How Water Damage Affects Your Masonry Chimney

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Most people realize that the chimney can be an entry point for water and they think that buying a chimney cap is enough to protect it. Unfortunately, the masonry itself can also be vulnerable to, moisture, and over the course of a few years, this can cause a lot of damage. Too many homeowners do not do enough to shield the masonry, or to repair minor damage quickly. This can decrease chimney efficiency and also leave you with a massive repair bill.

Flaking

One of the most obvious signs of chimney deterioration is flaking of the brickwork. While this will not impede function, the damage can become severe over time. This flaking, or spalling, occurs when moisture gets below the surface of the brickwork. When this moisture freezes in winter, there is a lot of stress on the chimney surface, and some of it will break away. Water can also enter through the crown of the chimney so you must get this area check if you notice flaking. Protect the chimney brickwork with the right sealant products.

Weakening the Mortar

The mortar is the material that holds the chimney together, so when this weakens, the entire structure will become unsafe. The mortar takes repeated batterings from the elements. When this is combined with the heat from the fireplace there is a lot of stress on the chimney. When the mortar crumbles this will cause bricks to loosen. These exposed areas will deteriorate even faster from exposure.

Damage to Metal

Let’s not forget that a chimney system relies on metal components to function effectively. Water that enters can cause these metal parts to rust. Metal chimney liners and dampers can be affected. A rusting damper will not open or close fully, and this can cause smoke and gases to enter the home when you use the fireplace. This problem can also lead to heat loss when using the home’s heating system, and cause a sharp increase in utility bills.

Chimney Inspection and Cleaning in the Springfield Area

A chimney inspection carried out by a certified chimney sweep will quickly uncover any type of water damage. Even after getting an inspection one year, you should have it checked the following year. This way you can detect even the smallest signs of damage and deal with repairs before they become a strain on your budget. Chimney care revolves around annual inspection and cleaning, and this is the best way to ensure that your chimney has a long life. Call us at 610-626-2439 and we’ll get you scheduled as quickly as possible.

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