How Does the Age of a Chimney Impact its Ability to Stand Up to Water Intrusion?

While virtually any chimney can leak, older chimneys are prone to more of the issues that contribute to leaking. And over time, moisture intrusion on a chimney will impact the state and structure of the chimney and eventually lead to the need for some kind of maintenance.

Prefabricated Manufactured Chimneyswater

* Most notably, galvanized chase covers will begin to pit and deteriorate allowing water to seep into the wooden structure.

* Water running down a pipe can contribute to rust forming on the metal works or interfere with the mechanical parts of any attached appliance (i.e. fireplace, gas logs, etc.).

* Continuous introduction of water into a wooden chase either between the metal chimney and wooden framing or between wooden structure and the vinyl, brick or stone veneer will eventually lead to rotting of the wooden structure. Regular annual inspections as recommended by the Chimney Safety Institute of America and the National Fire Protection Association can help to anticipate any age related leaking issues before they become a problem requiring extensive repairs.

Masonry Chimneys

As masonry ages, it becomes more soft and porous. This goes for the brick and the mortar.

* Water exposure can cause the bond between courses (rows of bricks) or mortar and stone to break (cracking between the brick/stone and the mortar).

* Water saturation and subsequent freeze/thaw with colder temperatures can cause bricks to crack or spall (the face of the brick pops off), or even cause bricks fall off the chimney altogether.

Aging brickwork becomes even more vulnerable to water intrusion. Again, regular annual chimney inspections can result in recommendations that will head off the inconvenience of water entering you home unexpectedly by way of your chimney.

Flashing on Any Chimney

Almost all conventional flashing has some caulk used in its construction. As the caulk ages, it becomes vulnerable to drying and cracking leading to water seeping into the area between the roof and the chimney structure. Flashing should be monitored during regular annual inspections by a CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep who can verify if your issue needs attention and can provide suggestions for resolution. Let our trained professionals here at Blue Sky Chimney Sweeps|Bless Your Hearth help determine overall condition, need for maintenance, issues with functionality, and even offer solutions for long-term issues. Regular inspections/maintenance can help insure there are no issues related to moisture exposure.

By Renee Brigman | Tagged with: Tags: , , , | Leave a Comment