OK, so it might be a little extreme to say that water “ruins” your chimney — there are few chimney problems that White Glove can’t make right, from small chimney repairs up to a full chimney rebuild. But without a doubt, water is the most tenacious, most unrelenting enemy your chimney system has, and given the opportunity, it can create some huge headaches, from damage to components in your chimney all the way through to wreaking havoc on the interior of your home. Here are just three of the ways that water can make a mess of your chimney system:
Water Causes Spalling Masonry
When we talk about spalling, we’re talking about cracking, flaking or crumbling masonry — definitely something you don’t want to see in your chimney. And, of course, water is the culprit. That kind of damage is a result of the freeze/thaw cycle: Water makes its way inside your masonry through small cracks or imperfections, and then freezing temperatures turn that water into ice. Ice expands, and that creates intense pressure. The result: Your masonry gives, with small cracks turning into big ones, once strong areas turning into crumbled messes or parts of your brick cracking clean off. Stopping spalling from happening means shoring up any small imperfections before the freeze/thaw cycle can do its work — and making sure you schedule your chimney inspection with Flue Season every single year is a great way to make sure your chimney is armed and ready to fend of moisture.
Water Erodes Your Mortar Joints
The basic make-up of your masonry chimney is brick or stone married with (and made watertight by) properly shaped mortar joints. Brick, stone and mortar are strong and durable materials, but by and large, mortar falls prey to the effects of moisture and time a lot more quickly. When you think about it, given access and time, water can cut out a canyon, so it seems understandable that such regular attacks would eventually wear down masonry materials. That wear leaves you with weakened, receded or degraded joints that let excess water in and create chimney leaks. Repairing that damage requires tuck pointing — the intricate, detailed work of removing damaged joints and carefully replacing them with strong, new joints. White Glove technicians are trained to do this complex work expertly, leaving you with strong, moisture-fighting masonry once again.
Water Feeds Mold
Chimney leaks can cause direct damage to your chimney and to the inside of your home, but that’s not the only concern. There’s a major secondary worry: mold growth. With moisture from your leaky chimney to feed it, mold can get a strong foothold inside your flue — most of our clients first notice it via a dank, musty odor. We remain vigilant about chimney mold because it can be damaging to your health or the health of other people living in your home — exposure to mold is linked with lots of different health concerns, from respiratory infections to eye and skin irritation and more. We don’t want our clients living with mold, and we’ll do everything we can to stop it, from safely and effectively re-mediating the mold to making the proper repairs to stop the leak or leaks that have been feeding that mold growth.
If you have worries about chimney leaks or other moisture issues, we’re always glad to help. Contact us, just give White Glove a call!