So what is the big deal about a damaged chimney anyway? You can still use it, can’t you? Whether you have a masonry or metal chimney, it can be very problematic not only if you have a water leak, but if that water leak is causing damage to the heating appliances connected to them as well.
In the case of metal chimneys, if they are damaged rain and snow can enter into the flue producing rust and acid stains that will cause corrosion in the horizontal connectors and the clean out doors at the base of the flue. In masonry chimneys, the out crown of the chimney can absorb a lot of water which makes them incredibly brittle and susceptible to corrosion. When water can get into your house, the damage can be very destructive even if you can’t readily see it.
This is not merely a bit of inconvenience it is also incredibly dangerous if you leave your chimney unattended in its damaged state. If any part of the inner workings of the chimney is damaged or broken, it can block the chimney resulting in the increase of highly dangerous carbon monoxide in the house.
In addition, if any heating appliances like wood stoves or furnaces are connected to the chimney, water can get into them causing rust damage as well as damage to the electrical controls. These repairs are quite costly. Having water in your chimney can also invite all manner of insects and rodents to take up residence in your chimney not to mention mold that will only make matters worse.
With all of these different problems that can erupt to make your life miserable, there is every reason to make sure that a chimney leak does not happen to you. One of the ways you can prevent a chimney leak is to watch very closely for any signs.
White efflorescent stains on the outside and inside of your chimney may be one of the most obvious clues to a water leak. Mineral salt is left behind after the water evaporates so this may be indicative of an interior leak in the flue. While white stains may result from water getting in through the chimney cap, black and brown stains on the exterior might be an indication of water getting in by roof runoff from a clogged gutter.
Soot stains can also be a clue to damage. If you find soot at the top of your chimney then it is a pretty strong indication that there is an improper equipment adjustment or a draft operating problem.
Checking the interior of the house for water leaks may be a start, but if you see any of these externals signs on your chimney, it is essential that you call in a professional to have them take a look, better analyze the situation and come up with a plan of attack.
Hopefully, all these indicators and information about chimney leaks has been helpful. Make sure a water leak in the chimney doesn’t happen to you. Call Lou Curley’s Chimney Service at 610-626-2439 any time for a consultation or to schedule an appointment for any of our services.