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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.

Let’s Keep the Water Out

If you don't want to have numerous problems with the maintenance and repair of your chimney, make sure it is protected from water intrusion.

If you don’t want to have numerous problems with the maintenance and repair of your chimney, make sure it is protected from water intrusion.

If you’d rather not have pesky problems or unwanted costly repairs to your chimney, protecting it from water intrusion is a good proactive approach.

According to the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA), water is your chimney’s worst enemy. The amount of damage water, from a leaky chimney, may be able to do to your home can be monumental. From the first early signs of water penetration such as black mold staining on exterior surfaces and cracks in the crown wash to more serious symptoms such as staining on ceilings, water intrusion can be frustrating at best. If you have a masonry chimney, you may notice problems such as deteriorated mortar joints and loose bricks around the top of the chimney or even the face of brick breaking off (spalling). When water gets into your chimney during winter months, the freezing causes expansion and then the thawing can cause flaking, cracks and bond breaks. Fortunately we, at Blue Sky Chimney Sweeps, are ready to battle water penetrating your chimney. Contact us to help you with a few of the following tactics to keep the water out.

Chimney Caps

An important piece in keeping water out of your chimney is a chimney cap. A full-coverage chimney cap with an overhanging lid with drip edge (to direct water away from the sides of the chimney structure) and animal guard/spark arrester will accomplish important tasks like protecting your chimney from water and intruding animals as well as keeping sparks from starting a fire on the roof. Chimney caps come in a variety of different materials, mounting options and lid types. Blue Sky Chimney Sweeps offers various chimney caps and our certified professionals can help pick out the right design and fit for your chimney. Our staff at Blue Sky Chimney Sweeps can show you options and install your new cap for you.


Playing a key role in protecting your chimney from water intrusion, flashing keeps water from entering the roof area around the seams where your chimney meets the roof, when it is correctly fitted and installed. Providing professional custom flashing construction and installation, our technicians at Blue Sky Chimney Sweeps are trained in the inspection process and the construction of traditional metal flashing as well as flexible flashing.


The ultimate in water penetration protection, waterproofing your chimney can interrupt the deterioration process and minimize the need for repairs as well as potentially extend the life of your chimney. Using expertise and experience, our specialists at Blue Sky Chimney Sweeps use a waterproofing sealant especially made for masonry chimneys that is 100% vapor permeable. This is important because it allows your chimney to “breathe” by letting vapors and gases escape while protecting the masonry from water intrusion. Waterproofing is an investment that many find saves dollars by avoiding future repair work to fix damaging erosion from exposure to water.

Keeping water out of your fireplace and chimney structure, an important task in maintaining and prolonging the life of your chimney, is a job Blue Sky Chimney Sweeps takes seriously. Schedule an appointment with one of our CSIA-certified technicians today to begin protecting your chimney from water penetration.