Is your chimney leaking? Spotting obvious signs of masonry deterioration? Hearing an unsettling drip drip drip from the inside of your flue? Tis the season for lots of rain, which means your chimney could suffer quite a bit as a result.
Fortunately, we have the tools, training, and experience to ensure your system stays protected through all types of threatening and inclement weather. Give the expert crew at Winston’s Chimney a call today to get started.
How Is Water a Threat to Chimneys?
So, why is it that the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) has deemed water as chimney’s number one enemy? Well, water can cause a surprising amount of damage to your seemingly strong and durable masonry because bricks and mortar are actually quite absorbent. If not adequately protected, it will soak in pretty much any moisture that comes its way.
This leads to your structure crumbling, cracking, and breaking down until it eventually becomes unsafe for use.
And it invites some especially big problems come winter… Now, we tend to have fairly mild winters here throughout the Charlotte area, but that doesn’t mean we’re immune to below freezing temperatures from time to time. What happens during these times is that the water in your brickwork freezes and expands, which then puts pressure on your system and causes cracking – and creates more pathways for water to enter down the line.
Other water-related chimney damages might include:
- Rust: Your metal components (like the chase cover, chimney cap, flashing, etc.) could face some serious rusting and decay if installed incorrectly. Another issue is that some aren’t made from reliable materials (as is the case with the majority of stock covers that come with prefabs units).
- Wood Rot: When water starts breaking down your chimney, you’ll notice other areas of your home suffering, too. One of these areas is any adjacent woodwork to your fireplace. As water enters, it will weaken these spots significantly and could trigger rotting and decay.
- Ceiling Stains: Notice water spots on the walls and ceiling around your fireplace? There’s a good chance your leaky chimney is the culprit behind it.
- Mold Growth: Both your home and your chimney could be subjected to harmful mold and mildew growth if you start to experience leaks and water damage. This isn’t just costly and time-consuming to remove… but it can really affect your indoor air quality, too!
- Discoloration: From red rust stains to green mold growth to white efflorescence and more, your system could face all types of discoloration due to water-related issues. This is unsightly and a clear sign of trouble ahead if you don’t have it addressed promptly.
- Liner Damage: Your liner plays an important role in protecting your home and masonry, and it needs to be installed correctly and in good shape in order for your fireplace to function safely and efficiently. If water is able to compromise it, your chimney, home, and family could start facing some serious risks every time you go to light a fire.
- Clogging: As your mortar joints become weaker and your liner decays, parts of your chimney could easily crumble into your flue and form blockages. Poor airflow is always bad news when it comes to your fireplace, so this is definitely something to avoid.
Now, as a homeowner, watching out for things like cracking, big spots of discoloration, and interior home damage can help you spot issues early and before they become worse. You may even be able to smell issues – creosote and water can trigger an unpleasant campfire or burnt barbecue smell, or you might notice a musty, mildew-y odor, too.
That said, all too often, chimney damages are hidden away and hard to spot unless you have a trained eye. Which is why scheduling annual inspections is so essential. If you have yet to get yours booked, springtime is an ideal time to get it done. Call our techs today to schedule!
How Can We Help?
So, water damages are clearly something to steer clear of, but just how can this be done? We have various products and services that can prevent these bigger issues.
- Chimney Caps: Chimney caps are what cover your flue opening so that water cannot enter, and they play a big role in keeping out animals, debris, and cold downdrafts, too. A chimney without one of the affordable devices is going to suffer significantly!
- Top-End Dampers: Top-end dampers work alongside the chimney cap to keep out water, debris, and curious critters (in addition to their other damper-related duties).
- Waterproofing: Waterproofing is what prevents your bricks and mortar from soaking up harmful water, and the products we use offer unparalleled protection, while still allowing the system to breathe (a big must when it comes to your masonry).
- Crown Repairs: If your crown isn’t holding up, any water that comes off your cap will easily slide down the sides of your chimney, exposing the masonry to a lot more moisture than necessary. We have the tools and knowledge to ensure your crown is made from appropriate materials and built to meet the necessary requirements.
- Restorations: Sometimes a full restoration job is the only route to take, in which case we’re happy to work with your budget, schedule, and vision to get your system back into tip-top shape for the burning season.
Don’t Put it Off… Give Us a Call Now!
Our experts are standing by, ready to help with all things chimney. Spring is an ideal time to have repairs tackled, leaks addressed, and seasonal maintenance completed so that, come fall, you’re all set and ready to put your system to use.
Don’t wait – reach out to us today!