage, but a chimney sweep will fix the problem.
In addition to these obvious signs of a chimney leak, there are other things you should pay attention to. If you notice a drop in efficiency, you may have a chimney leak. A difficult to light fire, one that is especially smoky, dense smoke leaving the chimney, and less heat output are all signs of an efficiency problem.
What Water Can Do
As described above, water leaks do not only affect the chimney system, but can also do substantial damage throughout the home. It can cost a large amount of cash to repair, may require an insurance claim, and can lead to serious problems if left unchecked. The repercussions of a chimney leak can last years or a lifetime. The only way to prevent it is to prevent leaks.
Prevention, Prevention, Prevention!
The only way to prevent chimney leaks is to make sure the chimney is in good shape year after year. Annual chimney inspections are the one time a chimney expert gets a look at the system, can catch a problem before it’s a serious hazard, and can even waterproof it for added protection.
White Glove Waterproofs Chimneys
At White Glove Chimney and Air Duct, we prepare chimneys for winter weather by protecting them from water damage. We install, replace, and repair caps, crowns, and flashing. We repair masonry, and then we apply a vapor-permeable water repellent that protects your masonry year-after-year without changing the look of the chimney or affecting the way it works.
Call today at 530-924-3164.