Water is an extremely damaging element. We don’t always think about the rain we need for normal existence as something that can cause damage to our property, but we need to adjust our thinking where this is concerned. The chimney is good proof of the damage water can cause. Here are a few reasons to waterproof your chimney before spring and summer rains take their toll:
- Spalling: Bricks are very hard, but they’re also very porous and take on water damage over time. Water seeps into the tiny holes in brick and goes through a freeze-thaw process just like any other porous material. This causes the bricks to crack, spall, and chip.
- Cracks in Mortar: Mortar is designed to hold brick, block, or stone together and provide structural security. It is, like brick, very strong, but porous. Water gets into the small holes in mortar, and goes through the freeze-thaw process, which creates cracks and separation from the material it holds together. Water damage is often the reason you see jagged cracks down older brick walls.
- Cracks or Deterioration in Flue: Water that falls down into the flue can cause serious problems with the clay lining. It can cause it to chip away, crack, or even break away. A chimney cap and properly working and waterproofed chimney crown prevent water from entering the chimney.
- Structural Integrity Compromised: Water damage eventually weakens the structure of the chimney and creates a potentially dangerous situation for your home and its occupants.
- Odors: Water in the chimney flue or trapped in the brick and mortar can lead to mold or mildew, which also leads to unsavory odors from the fireplace.
- Stains: Soot stains, creosote, and rust stains are very common in chimneys that are not protected from water damage. Rust stains may be present on the exterior of the chimney or anywhere within the chimney or fireplace. They may not always be evident because of creosote buildup, so regular chimney cleaning is a must.
- Rust: Rust does more than stain the chimney or firebox; it also causes things to break or stick. The damper must be able to open and close as needed. Otherwise you’re putting your family’s health at risk. Make sure there’s no rust on the damper or inside the base of the chimney and no sign of rust in any other moving part of the chimney.
- Rot: Wood rot is often evident around chimneys in which the flashing, crown, or cap have been compromised. Repair and waterproofing will help prevent water damage from reaching the wood beams in the attic and other areas of your home.
Give us a call at Lou Curley’s Chimney service at 610-626-2439 if you’d like to schedule a full chimney and fireplace inspection or discuss issues you’re having with your chimney. Both of the chimney inspectors who work here are CSIA (Chimney Safety Institute of America) certified and pursue continued education and additional certifications throughout the year. We’re confident that we’re the solution to all of your chimney needs.