You may think that with all the heat that your chimney is exposed to, that fire would be the most damaging element to your chimney structure. However, your chimney was designed to handle heat. In fact, water is one of the leading causes of damage to your chimney.
How is your chimney exposed to water?
If you think about it, there are a number of different ways that water can get into your chimney. Your chimney is designed to carry smoke and gas out of your house. This outlet can also act as a place for rain to infiltrate the inside of your chimney. Water can also seep into little pores in the brick and mortar of any masonry located outside of your home.
How can water affect my chimney health?
Water is a solvent and over time it can start to wear away at your brickwork and mortar causing brickwork to become loose. If water is allowed into the flue, it can start to rust away any metal components of your chimney such as your damper or firebox assemblies. If water mixes with creosote, it can often create a foul odor which can leak into your home. Furthermore, if this mixture starts to seep, it can cause unsightly stains on your brickwork.
If water is able to get into the time pore of your brickwork or mortar, it can also cause a big problem if the water freezes. When water freezes, it expands. If expanding water has nowhere to go, it will often crack bricks and mortar causing bricks to fall out. This is not only a hazard to the structural integrity of your chimney, falling bricks can also be a hazard to human health. If you notice any loose brick or mortar, it is important to get it repaired right away.
What can I do to prevent water damage?
One of the easiest and most effective ways to prevent water damage is to be sure that there is a chimney cap installed on your chimney. A chimney cap covers the opening of the flue exposed to the outdoors. A properly installed chimney cap will prevent rain from entering the flue. There are other steps you can also take to minimize water damage. You can install a cricket water deflector on your roof to deflect water from your chimney or you could have your brick and mortar waterproofed with specialized sealants.
Taking preventative measures to avoid water damage can add years to your chimney’s life and save you money on maintenance costs. If you want more information on what you can do to make your chimney less susceptible to water, contact Hale’s Chimney Cleaning & Repair at 972-562-6851 and schedule an appointment with one of our experienced chimney technicians today!