If you’re like most homeowners, your chimney is probably one of the most taken-for-granted parts of your home. It’s one of those things that you expect to be there for you when you need it but may not give it much thought in the meantime. “It’s all just cosmetic,” we think; this thought process isn’t one to be ashamed of, however, it is one to be corrected sooner rather than later. Monitoring your chimney for leaks regularly will help save you from large repair bills down the road.
KEEP A WATCHFUL EYE ON YOUR CHIMNEY FLASHING
Chimneys are notorious for leaking, and the problem is almost always the flashing, which lies at the point where the chimney rises above the roof. It keeps water out of your chimney, protecting both the flue and roof. Flashings are available in a variety of materials. You’ll want to have new chimney flashing installed if you find that it’s missing, rusted through, falling out or completely covered with roofing tar, which is a common short-term fix that’s sure to be hiding a bigger problem underneath.
DETERIORATED CHIMNEY MATERIALS ARE A REAL PROBLEM
Chimney materials—brick and mortar—are, by their very nature, porous. As such, they experience hastened deterioration as a result of prolonged exposure to and contact with water and the elements. The freezing and thawing process—during which time water that has penetrated the various chimney materials freezes and expands—quickly deteriorates the overall construction of your chimney.
MOTHER NATURE AND YOUR CHIMNEY
One way to limit the impact the freeze-thaw cycle has on your chimney is to prevent as much water as possible from penetrating the materials as possible. Water in your chimney can also cause rust on steel and cast iron parts, ultimately weakening or destroying them over time. The weather is constantly battering the exterior of your chimney. Harsh weather conditions can have a negative effect on your chimney.
WATERPROOFING YOUR CHIMNEY IS A GOOD IDEA
By waterproofing your chimney, you enable it to repel up to 99.9% of the water that would otherwise penetrate the brick and/or other materials. Waterproofing is a true preventative measure that can add years to your chimney’s life. Because it’s not a requirement, many homeowners deprioritize it; this is a big mistake! There are many issues that can develop as a result of water being on and getting in to your chimney, and, as such, swift and immediate action should be taken to ensure that you’re not faced with unnecessary and avoidable repairs bills.
Unless you’re just looking for a reason to get rid of your chimney, there really is no excuse for not taking better care of it. Water is the biggest culprit for masonry damage, and causes everything from cracking and crumbling joints and bricks to discoloration and mold growth. If water is the cause of your masonry decay, it’s time to have an experienced technician evaluate the condition your chimney’s exterior and flashing are in, get them repaired if necessary, and have your chimney coated with a waterproofing product. Whether you have a leaky chimney or are simply looking to prevent future leaks, let Old Smokey’s experts restore it to its original beauty and functionality.