5 Ways Water Can Damage Your Chimney or Fireplace
Water is your chimney’s kryptonite. If anything can break down your chimney over time, it’s water. Knowing the signs of water damage can help you build up your chimney’s defenses to avoid painfully expensive repairs later on. Read on to find the most common types of chimney damage.
Chipped or Broken Masonry
Water can get trapped in brick or stone due to freeze and thaw cycles. Water expands as it freezes causing cracks in the masonry and if not addressed properly these fissures can become large cracks that can reduce a chimney to rubble. At this stage, the only thing left is a chimney rebuild which can be very costly.
Water may seem peaceful, but it has destructive tendencies when it comes to a chimney, bringing about negative effects such as…
- Terrible odors
- Roofs that leak
- Mildew and Mold
- Damage that warps floors
- And more
Chimneys seem big, strong, and almost indestructible but the truth is, the interior of the chimney isn’t as strong as it looks. Many would argue that it’s fragile. This part of your chimney is called the flue and is usually made of metal or clay. Metal can rust and clay can mold, crack or crumble. Add the fact that damage is usually invisible to the homeowner until they notice one of the other more “hard to ignore” signs mentioned above.
A yearly inspection is the best tool to ward off these unwelcome surprises. Professionals will use a camera that can go inside the chimney to find issues that the average person isn’t looking for let alone able to fix.
It is not unusual for some leaks to originate in other places and grow towards the chimney. Strange leaks have plagued many homeowners who often end up tearing up sections of chimney only to find that leak was coming from somewhere else! Water can be unpredictable.
Condensation in the Firebox
Finding water droplets in your firebox can be cause for concern. The cause usually stems from large changes in temperature. The bricks may “sweat.” This is a sign that water is trapped, and the heat is causing evaporation. Alone this doesn’t signal water damage, but constant occurrences could be pointing to something more.
Broken or Missing Chimney Cap
A chimney cap is on the front lines of fighting water damage yet far too many homeowners have broken or missing chimney caps. A chimney without this protection is going to experience water flowing into it on a regular basis and eventually causing all the problems we’ve mentioned so far. Don’t let this happen to you, be sure to have a chimney cap and schedule regular inspections.
You may not spend every day thinking about your chimney, but we here at Hudson Valley Chimney do. Give us a call today at 800-439-1071 or contact us online to schedule your annual inspection. Certified professionals will make sure you and your chimney get the service you deserve.