Company Blog

So What’s the Big Deal with Water Getting on (or in) My Chimney?

South Carolina weather brings hurricane leftovers, seasonal rains, and high humidity.  So… if you’ve got a masonry chimney, it’s going to be especially susceptible to water, since brick and mortar are porous materials.  You can avoid costly repairs by choosing preventive solutions.   Whether you need troubleshooting, repair for known leaks, or preventive care, Blue Sky Chimney Sweeps can look for, stop and repair leaking chimneys.

Water from our humid air will likely always make its way into your chimney to some degree. There are, however, ways to minimize absorption and interrupt the damage cycles.  Some of the long-term problems caused by water entry into your chimney are:

  • Eroded mortar joints; broken bond
  • Spalling  bricks (the face of the brick pops off)
  • Rusted damper assemblies and other metal parts
  • Rotted rafters
  • Stained and ruined walls, ceilings and wall coverings

With a potential problem list like this, keeping water out of your chimney might just become a higher priority.  We’ve got a few first-line defense options to protect your chimney from water damage:

  • Replacing or installing a full coverage chimney cap
    • A chimney cap, with a large overhanging lid and animal guard, keeps driving rain out, and also keeps out animals, birds, and debris such as leaves and twigs.
  • Repairing deteriorated flashing
    • Flashing is the seal between the roofing and chimney that keeps water from entering the house structure and needs to be replaced or repaired over time.
  • Sealing the crown wash
    • Modern crown washes are usually made of the same mortar that is used to lay the chimney brick. This mortar is extremely porous and usually cracks as it dries from the point of construction.  The sealant we recommend fills those holes and creates a barrier to water entry.
  • Applying water repellant to the vertical sides of the chimney exterior
    • We use a vapor permeable product applied to the outside surface of the chimney that is both protective and preventive. It will allow condensation that normally comes from inside the home to escape while keeping water from outside from entering the chimney.
  • Annual chimney inspection to discover water entry areas before they become a problem.

Signs of a leaky chimney:

  • Moldy, ashy odor
  • Dark blackish staining around the top of the chimney
  • Moss growing on the exterior of the chimney
  • Darker color at the top after a rain
  • Cracking chimney bricks
  • Wet spots on interior ceilings

Whether you’re playing catch-up or are ahead of the game, Blue Sky Chimney Sweeps is here to help.  We’re able to perform repairs, and/or provide preventive treatment that will save money down the road.  Give us a call today to schedule an inspection and discuss your waterproofing options.

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.