Chimneys here in the Philadelphia, PA area suffer through a barrage of elemental damage through each season. Winter brings a lot of snow and ice, spring pelts your chimney with heavy rain and winds, summertime heat is merciless and can cause metal to buckle, and autumn drops several pounds of leaves onto your rooftop. Pennsylvania is an incredible place to live; just make sure your chimney is prepared to handle everything nature throws at it.
Oxidation, often referred to as rust, can destroy your chimney over time. The process of oxidation occurs when oxygen interacts with metal objects. It is a process that cannot be avoided entirely, but can be slowed with proper maintenance techniques. Please call a certified chimney sweep if you’re seeing signs of rust on your chimney cap or anywhere within your chimney.
Places You May See Rust
On the outside of the chimney – Rust stain and residue may drain down the outside of your chimney, creating an unsightly reddish stain. Rusty streaks often mean that your chimney cap or the metal covering over your chimney are beginning to break down. They will likely need to be replaced.
On your chimney flashing – The flashing is the metal that protects the joining area between the chimney and the roof. Rusty flashing can lead to leaks around the base of the chimney and lead to structural damage. Chimney flashing should be inspected yearly as part of your chimney inspection.
In the fire box – Rust may be found in the fire box itself if it has formed inside the flue or if it is draining from the chimney cap or inside the flue. This creates a serious hazard within your fireplace and needs attention immediately.
In the flue – Rust inside the flue is a sign that your flue is likely damaged and in need of replacement. Don’t build a fire in a fireplace with questionable problems such as rust. The risks of permanent damage to the chimney or a chimney fire are too high.
Tell-Tale Signs of Rust in the Chimney
One of the most obvious signs of rust is quite simply seeing it. Early detection signs also include hearing water dripping inside your chimney. The function of the chimney cap is to keep water out. Any audible water sounds from your chimney should be checked out immediately by a professional chimney sweep.
Most people don’t realize they have a rust problem until they see a significant amount of rust stain on their chimney. The damage is done by this time, and you will need to replace a few things. Discuss your rusty chimney problems with a certified chimney sweep with proper credentials for your area.
Several fraudulent chimney sweep companies have sprung up over the years. Make sure your chosen chimney sweep is certified to do business in the Philadelphia area, holds a current business license, and can provide credentials on request. A certified chimney sweep will carry his credentials with him and be able to answer your toughest questions on the spot.