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.

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