What is Causing my Chimney Discoloration?

Colors can add a lot to your landscaping or home interior, but it’s bad news if you see various colors staining your chimney. Any type of chimney discoloration is an indication that professional chimney care is needed as soon as possible. You can diagnose the issue yourself by becoming familiar with the causes of chimney staining. With the information below, you may be able to determine what is causing your chimney discoloration.

White, Yellow, Brown, or Green Stains

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Efflorescence is a common cause of chimney discoloration. Under certain conditions, efflorescence can happen to any type of brick work in which the masonry has water intrusion. What is efflorescence? It’s a fine, powdery deposit of water-soluble salts that can be seen on masonry as water evaporates.

Three conditions must be present to cause efflorescence. First, the masonry must contain water-soluble salts. Secondly, enough moisture must be in the masonry for the salts to become a soluble solution. Lastly, the soluble salts must have a path through which to migrate to the surface, where the salts are deposited and then they crystallize.

Efflorescence is usually white in color, but it is sometimes yellow, green or brown. When efflorescence is the cause of chimney discoloration, the color of the staining is determined by the types of minerals contained in the masonry.

Black Stains

Black and dark brown stains look like soot stains on a chimney. Excess creosote is usually the cause of black chimney stains. Creosote is a highly flammable material deposited each time a wood fire is burned. Some fire safety experts recommend that creosote be removed annually. Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) recommends chimney cleaning when creosote has built up to 1/8” in the flue. At the point when soot and creosote are staining the chimney exterior, the creosote has usually gotten thick enough to affect chimney operation due to obstruction. The risk of a chimney fire is greatly increased with excess creosote in the flue, as well.

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Green Chimney Stains

When water flows directly across the chimney stack, it is not unusual for green discoloration to occur. The staining, which may be dark green, is usually caused by mold and algae growth. Mold can infect your home, and it is a threat to good health. Mold can cause respiratory issues such as irritation, coughing, and congestion. The presence of mold anywhere in a home is an issue that should be treated.

Red and Brown Stains

In most cases, red or reddish-brown stains on or around the chimney are caused by rust. The rust typically comes from a chimney chase or chimney cap. Since the purpose of chimney chases                                             and chimney caps is to keep water out of your chimney system, rust      is a sign that repair or replacement of these essential accessories is needed without delay.

Call Professionals about Chimney Discoloration

No matter what type of chimney discoloration you are experiencing, it is important to call a chimney expert right away. In Atlanta, GA, and the surrounding area, Chimney Solutions is the place to call. Each of our chimney technicians is trained and CSIA-certified. You can be confident that with Chimney Solutions you will encounter chimney experts with the highest levels of expertise and professionalism. Call us at 770-771-5501 today regarding chimney discoloration and all of your chimney-related needs.


Chimney Solutions
1155 McFarland 400 Drive AlpharettaGA30004 USA 
 • (770) 255-1300
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