Chimneys are a very important part of a house. The chimney is where the smoke goes to leave the house as you are using the fireplace, a wood stove, or even some other heat-producing appliance. It is necessary to keep the chimney in good shape so that it works properly and continues to look nice year after year. Today we wanted to talk about how water damages your chimney and a few measures you can take to prevent it.
Water Damage and Your Chimney
Water can damage a chimney in many ways. The chimney can crack, chip, and fall away from the structure. One of the most common ways that a chimney is damaged is when water freezes and then thaws. As the water is thawing, some of it can be absorbed by the brick. If the temperatures get really cold again, then the water that was absorbed by the brick can freeze and this will make it expand inside the brick. After the water melts again, there will be small holes in the bricks. These holes will continue to get larger until the chimney cracks.
If there is enough water damage over time, then the chimney flue can become damaged and that can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning. The water damage can also extend to the walls and ceiling in the room where the chimney is located. There can be water spots and most likely mold will be growing.
The best way to prevent water damage to a chimney is to waterproof it. The waterproof product that we recommend is designed to prevent new moisture from penetrating the bricks. However, any moisture that is already inside the bricks will still be able to get out of the brick.
Other ways to prevent water from getting into the chimney is to use a chimney cap. This cap will protect the flue from collecting water or snow. A damaged chimney crown or flashing should always be repaired or replaced. The mortar joints should also be repaired if there are gaps or the mortar is missing. A cricket can be installed to stop leaks when there is water runoff that goes towards the chimney.
It is usually best to call a chimney expert and have them inspect your chimney every year. They will also be able to give it a thorough cleaning while they are checking for any damage. Continuous maintenance on the chimney will prevent major damage in the future. Call us at 610-626-2439 if you would like to schedule a chimney inspection or cleaning now that winter is coming to an end.
The Chimney Sweeps here at Lou Curley’s Chimney Service are CSIA (Chimney Safety Institute of America) Certified and we hold several other certifications as well. We’ve worked with several historic chimneys in the area and we also work with newly constructed chimneys to help ensure structural security and continued safety.