April showers might bring May flowers, but fall chimney damage becomes a winter problem. Water penetrating the chimney system is bad at any time, but water in the chimney throughout winter months can lead to serious structural damage, costly repairs, and increased safety risks that you aren’t prepared for.
Because of the materials that make up masonry, it is especially susceptible to water damage. When water enters the home by way of the chimney, it can damage not only the chimney system, but also the rest of the house. Water damage can lead to:
Rust – Parts, assemblies, and hinges can become rusted due to moisture in the air, let alone water that drips or runs over it.
Stains – Interior and exterior masonry as well as interior walls, ceilings, and floors can become stained. Stains can be caused from minerals left on the masonry as water passes through, rust on the exterior, and water and mold stains on the interior.
Decay – Parts of the system can become deteriorated and decayed when water is added to the already-corrosive chemicals (soot and creosote) that coat the inside of the chimney system.
Structural Damage – Water damage can lead to cracks and deterioration of the masonry, lead to leaning chimneys, collapsed structure, and chimney settlement.
Winter water damage can lead to extreme damage, danger, and costs that you aren’t expecting. This is due to a process called the freeze/thaw cycle in which water enters the masonry through cracks, gaps, or other types of damaged parts such as flashing. The water enters and then freezes when temperatures drop. As it freezes, the water expands and breaks apart the masonry as it does. Then when the water is melted again, it moves further into the damaged masonry, repeating the process all winter long.
Of all the problems that can occur with your chimney system, water damage is 100 percent preventable when you involve a professional. Routine chimney maintenance such as sweeps and inspections are paramount in preventing water damage, but there are other factors to consider as well.
Necessary Repairs – If your chimney professional recommends masonry repairs or parts installations, it’s important to get this work done as soon as possible. Cracked, gapped, and otherwise damaged masonry will take on water if it isn’t repaired. A missing cap, damaged crown, or dislodged flashing will let in water. All of these problems can be corrected easily when you call in a professional.
Waterproofing – Part of waterproofing your chimney involves making necessary repairs. The other important part of waterproofing is scheduling waterproofing services for your chimney! At Chesapeake Chimney & Co. we apply a water repellent to the masonry that we trust on our own chimneys year after year.
ChimneySaver Water Repellent
This 100% vapor-permeable repellent allows your chimney to breathe, while protecting it from water penetration. Other products may protect against water coming in but will trap water vapors inside as well, causing damage from the inside-out. ChimneySaver is specially formulated to keep water molecules from getting in while also letting gases and heat out. ChimneySaver doesn’t change the look of your masonry, prevents water damage, and works season after season, year after year. Don’t let this winter be the one that destroys your masonry. Stop water now by waterproofing your chimney.
Call Chesapeake Chimney & Co. today at 410-535-0052.