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.

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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.

 

Tell Me About Mold

As a homeowner, there are certain truths that are always worth keeping in mind.

  • Small holes in your foundation can lead to rodent troubles.
  • Lint build-up in your dryer vents, left unchecked, can lead to a fire hazard.
  • Steady moisture from a leak — whether that’s in your roof of your chimney — not only leads to stains and rot, but can quickly lead to mold growth too.

A leak in you chimney can allow molds to grow. Have it waterproofed as soon as possible. If molds have already started breeding, call on us and we’ll clean that out for you.

Water absorption in a chimney can allow mold and mildew staining to accumulate on the exterior of the chimney. The best way to find out for sure whether mold & mildew issues are present on the exterior of your chimney is to have Blue Sky Chimney Sweeps|Bless Your Hearth technicians out to inspect your chimney system, bottom to top. If molds and mildew are present we can clean it off and then protect the chimney with appropriate waterproofing products.

 

Why You Need To Care About Mold

It’s not exactly news to most of us that mold can be dangerous. Certain kinds of mold allows toxins to get in the air, which have been shown to cause respiratory issues with people exposed to those mold spores — particularly those dealing with respiratory ailments like asthma or allergies. Symptoms that have been linked to mold exposure, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, include coughing and wheezing, shortness of breath, skin or eye irritation, sometimes fever.

If mold and mildew are growing on the outside of your chimney it’s not likely that you are experiencing these things, but cleaning these deposits off the exterior of your chimney can keep mold and mildew from getting a foothold in your home. This is where Blue Sky Chimney Sweeps|Bless Your Hearth comes in. We can help nip it in the bud.

How Does Mold Get In A Chimney To Begin With?

Mold spores are common just about everywhere, indoors and out. But for those spores to grow on your home’s surfaces — whether that’s on walls, ceilings or on your chimney — they need moisture. So chimney leaks — even if they’re relatively minor — can easily lead to mold growth.

Masonry materials are porous, so they’ll naturally absorb moisture, too. That quality — particularly with older bricks that have become more porous with time — if left unadressed — can draw moisture toward building materials around your chimney, spreading stains, damage and mold and mildew to your walls or ceiling if left unchecked.

What Does It Take To Get Rid Of Chimney Mold?

The first step in ending a mold problem is figuring out where the moisture that’s feeding the mold is getting in. That means inspecting and troubleshooting your chimney system to find the leak or leaks. Our technicians are trained to expertly troubleshoot for these issues. We have the tools and training to help your chimney system effectively fighting off water intrusion.

Leak problems vary from chimney to chimney, but common trouble spots include cracked chimney crowns, rusty or damaged chimney chase covers, missing chimney caps and torn or damaged flashing. Blue Sky technicians can assess and repair all of those issues expertly. We can also help protect and extend the life of your chimney masonry itself, by applying a long-lasting waterproof sealant that prevents the brick from wicking in too much moisture and lessens the gradual wear that comes with the chimney being exposed to the weather.

Chimney mold is a legitimate concern, but it doesn’t have to be a major headache. If you keep up with your annual chimney inspections, Blue Sky Chimney Sweeps|Bless Your Hearth technicians will always be on the lookout for problems that could lead to mold and mildew issues. So if you’re worried that you might have mold & mildew now – usually evident from a strong musty smell or dark stains (sometimes mistaken for soot stains) on the exterior of the chimney – we can help. Just give us a call!