Water is very damaging to outside structures, especially the chimney, because it stands up taller than the rooftop. We’ve seen some pretty bad summer storms this year, and your chimney has been right in the damaging path of heavy winds, hail, and rain. Here are six ways to prevent water damage to your chimney:

Chimney Cap – The chimney cap sits atop the chimney and protects the flue from water. It serves a dual purpose as it also protects the chimney from unwanted visitors. Small animals and birds often seek refuge in the chimney and end up creating a blockage in the chimney. Unfortunately some die inside the flue and cause a horrible smell of decay in your home. A chimney cap prevents this from happening.

Chimney Crown – The crown is the slanted concrete around the flue opening. It should create a path that allows water to run off and away from the chimney instead of allowing it to drain down the face.

Regular Maintenance – Masonry decays over time. It needs to be inspected regularly and repaired as needed. Masonry decay creates a very serious problem for the chimney and for the home itself. The home may take significant damage if the chimney loses structural integrity and collapses.

Chimney Flashing – Flashing is installed in the area where the chimney goes into the roof. It is usually made of metal and attached to the chimney and the roof. It prevents water from running down the chimney and into the roof, creating water damage along the way.

Chimney Cricket – Chimneys on steep roofs may need a little more protection against water damage. A cricket is a small A-frame-shaped structure that helps direct water away from the back of the chimney as it runs down the roof.

Waterproofing – All masonry is susceptible to water damage and must be protected. Waterproofing agents today are much more effective than those used in previous years. They allow water vapors to exit but do not allow water to enter into the brick or masonry.

People tend to believe that waterproofing the chimney is expensive. Sometimes you can almost hear the groan they’re trying to suppress because they fear that it’s going to cost a small fortune. Fortunately, we’re offering special offers throughout July and August that will help greatly reduce the costs of chimney maintenance.

Today’s waterproofing agents often come with a five to ten year warranty. It’s really that easy to protect your masonry chimney from water damage year after year. We specialize in applying waterproofing agents as well as all of the other chimney maintenance options listed above.

Your fireplace and chimney are much more than ornaments that make your home visually appealing. They are appliances that need regular service and maintenance. Always call on a CSIA (Chimney Safety Institute of America) certified chimney sweep like the ones employed here at Lou Curley’s Chimney Service to correctly identify problems, clean, inspect, and repair your chimney.