Water Damage and Your Chimney

While a faint dripping sound or a little dampness in the firebox after it rains might not seem like a big deal, these seemingly minor issues can cause major problems if left untreated. Because chimneys are constantly exposed to the elements, including rain, ice, and snow, they sometimes deteriorate at a higher rate than the masonry in the rest of a fireplace system. Fortunately, almost all water-related issues are entirely preventable through proper upkeep and maintenance of the chimney structure.

chimney-water-damage-houston-tx-lords-chimney

How is the water getting in?

Although a chimney might seem like a straightforward structure, there are actually many different parts that work together to prevent water from entering the fireplace. Because of this, it is important to have any leaks evaluated by a professional who can determine the exact cause of the water entry. With the latest technology, including closed-circuit cameras, the experts at Lords Chimney can find and repair any leaks.

While chimney leaks may be caused by a number of different issues, below are some of the most common causes of water entry.

Masonry damage: Because both bricks and mortar are naturally porous, they absorb a certain amount of moisture. This absorption, combined with the expanding and contracting caused by changing temperatures, can lead to the accelerated deterioration of a masonry chimney. Left unrepaired, what started out as small cracks may progress to the point of bricks falling off and even damage to the chimney liner itself.

Chimney cap: Because they are not visible without being on the roof, chimney cap damage is often not found until an annual sweep or inspection is performed. In addition to keeping water out of the chimney and fireplace, chimney caps also prevent squirrels, birds, raccoons, and other animals from entering and nesting in the chimney.

Flashing: Flashing is the metal band that protects the gap where your roof and chimney meet. While it is meant to create a watertight seal, it can be damaged by nail holes, falling debris, and exposure to the elements.

How to prevent water damage

The best way to protect your home, chimney, and fireplace against water damage is to take the proactive steps to prevent it. One of the most beneficial and long-lasting repairs a homeowner can have done is to have a waterproofing solution applied to their masonry. These specially designed compounds are intended to still allow harmful gasses out without letting moisture in.

An annual chimney cleaning and inspection is another way to prevent small, easily-fixable problems from turning into costly repairs. The Chimney Safety Institute of America recommends “Chimneys, fireplaces, and vents shall be inspected at least once a year for soundness, freedom from deposits, and correct clearances. Cleaning, maintenance, and repairs shall be done if necessary.”

By spotting a problem early, it can be repaired before it causes major damage to the chimney structure or home. The expert technicians at Lords Chimney are highly skilled and knowledgeable professionals who have been trained to identify the source of a leak as well as to repair it. Call them today to schedule an appointment to discover the root cause of your leaky chimney or to ensure that water damage never happens.

Extending Your Chimney’s Lifespan

Taking good care of your chimney can lengthen its lifetime and increase its functionality.

Taking good care of your chimney can lengthen its lifetime and increase its functionality.

Many tend to take their fireplace and chimney for granted, believing it should last the lifetime of the home. However, if ignored, chimneys can become unusable if the liners are damaged or if other parts need repairing, and they can even suffer structural damage due to water penetration and collapse. Proper chimney maintenance is essential in keeping your fireplace safe to use, according to the Chimney Safety Institute of America. If you practice good maintenance of your chimney, you prolong its life, and Lords Chimney provides all sorts of chimney services to help you take care of your chimney. Your chimney’s lifespan is important, and our CSIA-certified technicians are here with several ways of practicing the best chimney maintenance to extend that lifespan.

schedule an annual chimney sweeping and inspection

As CSIA states, “dirty chimneys can cause chimney fires,” and this is the most important reason you need to schedule a sweeping and inspection of your chimney with Lords Chimney. Our experienced sweepers will remove dangerous fire hazards like animal nesting and creosote build-up and then inspect your chimney thoroughly to see if any repairs need to be done and to look for water penetration damage. Every part of your chimney, from your flue liner to your masonry to your flashing and more, will be visually inspected, prolonging its life as crucial and needed repairs could be discovered.

replace your chimney liner, if needed

If you have cracks in your flue liner, carbon monoxide can enter your home and cause serious health issues for you and your family. If your chimney does not have a liner, as many older chimneys do not, the risk is even worse, and you should definitely contact Lords Chimney about our chimney liner services. Essential for containing chimney fires, protecting your chimney walls from dangerous creosote build-up, and improving its efficiency, an undamaged chimney liner truly adds years to the life of your chimney. We carry and install tough and durable stainless steel liners as well as HeatShield treatments for cracked liners that need resurfacing.

waterproof your chimney

If you have a masonry chimney, the CSIA claims that water is the biggest enemy your chimney has to battle. Our certified technicians at Lords Chimney are trained and experienced experts on resolving chimney leaks. The amount of damage caused by water penetration is enormous, from loose bricks and chipped mortar to a tilted or collapsed chimney structure. To protect your chimney from water leaks, Lords Chimney recommends waterproofing your chimney because keeping water out extends the life of your chimney. Using ChimneySaver, a breathable treatment, exclusively, our technicians will spray this water repellent all over the walls of your chimney, and we only have to use one coating as ChimneySaver contains patented siloxanes small enough to penetrate masonry pores, forming a strong bond with the silica in masonry and concrete. Being breathable, water vapors are able to escape your masonry, keeping freeze-thaw damage, deterioration, and other problems at bay.

Contact Lords Chimney today to talk to our staff about these ways of extending the life of your chimney, as well as to schedule your annual chimney sweeping and inspection.