Your chimney is under constant attack from the elements because it is up-and-out there on its own. It is like your roof in that way, and mayhem can come to it just as easily. Just like your roof, it can collapse under the ‘weight’ of snow – which is of course its water.
Water Weighs Heavily On Your Chimney
Water is actually a chimney’s worst enemy, since it is designed to handle fire – at least within limits. Water is the reason that chimneys have crowns (or rain pans) and flues need caps. If it is not kept out of your chimney, it begins the process that – helped by wind – carves canyons out of rock.
Even a stone crown has to be affixed to the chimney with mortar…more of it, in fact. All it takes is little cracks in that mortar for water to prove its remarkable ability to find a way in. The mortar can crack from its constant exposure to sun, so water does not even have to be the cause of the original problem.
It just takes advantage of every little problem that exists, be it gaps in flashing, cracks in crowns, chips in bricks, or missing mortar. If water is able to get in, it will, that is just the way it is with chimneys. Simply put, water and chimney’s do not mix and when they do, the results are often costly and disastrous.
Protect Yourself From Mayhem…
You can spare yourself a lot of trouble and expense, even the loss of your house, with proper care of your chimney. Unless you have long-trained eyes and certifiable skills, you should really involve a professional chimney sweep in its maintenance. It may cost a few extra bucks to have a certified sweep come in and check everything, but it is hard to put a value on the peace of mind it offers.