Chimney leaks are sometimes camouflaged by other problems. In fact, the average homeowner won’t notice a leak until it has caused substantial damage to the chimney and masonry behind the scenes. The best way to catch a leak in your chimney system is to check it often. This is one of the most important things you can do to preserve your chimney’s life.
The Problem With Water
Water intrusion in your chimney system can cause catastrophic damage. Minor damage such as stains, odors, and a slight drop in efficiency can quickly lead to more serious damage. If a leak is allowed to persist, it can ruin the chimney from the inside out, causing:
- Rusted damper assemblies
- Deteriorated metal or masonry firebox assemblies
- Rusted fireplace accessories and glass doors
- Rotting adjacent wood and ruined wall coverings
- Water stained walls and ceiling
- Clogged clean out area
- Deteriorated central heating system
- Stained chimney exterior
- Decayed exterior mortar
- Cracked or deteriorated flue lining system
- Collapsed hearth support
- Tilted or collapsed chimney structure
- Chimney settlement
What You Can Do
Although most homeowners do not hold certifications in chimney maintenance, repair, or inspection, there are things you can do to assess your own chimney. Each month when you check your smoke alarms each month, you can look over your system. Make yourself aware of the signs of a chimney leak and look for them:
- Moldy/mildewy odors from chimney and fireplace
- Visible dripping in the fireplace, or sounds from unseen parts
- Staining on the masonry: green, black, and white (on exterior)
- Leaks in any portion of the house
- Interior parts malfunction (damper)
The best thing you can do for your chimney’s life and efficiency is to schedule routine maintenance. Both the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommend routine chimney sweeps and annual inspections to maintain the highest level of ongoing safety and efficiency for the chimney system. It’s at these appointments that a chimney professional gets a look at your chimney system, will notice weaknesses and problems, and make a plan to correct it before you have a bigger, more serious, and more costly issue.
Preventing Water Leaks
When you hire a professional to service your chimney system, you are one step closer to preventing a water leak altogether. A certified chimney sweep will make swift recommendations to halt a problem completely. Common issues we often see at Anderson’s include a missing or damaged chimney cap, missing or incorrectly installed flashing, and damaged masonry and liner. Our technicians don’t only assess but also fix the problems. We install chimney caps to prevent the weather from entering your chimney system, flashing to protect the roof and chimney intersection (the weakest part of the system for water penetration), and we specialize in masonry repair.
At Anderson’s we don’t just repair the problem, we prevent a reoccurrence. Our technicians can apply a waterproofing sealant to your masonry called FlashSeal. It’s specially designed to prevent water penetration while allowing vapors and smoke to escape.
To find out more about waterproofing services, or to have your chimney assessed for leaks or damage call Anderson’s Chimney and Masonry Services today.