Spring sends a lot of water at your chimney from melting snow to rain. That’s bad news, as nothing can damage your chimney quite like water can. With spring’s wet weather on the way, it’s important that you know the signs of water damage in your chimney and how to protect your chimney from water damage.
The signs of chimney water damage can be subtle or overt. By keeping your eyes open for these signs, you can catch chimney water damage before it starts and before your home faces serious repairs. Some common signs of chimney damage include:
- Water in the firebox. This is one of the more overt signs that your chimney is taking on water. If water is collecting in your firebox, you certainly have a leak in your chimney system.
- Stained or sagging ceiling or walls. This sign of a chimney leak can often be confused for a roof leak. If water stains are appealing on the walls or ceiling around your chimney, the water might be coming in through the flashing around the base of the chimney.
- Discoloration of the chimney exterior. If your chimney is taking on water, the evidence might be on the exterior masonry. White, green, blue, black or even white discoloration on your chimney’s masonry is an indication that moisture is damaging your chimney.
- Cracked or crumbling masonry. Deteriorating masonry usually can be attributed to moisture absorption. Cracks and crumbles in the masonry cause a cycle of chimney damage: Water absorbed by the masonry causes it to crack and crumble, and the openings in the masonry allow more water to gain entry to the chimney structure.
- Musty smell. Your nose might be the first thing to let you know that something is amiss with your chimney. If water is entering your chimney, you might smell a moldy or musty smell coming down the chimney into your home.
- Rust. Water coming in through your chimney can cause rust to form on your chimney’s metal components. A sticky or rusted damper, or rust on the fireplace doors, fireplace grate or metal firebox are a sign that your chimney is exposing your fireplace to water.
Addressing or Preventing Water Damage in Your Chimney
Water damage can have a devastating effect on your chimney and your home. If you notice the signs of water damage in your chimney, you should call in the professionals immediately. They will assess your chimney and prescribe a fix for the leak, and for any damage the leak might have caused. Then you need to take steps to protect your chimney from additional water damage. A specialized waterproofing solution can be applied to your chimney’s exterior to prevent water from entering the chimney while still allowing your chimney to function as it should.
If you notice the signs of water damage in your chimney or fireplace, call Environmental Chimney Service to schedule an appointment today! Our chimney experts can assess your chimney leak and water damage, and help stop water intrusion in your chimney.