We’re nearing the end of what is typically considered “hurricane season” here in the Greater Houston Area, which means your chimney may need some extra care and attention. Here are some of the main things to look for when assessing your potential chimney damage.
1. Missing Caps & Chase Covers
One of the biggest issues we discover after a hurricane is missing caps and chase covers. When those strong winds come in, your cap is often the first thing to go, and it could be multiple houses away by the time we have the chance to look things over!
And if your cap still seems to be intact, don’t let out a sigh of relief just yet. We’ve seen multiple cases where it gets blown off, only to fall right back into its original spot. This gives the appearance of a properly-fitted cap when in reality it’s barely hanging on.
Needless to say, investing in a new cap or chase cover as soon as possible is an absolute must. These keep out rain and downdrafts, and they prevent animal entry, as well. In the end, an affordable cap can be quickly installed by of our team of experts, and it will wind up saving you a lot of time, stress, and hassle over time.
Another indication of severe damage is discoloration throughout your structure. Now, hurricanes typically come in one of two forms – extra windy or extra rainy. If you’ve just experienced one with lots of water, then discoloration is often something you’ll notice in the aftermath.
If you see lots of white, for instance, this is a sign of efflorescence, or lots of green throughout the bricks indicates vegetation growth (a clear sign of standing water). You could also see brown or black patches, which indicates rust, creosote, or built-up soot. In the end, most types of discoloration can be traced back to water damage, so get our certified crew on the job right away if things start to look suspicious.
3. Gaps in Your Brickwork
Excessive wind and rain can easily trigger spalling throughout your system, which weakens your entire structurally significantly. Moisture has a big impact on the strength of your brickwork and mortar, and the more everything crumbles and breaks down, the more vulnerable you will be to gas leaks, fires, and even chimney collapses.
Our experienced crew will get things patched up in no time, and once we’re done we can offer waterproofing products that will help your masonry better withstand water and rainfall.
4. Leaning/Swaying Chimney
One thing we strongly encourage homeowners to do after a bad storm is to walk outside and take a good look at your chimney. Does something look off? If you notice tilting or leaning at all, then you’ll want a solid team of sweeps on the job quickly.
And while you’re looking, watch out for anything else that seems out of the norm. We mentioned discoloration and missing parts, but do you notice rust, cracks in your crown, worn down mortar joints, or anything else awry? Call us in. This is one area where you are always better off being safe than sorry!
Not Sure Where You Stand? Schedule an Inspection or Invest In A Virtual Assessment!
Now, if you’re just not sure what state your chimney is in, the best way to get an accurate assessment is to schedule an inspection. Getting our team out to perform a level 2 inspection will ensure any faults or structural flaws are spotted and addressed as soon as possible.
Or, if you have a busy schedule or you’re just inquiring about some reconstruction or remodeling work, send us a picture! We do virtual assessments, and we typically can give you all of the information you need without even having to come to your house. This saves time and expense on your end, and it can help you make an official decision as to whether or not you want to proceed with any changes or renovations.
You Deserve High-Quality Care
From strange smells to weird noises to worrisome drips, we can put all of your chimney-related worries to rest. The CSIA Certified Sweeps at Lords Chimney are experienced, and we take education seriously, so you can bet we’re always up-to-date on all of the latest techniques, tools, and technologies in the trade.
And remember – the more often you invest in care the better! By having your chimney serviced on a consistent basis, you make sure you get all of the insurance coverage you’re entitled to should a hurricane cause significant damage to your chimney. Regular maintenance offers you a track record that shows what state your chimney was in before the hurricane, so you can prove 100% that the storm was the cause of all your damage.
When it comes to keeping your masonry in tip-top shape, investing in a few forms of preventative maintenance can go a long way. Things like chimney caps, chimney crowns, flashing, and more all play a big role in protecting your structure from harmful water damage, and these effective and affordable solutions typically wind up saving homeowners hundreds (sometimes thousands) in repair work.
One thing the crew here at Lords Chimney urges all of our customers to invest in is waterproofing services. Not familiar with how this process works or what it entails? We’ve got you covered! Get the facts below, then reach out to our team with any questions. We are always happy to help.
What Is Waterproofing?
Waterproofing is the process of covering your brickwork and mortar with a light, vapor permeable seal. This coating protects your masonry from rain, sleet, snow, and other forms of moisture without affecting the look or aesthetic of your structure. The products
that are used by professional sweeps are known for allowing any pre-absorbed moisture the chance to effectively escape your structure, as well, ensuring things will not continue breaking down from the inside.
Why Is Waterproofing Important?
Now, what many homeowners fail to realize is their strong, sturdy brickwork is actually quite absorbent. The more exposure your masonry has to rains and harsh weather, the more it will break down, meaning you’ll be investing in some expensive professional rebuilding work before you know it. Waterproofing now will save you loads of money down the line!
What kind of damages does waterproofing trigger? Homeowners have noted countless issues from too much water exposure ranging from discolored brickwork to mold growth to rust streaks and more. Not only with it threaten the structural integrity of your setup, but it will make it look much less attractive, as well.
A waterproofed structure will also ensure your brickwork and mortar won’t form holes, gaps, and openings through which smoke, carbon monoxide, heat, and flames can escape into your home. All of these can lead to injury or health issues, and they can cause damage throughout your property, as well.
Finally, waterproofing helps homeowners avoid disasters, such as settlements or collapses. If your chimney starts to crumble and weaken, it may only be a matter of time before it falls down completely, putting your entire home and family members at significant risk. A simple call to our team of experts can ensure you are set up right with the high-quality services you deserve. Let’s get started today!
How Often Should I Invest In This Service?
How often do you need to schedule waterproofing services? Well, it often depends on the products that are being used, but most will need to be reapplied every 5 – 10 years. Here at Lords Chimney, we use ChimneySaver, which comes with a 10 year warranty, so you’ll be good to go for the long haul!
That being said, make sure you invest in care from a qualified technician or you may not get the results you are hoping for. Tackling this as a do-it-yourself job could result in you not getting the most from the products you invest in, and your chimney will suffer as a result.
All About ChimneySaver
Like we said, ChimneySaver comes with a 10 year warranty, but it has many other qualities that make it a top choice for certified sweeps all throughout the nation. This company excels when it comes to setting the standard for all types of chimney products, and everything they sell undergoes testing and research to ensure it really performs out in the field. Chimney companies all over the country trust it year after year because it really delivers!
Help! My Chimney Is Already Leaking!
Is your chimney already experiencing leaks and water-related damages? Well, these are issues you will obviously need to have addressed before applying any waterproofing agents. If your metal components are rusting, if you see or hear water in your chimney, or if you’ve noticed some deterioration throughout your flue, then the time to call in the experts is now!
If you aren’t sure where you stand, the best thing to do is to schedule a chimney inspection. A CSIA certified sweep will have the knowledge, experience, and tools to do a thorough overview and can recommend further services based upon their findings. With the holidays coming up quick, now is a great time to get this maintenance scheduled.
Thanks to services like tuckpointing, crown repair, brick replacement, and more, you’ll have your system working as efficiently and as safely as possible in no time!
Can Lords Chimney Help Me?
So, what can the Lords Chimney team do to resolve problems with leaks and water damage throughout the Houston area? First things first, we are certified to perform all levels of chimney inspections, so you can count on us no matter what state your chimney is in. Then, we can sweep and repair your unit as necessary.
After we’ve got your structure looking and functioning like new again, we can apply preventative measures to keep it protected, including waterproofing services. You deserve peace of mind in the months ahead, and we’re here to provide it. Reach out now, and we can get something scheduled!
If you have a masonry chimney, then you likely know how damaging water can be! Brickwork is quite absorbent, so it doesn’t take long for moisture to get sucked in. Quickly after entry, it causes all types of decay and deterioration. As your masonry breaks down, your risk of a collapse increases. You don’t want to put your family and home in danger!
Along with this, you’ll notice countless issues that make fireplace use a lot more dangerous and challenging. For instance, clogs tend to occur more when water damage is present, meaning airflow will be obstructed. This leaves you with a smoky living room and potential exposure to harmful and potentially deadly fumes.
Not to mention, the various parts of your chimney’s structure will face damage such as rust, rot, mold buildup, cracks, holes, and more. You don’t want to shell out a lot of dough in repair and replacement costs! All this and more is why it is so important to have leaks and water problems resolved as quickly as possible. Luckily, the CSIA certified team at Lords Chimney have everything you need to run a safer and more efficient appliance. Save yourself some stress by depending on us from the very start!
Ask Us About Your Free Consultation Today
If you have water leaks in your fireplace, we’re more than happy to come check things out, free of charge. We’ll find the source of the leak, then advise you on the next logical steps for getting things resolved as quickly as possible. Between waterproofing, flashing repair, chimney cap installation, crown rebuilds, and more, there are countless options out there for resolving leaks and preventing further damage down the line. Based on your setup, we’ll figure out which techniques would be best for you. We’ll take care of you in no time!
Keep Up With Your Annual Inspections
Ensuring your chimney holds up over time doesn’t have to be a stressful process. By working with Lords Chimney throughout the year and by keeping up with annual inspections and regular sweepings, you’ll see the long-lasting results you deserve, guaranteed, and you’ll avoid nasty leaks in the future. The CSIA states that annual inspections are a key component in keeping your structure stronger throughout time. Trust our certified staff for all your chimney needs!
Spotting buildup and necessary repair work early is always a more cost-effective and less time-consuming way to address your chimney and fireplace maintenance. No matter what issues may be present, we’ll advise you on the best steps to take, so you have smooth burning seasons every fall. The holidays aren’t the same without a crackling fire to set the mood, so be sure to get us in now, so you know you’re good to go down the line! We’re ready for your call!
Chimneys are strong, sturdy structures, but only when they are properly maintained. If deterioration and damage start to occur, you could wind up facing a lot of issues. Your system won’t function as efficiently and you put your home and family at risk, should a settlement or collapse eventually occur.
Knowing what to look for, as far as masonry damage, is important to know and it could save you a lot of time, money, stress, and hassle down the line. Read below so you can spot the signs before things get any worse!
Once water gets absorbed into your brickwork, your entire structure becomes vulnerable. Your masonry will wear down fast, and things won’t hold together as firmly as they did before the damage occurred. A long list of issues will start to arise, some of which includes rot, rust, stains, clogs, decay, bad odors, and deterioration. Keep an eye out for those things, as they are clear signs that water has started causing trouble throughout your chimney.
Once you spot these problems, call on Lords Chimney, and we will fix up your system. We can replace any rusted parts, clear out clogs, patch up any spots that are falling apart, and more! And once we’re done with that, you can invest in our waterproofing services. Our strong products combined with our years’ worth of experience will give you the protection you’re looking for.
Another common issue in masonry chimneys is crumbling mortar. Your chimney faces a lot throughout time. Bad weather, neglect, and age are all factors that contribute to your mortar wearing down and weakening, which eventually leads to inefficiency, leaks, and overall deterioration.
If you’ve noticed that your mortar is in bad shape, we can help you out. Our tuckpointing service consists of removing the old, damaged mortar and replacing it with new materials. It sounds simple enough, but this is actually a delicate and intricate process. We are CSIA trained to use the right products for your specific needs, so that your new mortar will blend right in and look good as new.
Cracks & Holes
Finally, keep an eye out any for cracks and/or holes throughout the brickwork itself. There are lots of reasons why these may occur. It could be due to bad storms or water damage. Or maybe your chimney hasn’t been inspected for a while. No matter the cause, we can provide a solution! We will not only repair your chimney, but can ensure it stays protected for years to come.
Give Us A Call
If you’re ready to get your chimney looking and working great again, give us a call today at 281-497-4000. We can’t wait to get started and we are confident that our trained and certified staff will provide you with satisfaction guaranteed. Pick up the phone now!
Spring and summer rain showers and thunderstorms are often a welcome reprieve from the scorching temperatures. In addition to cooling us off, these rain storms also keep our lawns and gardens green and our rivers and lakes full and ready for summer fun.
Unfortunately, heavy rain can also lead to a leaky chimney. Chimney leaks are one of the most common chimney problems we see during the summertime. Even chimneys without previous problems can develop leaks – and their accompanying water damage – in as little as one season.
What causes chimney leaks?
Although chimneys look like simple brick or stone columns, they are actually complex structures with a number of different pieces and parts. Because the chimney is constantly exposed to the elements, its masonry is at greater risk for damage and breakdown.
The following are some of the most common causes of chimney leaks.
Chimney cap: The chimney cap protects the top of your flue from water entry, as well as animals and debris. Without a properly fitted chimney cap, the flue and fireplace are left completely exposed to water entry from rain.
Flashing: Flashing is the water tight strips that seal the seam between your roof and the chimney structure. If flashing is incorrectly installed, damaged, or merely loses its seal due to wear and tear or age, water can easily seep through any gaps. This can cause water damage to not only the roof and chimney, but also the ceilings and walls around the chimney.
Masonry damage: If one side or part of your chimney is often directly exposed to rainfall or other sources of water, the masonry may deteriorate or become damaged faster than the rest of the chimney. Water can cause bricks to crack and spall; in addition to making your chimney look aged or unkempt, it can also affect the structural stability of the chimney and lead to chimney leaks.
Symptoms of a leaky chimney
Many homeowners falsely assume that all leaky chimneys present themselves as visible water in the fireplace or flue. However, because of the size and complexity of most chimney systems, chimney leaks are often not recognized until they’ve already caused significant damage.
Below are some of the signs that may indicate your chimney is leaking.
Water or condensation inside the firebox
Sound of dripping water in the chimney
Moisture, leaks, or water staining on walls or ceilings around chimney
Musty or dank odors, especially after it rains
Cracked or spalled interior or exterior masonry
Preventing chimney leaks
The best way to prevent chimney leaks is by having regular preventative maintenance done on your fireplace and chimney. Annual chimney sweepings and inspections can often identify any new chimney or masonry damage, allowing you to have it repaired before it leads to a chimney leak.
Another option for preventing leaks and water damage to your chimney is to have your masonry waterproofed. The waterproofing process involves the application of a specially designed sealant that keeps water out while allowing the masonry to retain its semi porous nature. These products can even be applied to chimneys with existing water damage as a way to keep it from getting worse.
If a summer rainstorm has left you with a leaky chimney, contact Lord’s Chimney today. Our expert staff can identify and resolve the source of your leaky chimney!