Who doesn’t love spring? After a long, cold winter, warmer temperatures and sprouting plant life is always welcome. That said, springtime is also known for something else that isn’t quite as pleasant – stormy weather. These rainy days are necessary for a healthy ground, but it can put a damper on plans in a hurry.
Unfortunately, canceled outings aren’t the only negative effect of a rain storm. Another big concern? Damage to your chimney. In fact, water intrusion in a masonry chimney is one of the biggest causes of chimney issues, affecting efficiency and its structural integrity.
At Northeastern Masonry and Chimney, we know the importance of having a chimney that can withstand it all. Let us help ensure your chimney is dry and watertight no matter what Mother Nature sends your way.
Moisture throughout masonry can be very hazardous. It can lead to a number of issues including water stains, brick erosion, vegetative growth, deterioration, mold formation, clogs, and more. Larger issues can also appear during something called the freeze/thaw process. In the wintertime, any water inside of your brickwork will freeze and expand on colder days, causing the brickwork to chip, crack, and crumble.
When it thaws, the brickwork settles, putting a lot of pressure on your system as a whole. And if this happens multiple times a season, bricks can pop out of place and become a hazard. In the end, your structure will weaken, you’ll experience inefficiency, and your system won’t be safe for use.
If your flashing is improperly installed, damaged, or has gaps in the sealant, leaks are very likely to occur. The flashing is installed on all four sides of the chimney right at the area where it meets the roof – an especially vulnerable spot.
What makes this area so prone to leaks? Well, the materials making up your roof and chimney expand and contract at different rates, meaning there is usually some type of gap present at all times.
Stainless steel flashing will ensure water doesn’t get in, but if it wasn’t installed right, you’re still bound to have problems. Along with this, if your flashing has been torn or damaged, or if the high-performing caulk that’s used to seal the edges pulls off, water will have ample opportunity to enter.
Missing/Damaged Chimney Caps
Chimney caps serve a lot of functions, such as keeping animals out, blocking debris from clogging your flue, and preventing downdrafts. But what they’re typically most well-known for is preventing water from entering the flue and causing damage to your liner. Without one in place, water is free to enter right through the opening at the top of your flue!
Needless to say, if your cap is missing, not fitted correctly, or damaged, you’re inviting a lot of problems into your chimney. This is one area you don’t want to leave unprotected for long, so be sure to reach out ASAP if you have any concerns.
Deterioration Throughout the Crown
Your crown plays an essential role in keeping the sides of your chimney protected from water damage. Its sloped design sends water out and away from the bricks and mortar, ensuring as little deterioration as possible occurs. Unfortunately, not all crowns were built from appropriate materials and many break down prematurely.
Investing in repairs or rebuilds before things get worse is a must. The longer these services are put off, the worse things will get for your entire system, leading to costly, time-consuming renovations down the line.
Prevention: What We Can Do to Help
So, what can Northeastern Masonry & Chimney do to protect your chimney from water-related damages?
The first step is to repair and replace parts as necessary. That could mean restoring your crown, replacing your flashing, installing a chimney cap, completing tuckpointing services, replacing brickwork, and more!
Now, chimney crowns, chimney caps, and roof flashing are all designed to protect your masonry from water, but these devices can’t protect your entire chimney on their own. That’s why at Northeastern Masonry and Chimney we also urge homeowners to invest in chimney waterproofing.
Many find it surprising when we liken brickwork to a sponge, but when it comes to soaking in water, these two things are quite similar. Our specially designed sealant ensures rain, sleet, snow, and other types of moisture don’t soak into your absorbent brickwork.
The sealant we use is also designed to allow vapor and gases to permeate through your bricks, ensuring air can flow through your masonry. Essentially, all necessary fumes can get out (including pre-absorbed moisture), but nothing harmful will get in – a win-win.
I’m Ready to Get Started! What’s the First Step?
The first thing to do when addressing (or preventing) a chimney leak is to schedule a professional chimney inspection. We follow NFPA standards to ensure your system gets a complete and thorough overview, and our CSIA-certified techs are trained to perform all three levels of chimney inspections, so you’ll be covered, no matter what.
Don’t put it off. The protection and peace of mind you deserve is just a phone call away. Reach out now!