Your chimney is designed to last, but there are some factors that can cause serious damage, deterioration, and even require a rebuild. Water penetration is one occurrence that can shorten the life of your chimney and cost you a fortune in repairs. It’s easier to avoid the leak in the first place rather than repairing the damages that are inevitable if measures aren’t taken to prevent it.
Water and Your Chimney
Masonry chimneys are significantly affected by water penetration because of their make-up. Masonry is constructed of various materials, all of which are adversely affected by water. In fact, if water penetrates your masonry it can destroy the system from the inside out causing:
- Rusted fireplace accessories and doors
- Rot and decay of adjacent wood and wall coverings
- Water-stained and weakened walls, ceilings, floors, and masonry
- Deteriorated central heating and duct system
- Damaged flue liner
- Collapsed hearth support and chimney structure
- Deteriorated metal or masonry firebox assemblies
- Chimney settlement
- Rusted damper and firebox assemblies
- Clogged clean out area
What You Can Do
The best thing you can do for your chimney system is to schedule routine maintenance. When you schedule a regular chimney sweep and annual inspection, a system weakness is more likely to be caught before it becomes a leak. You may not notice that your chimney cap is crooked or that your flashing is loose, but a chimney expert will. Necessary repairs can be made before a leak occurs, causing a drop in efficiency, increased fire risk, and even health concerns. In addition to scheduling these important appointments, you can assess your chimney yourself at intervals that are convenient for you.
What To Watch For:
- Listen for water.
If you can hear dripping in your fireplace or distantly in the chimney system, then you have a problem. Call a professional.
- Look for water.
You can see signs of water on masonry. On the exterior you might see white stains on the brick. This means water has penetrated, leaving minerals on the outside surface. In the interior it can look like mold in the firebox – and it probably is. If you see or smell mold or mildew in your system, this is a health risk and means a serious leak has occurred. Call a professional!
- Check that the chimney is capped.
Don’t overlook the cap because it’s on the roof. You can see it from the yard, and will notice if it’s crooked or missing. You can even use binoculars to make certain it’s in good shape. Even between service appointments, Billy Sweet Chimney Sweep will come out and replace a missing cap.
Hire a CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep® (CCS)
Billy Sweet Chimney Sweeps repairs leaks, installs and replaces faulty caps, crowns, flashing , and damaged components. We put customer safety and comfort first, and we know that water leaks put families at risk. For good measure, we offer waterproofing services that gives your chimney the added protection it needs for another year of seasonal weather.
If you suspect a chimney leak, call Billy Sweet Chimney Sweep today at 800-248-4900 or request an appointment online using our online scheduling tool!