4 Common Reasons for Chimney Moisture Damage
Next to fire, water is probably the most dangerous element for your chimney – at least when it infiltrates the system. Chimney repair technicians deal with all levels of water damage, and every tech will tell you that it’s imperative to have signs of chimney water intrusion repaired as soon as they’re spotted.
Four causes of a chimney is taking on water
No chimney cap or damaged chimney cap
Chimney caps sit atop the chimney and provide a shield against water that would fall down into the flue. If you have no chimney cap, it’s a smart move to have one installed. If your existing cap is warped, rusted or otherwise damaged, either have it repaired or replaced.
Deteriorated chimney crown
The concrete chimney crown, also at the top of your chimney, is a protective layer that covers everything except the flue opening. Chimney crowns keep falling rain and snow out of the interior areas of your chimney and away from the bricks below the crown. Crowns can be rebuilt or repaired, depending on their condition.
Damaged chimney bricks will allow water to infiltrate and potentially cause system-wide damage. Moisture can easily seep into cracks in bricks and crumbling mortar joints. When the moisture freezes, it expands and starts a cycle of ongoing deterioration.
Damaged or missing chimney flashing
Chimney flashing is the material that blocks the gap between your roof and exterior chimney. When warped, rusted or dislodged, flashing cannot keep water from running down into unseen areas of the home, where it can affect not only the chimney masonry but also insulation, beams, wallboards and more.
The issues described above can end up costing a homeowner thousands of dollars in repair work. Fortunately, you can prevent most major water-related chimney damage by keeping your eyes open to early signs of problems.
Signs of a chimney leak
Contact your chimney repair company if you notice any of these leaky chimney signs.
- Damp sections on the walls or ceiling near the fireplace
- White staining on the exterior chimney – an indication that water is seeping into the bricks and leeching out salts
- Water inside the firebox
- A rusted, squeaky fireplace damper
- Musty odors coming from the fireplace or in the attic or crawl spaces
Preventing moisture damage in your chimney
An annual chimney inspection will allow you to spot early signs of damage to your chimney structure and its components and get repairs made quickly. If water damage is already present in your chimney system, technicians have several ways to address it.
Damaged chimney caps, crowns and flashing can be repaired/replaced to halt water damage from continuing to cause more chimney damage.
Loose (spalling) or cracked bricks can be replaced.
This is a process that scrapes out crumbling mortar and replaces it with fresh compound.
If damage is significant, parts of your chimney or the entire chimney can be properly rebuilt.
A water sealant professionally applied to the chimney will help to prevent further water damage through existing cracks in the masonry and chimney crown.
Solve chimney leaks and keep your chimney safe
Chimney Solutions of Alpharetta, GA, provides homeowners in the Atlanta region with expert chimney inspections, chimney leak detection and resolution, all chimney repairs, chimney rebuilding and chimney cleaning.
We’ll do the job right the first time. Call us today at (770) 255-1300.