Especially in areas with high rainfall or lots of snow, water can cause many issues with your chimney. Over time, if water damage is not addressed, it can mean major structural problems for your chimney. Here are a few of the ways water damages chimneys, and how these problems can be addressed.
Many people are familiar with the damage the freeze-thaw cycle can do to pavement, concrete, and asphalt, causing potholes and cracks. People don’t always realize that the same cycle can cause extensive damage to your chimney. The damage is caused when water makes its way into the tiny cracks in the masonry, then the temperature drops and the water freezes and expands. This expansion causes the masonry to crack or crumble.
Freeze-thaw damage is only one type of problem that water can cause for your chimney. Water damage can also occur when water gets inside the chimney, causing the masonry to flake, also known as spalling. Both freeze-thaw damage and spalling can cause major structural issues, even causing the chimney crown to crack and crumble. Other issues can include a leaning chimney, overall structural failure, water seeping into your home and causing water stains and rot, a damaged firebox, and rusting of fireplace accessories and parts.
The first step to repairing water damage in your chimney is to find the damage. The best way to make sure your chimney is in top shape is to keep up with your annual chimney inspections. A certified chimney technician knows how to find the signs of damage early so that they don’t become major issues. Chimney technicians can also perform repair and maintenance work such as chimney crown repair and replacement, removal and replacement of spalling bricks, and waterproofing.
Of course, the best way to deal with water damage is to put some effort into preventing it from happening in the first place. Taking steps to prevent water damage can save you from costly repairs and extend the useful life of your chimney. Having a chimney cap installed can help keep water out of your chimney. You can also ask your chimney technician about waterproofing sealants that can be applied to your chimney. These coatings will allow your chimney to work properly while preventing water from getting into the masonry.
Give us a call at 610-626-2439 to schedule an appointment for a consultation. Our chimney experts at Lou Curley’s Chimney service are CSIA (Chimney Safety Institute of America) Certified. You’re sure to get the best quality care when you call us for a consultation, chimney inspection, chimney cleaning, or chimney repair.