How to Spot Damage on Your Masonry Chimney

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Masonry, while being extremely strong and the choice of siding for many homes, is porous and susceptible to water damage. It needs to be sealed every three to five years to prevent water penetration. You can usually see signs of water damage if you know what to look for. So that’s what we’re going to talk about today – how to spot water damage to your masonry chimney.

Cracks and Spalling

Cracks in the masonry and spalling are the easiest types of damage to see, even from a distance. You can stand in the yard and look at your chimney to see if there is any visible cracking or if the bricks are beginning to crumble. The mortar between the bricks may seem to recede or fall away, leaving a deeper gap than it should. All of those are signs of spalling and water damage. You may notice:

  • A drop in efficiency of your fireplace and chimney.
  • Chimney liner damage.
  • Drips of water in the firebox.
  • Any type of water or dampness in the firebox.
  • Brick or mortar pieces inside the fireplace or in the landscaping around your home.

Chimney Leaks

Leaks may appear as dark circles on the ceiling or on the wall. You may happen to notice water damage in the form of rust on the fireplace damper or streaks of water down the interior of the fireplace. Or you may not notice any damage at all until a small leak has caused the wood in the roof to rot and collapse. Unseen water damage can cause very serious problems.

Prevent Water Damage

The only way to prevent water damage is to apply a trusted waterproofing agent to the chimney every three to five years as it reads in the instructions. We use and recommend ChimneySaver products because they are very easy to brush or spray on and they provide excellent protection against water. These products allow water to evaporate through tiny holes in the finish, but they do not allow new water to penetrate the brick or mortar.

Fireplace Safety and Chimney Inspections in Drexel Hill

We have two CSIA Certified chimney sweeps standing by to assist you with your chimney needs. Give us a call at 610-626-2439 to schedule an appointment for a chimney inspection or cleaning. We provide chimney services throughout the Main Line region.

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