Company Blog

3 Ways Water Ruins Your Chimney

Chimneys sure are high, but they are not necessarily dry. As one of Upstate South Carolina’s premier chimney service companies, those of us at Blue Sky Chimney Sweeps see water as your chimney’s biggest adversary.


You might be able to leave a leaky faucet alone for a while, but a leaky chimney is another story. Small chimney leaks can very quickly lead to big chimney leaks, and big, expensive problems.

Unfortunately, it’s not at all difficult for water to find its way into a chimney that has not been adequately protected from the elements.

While we can certainly find resolutions for your leaking chimney, your best bet will always be to prevent leaks from the beginning. Water intrusion left unmanaged, can cause significant damage to the chimney structure as well as areas adjacent to your chimney. This damage is often expensive to repair.

Here are just a few ways that water can harm your chimney:

  • Water weakens your chimney’s masonry. There are a number of ways that your chimney brick and mortar may react to rainwater.
    Crumbling, cracking, or bricks falling apart altogether.
    Spalling (when the face of the bricks appears to have popped off).
    Holes in header joints
    The more your masonry breaks down in this way the more easily water will be able
    to get into your chimney and, possibly, into your home.Water creates cracks and/or voids inside and out.
  • Water creates cracks and/or voids inside and out. Water can cause both on the inside and the outside of your chimney.
    The relentless freeze/thaw cycle can also cause the bond to break between the brick and the mortar.
    Water washing over the exterior surface of the brick can erode out thin mortar joints.
    Water washing over the inside of your chimney can cause gaps to develop between the flue tiles. This would allow toxic gases attack the brick and mortar of your chimney from the inside out. In some cases it could cause the gases to leak through into your living space instead of venting safely outside.
    In some cases the damage may permit water to get inside your home, where it can stain the walls, ceilings, and floors around the chimney.
  • Water can cause mold, mildew, and lichen to grow on the exterior of the chimney.

If you find yourself dealing with water issues with your chimney, call Blue Sky Chimney Sweeps|Bless Your Hearth at (864) 682-5422 or fill out our online form to make an appointment with us today. We can help!

We are proud members of the South Carolina Chimney Sweep Guild, the North Carolina Chimney Sweep Association, and the National Chimney Sweep Guild. We are certified by the Chimney Safety Institute of America and the National Fireplace Institute.


Keeping Water Out

We certainly get some interesting weather in South Carolina—hurricane leftovers, rain, and humidity among them. If you’ve got a masonry chimney, it’s going to be especially susceptible to water, since it’s made of porous materials. You can avoid costly repairs by choosing preventive solutions, but whether you need repair current leaks or preventive care, Blue Sky Chimney can take care of it.

There is no way to make sure 100% of the water in the air doesn't make its way into your chimney. There are, however, ways to minimize the damage.

There is no way to make sure 100% of the water in the air doesn’t make its way into your chimney. There are, however, ways to minimize the damage.

You might think that a leaky chimney is the least of your worries as a homeowner, but it’s actually a source of damage to your home. Here are some of the problems caused by water entry through your chimney:

  • Collapsed or tilted chimney
  • Rusted damper assemblies
  • Rotted rafters
  • Stained and ruined walls, ceilings and wall coverings
  • Flue liner cracks, rust and deterioration

With a list like that, keeping water out of your chimney becomes a top priority. We’ve got three common ways to protect your chimney from water damage:

Þ     Replacing or installing a chimney cap

Þ     Repairing the flashing

Þ     Waterproofing treatment

Þ     Annual chimney inspection

A chimney cap keeps rain and moisture from bad weather out, and also keeps out animals, birds, and debris such as leaves and twigs. Flashing is the seal between the roofing and chimney that keeps water from out, and needs to be replaced or repaired over time. To waterproof your chimney, we use a vapor permeable product to the inside surface of your chimney that is both protective and preventive. If there is water already trapped inside, it will allow it to escape, while keeping any new moisture out.

Signs of a leaky chimney:

  • Moldy odor
  • Ceiling leaks
  • Wet spots on ceiling around chimney
  • Moisture bricks
  • Cracking chimney bricks

If you’ve noticed any of these signs of water damage, that’s not great news—it could mean costly repairs are needed, especially if water has penetrated and caused structural damage to your home. But whether you’re playing catch-up or are ahead of the game, Blue Sky Chimney can help. We’re able to perform any repairs, and always highly recommend preventive treatment to save money down the road. Give us a call today to schedule an inspection and to discuss your waterproofing options.