Winter has still got its grip on us across the U.S. No matter where you live, you’ve probably grown tired of the weather advisories, the snow, sleet, rain, and freezing temps. We have too! At White Glove Chimney and Air Duct, we know that winters like this can wreak havoc on a chimney system–even one that is well constructed and maintained. We encourage our customers to be on the lookout for water damage throughout the home which may indicate a chimney leak. If you see signs of water damage to the chimney or home, do not call a roofer or general contractor! Call the chimney professionals who can get it assessed and repaired correctly.
Chimney Leaks and Winter Damage
Water can enter a neglected and damaged chimney during any season of the year. Spring, in particular, is a time that leaks are noticed because of the heavy rainfall and due to winter damage which allows water into the system.
The freeze/thaw cycle which occurs throughout winter can cause extensive damage to the masonry and components of the chimney. First, water may enter cracks and gaps in the masonry, then freeze as temperatures drop. As the water freezes, it expands and breaks apart the masonry. When the temperature rises again, the water thaws and moves further into the masonry. This process is repeated throughout winter and can cause serious damage, especially during long and cold winters like this one. You may have winter damage that has gone unnoticed, but as the days become warmer, you may find signs of a leak. This needs to be taken seriously because water can destroy a masonry chimney from the inside out.
Signs of a Leak
-Staining on the chimney exterior, including white, powdering stains and red/brown rust stains
-Staining on the chimney interior, including black or dark green mold stains
-Spalling bricks and mortar, loose bricks, crumbling mortar, pieces of mortar around the base of the chimney
-Evidence of dripping in the system (visible dripping or sounds)
-Odors of mold or mildew
-Rusted and malfunctioning parts such as the damper
-Leaks around the chimney or in other parts of the house
It’s important to call a chimney professional as soon as you see a sign of a leak in your home. It may be your first instinct to call a plumber, a roofer, or general contractor. These trade professionals can absolutely fix the problem if the problem is the roof itself, the plumbing in an upper restroom, or other cause. If your home has a chimney and you have a leak after heavy rainfall, the first call should be to a chimney professional. Trust the licensed and certified chimney professionals at White Glove. We can assess the leak and can protect against future leaks by making necessary repairs and installations. We can even protect your masonry completely by applying water repellent that lasts year after year.