Masonry chimneys are designed to withstand time and the elements. They are often standing long after a house is destroyed for one reason or another. The same characteristics that make the chimney durable and work properly also make it susceptible to damage. The porous nature of masonry allows vapors and heat to escape through the masonry. However, it can also allow water in if necessary precautions aren’t made.
Prevent Water Damage
You can prevent water damage by hiring a certified chimney sweep to waterproof your chimney. During this process your chimney sweep will apply an industrial strength sealant to the exterior of the chimney. This sealant is specially formulated to keep water particles out, while still allowing vapors to escape.
There are other ways to prevent water damage. This includes installing or repairing the chimney cap, crown, and flashing. All of these components of the chimney system are important to prevent water penetration.
- The chimney cap is essential to keep weather out. It covers the flue opening while still allowing smoke to escape. If the cap is installed incorrectly or damaged by a storm or animal, water can fall directly into the chimney flue.
- The chimney crown is the top of the chimney, covering the area from the flue liner to the edge of the chimney. It’s a mortar cover that is usually custom cast for the chimney. If cast incorrectly, the chimney crown can fail to drain water, causing it to pool and deteriorate the surface, resulting in cracks and holes. Once the cracks exist, the cycle of freezing and thawing causes just a small amount of water to cause a lot of damage!
- The chimney flashing is one of the most troublesome components of the chimney system because homeowners attempt to install it themselves. This often results in chimney leaks because the area where the chimney meets the roof is one of the most susceptible to water penetration, and should be installed correctly. Depending on the material and slant of the roof, a certified chimney sweep would install flashing a certain way. When installed incorrectly it will cost you in extensive damages in the future.
Your Leaky Chimney
When your chimney leaks it causes expensive and sometimes catastrophic damage. What happens if measures aren’t taken to prevent water penetration? It can cause rusted parts such as dampers, accessories, and doors. Also, rotted wood and walls, deteriorated metal, firebox assemblies, exterior mortar, and flue liner. Consequently, it can also stain masonry, hearth, ceiling, and walls. Also, a collapsed hearth support, chimney structure, and chimney settlement. In addition, water mixing with creosote and ashes can cause an awful odor in your home during burning season and during the summer. It’s best to avoid any kind of moisture in the chimney system whatsoever.
Take the first step toward preventing chimney leaks and water damage in your chimney system today and call the professionals at Northwest Fireplace and Chimney! You can also contact us online.