Water damage from summer thunderstorms can wreak havoc on your chimney, and it could end up costing you thousands of dollars to fix it. It’s always better to prevent chimney leaks in the first place, than to deal with the eventuality; that’s where waterproofing comes into play. Waterproofing your chimney should be a part of your overall maintenance program, but it’s an area many homeowners tend to neglect.
Why Waterproof Your Chimney
Water can ruin your chimney in several ways. Water damage can erode the mortar joints over time. It will weaken the joints and undermine the structure of your chimney. Water can cause cracks in the masonry, and rust the steel and metal parts. You can perform an unofficial inspection by shining a very bright flashlight into your fireplace and up the chimney to see if you can see any signs of rust or water.
Waterproofing your chimney
Your chimney is very susceptible to moisture, but it doesn’t take a lot to protect it. Before waterproofing your chimney it’s important to:
- Install a Chimney Cap: Without a chimney cap your chimney will be very vulnerable to thunderstorm damage in the summer, as there will be nothing to preventing water from seeping in at the top. A chimney cap also prevents small animals and birds from being able to build nests in your chimney.
- Repair Mortar Joints: Cracked or faulty mortar joints provide yet another place for water to hide, and when the water seeps into the chimney interior, the structure will deteriorate more quickly. The process in which bricks absorb moisture and begin to peel off in layers is called spalling. Spalling will eventually lead to chimney weakness.
- Reinforce the Flashing: The flashing is the metal or aluminum seal that is put on the area where the chimney and the roof come together. This seal must always be firm in order to avoid water seepage.
When the cracks and any other damage have been repaired, the chimney can then be treated with water repellant. This will keep the water out, but still allow the surface of the chimney to breathe and not trap the moisture. This process prevents additional water from penetrating the surface of the chimney while allowing previously trapped water to evaporate through tiny pores.
Do you need to waterproof your chimney? Call in the professionals to inspect it for you, make the necessary repairs, and get it thunderstorm resistant. Give us a call at 610-626-2439 today.