Our Company Blog

Water Damage and Your Chimney

Water is often your chimney’s worst enemy. Although they were built to withstand the elements, chimneys and fireplaces can be badly damaged by moisture, especially if the damage is not caught and repaired early.

Leaky chimneys and water damage can also lead to other chimney issues such as chimney odor, as well as creating a wet, ashy mess in your firebox. Fortunately, most moisture damage can be stopped with preventative maintenance, good upkeep, and regular chimney care.

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How does the water get in?

There are a number of ways that water can find its way into your chimney system. In the rainy Northwest, it is especially important that chimneys are well protected against moisture. Below are some of the most common causes of water entry.

Chimney caps: Your chimney cap is your fireplace’s main defense against water entry. By covering the top of your chimney, water is not able to enter the flue. However, if your chimney cap is damaged or missing, it leaves your flue exposed and vulnerable to water entry, as well as debris and animals finding their way into your chimney.

Flashing: Flashing is the weatherproof stripping that seals the space when they chimney and roofline meet. Flashing may loose its seal over time, allowing gradually larger and larger amounts of water in; this can damage not just your chimney, but also your roof, ceilings, or frame. Likewise, flashing that is incorrectly installed may have nail holes that let in small amounts of water.

Masonry damage: Bricks and mortar are naturally porous. However, if they are cracked or chipped, additional water may be able to seep into the masonry. As this water freezes it expands, further damaging the bricks and allowing more and more water into the bricks. This causes the masonry to chip, crack, and even break away and fall off when left unrepaired. This freeze-thaw process is typically the main cause of masonry damage to a chimney structure.

Preventing water damage

Because water damage is a gradual process, it can often be spotted early and repaired before major damage occurs. The best way to prevent serious water entry is through having regular annual chimney cleanings and inspections. During a chimney inspection, a certified chimney sweep will inspect all accessible interior and exterior portions of the chimney for signs of water entry or damage.

Many homeowners choose to have their chimneys protected using a specially designed waterproofing product. At Pristine Sweeps, we proudly offer ChimneySaver waterproofing products to our customers. Unlike latex paint or other sealants which can trap moisture and gasses inside the masonry, ChimneySaver, forms a vapor-permeable moisture barrier. This keeps the water out but allows dangerous or harmful gasses to still pass through the brick.

If your chimney is leaking, finding the cause can be a difficult process. However, at Pristine Sweeps we are experts at finding the cause of and fixing leaky chimneys. If you are struggling with water entry or damage and your chimney system, contact Pristine Sweeps today. Our expert staff is ready to help by fixing the water damage and preventing it from happening again.

We’ve Opened a New Location in Bellevue!

At Pristine Sweeps, we have proudly been providing our customers in the Seattle area with top quality chimney services since 2008. During that time we have cleaned more than 2000 chimneys while continuing to expand our client base.

To better serve our customers, we are proud to announce the opening of our newest location in Bellevue, Washington! Our new offices are located at 12247 SE 55th Place and can be reached by phone at (425) 326-1911. We hope that our expansion into Bellevue can help us better serve even more residents of Kings County.

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About Pristine Sweeps

Our company was founded with the mission statement “to provide superior service and ensure safety through our knowledge, education & integrity.” Since opening Pristine Sweeps in 2008, owner Aaron Woodward has worked to provide top-notch service to our customers by maintaining high levels of education and knowledge about even the most recent developments in the chimney industry.

The services we offer

While we are a chimney sweep company, we can do much more than just sweep your chimney. We are proud to offer our customers a full range of fireplace and chimney services including masonry work and the sales and installation of quality fireplaces, inserts, and stoves.

Our CSIA certified technicians are experts at troubleshooting fireplace and chimney systems to discover the root of long term issues such as water or animal entry, drafts, or odors. Our masons can also repair any part of your fireplace system, from the firebox to the bricks and mortar of the chimney. We also offer waterproofing services to protect your chimney against the nearly 40 inches of rain we receive each year.

We are also proud to sell, install, and service a wide variety of fireplaces, stoves, and accessories. Our staff is made up of chimney experts who can better understand what heating appliance will fit your needs than those at a big box store.

The Pristine Sweeps difference

Our dedication to knowledge, education, and integrity has made us one of the most trusted chimney sweep companies in Seattle. Our superior customer service has earned us an Angie’s List Super Service Award in 2010, 2011, and 2013.

We take the time to work with our customers to not just clean or service their chimneys, but also teach them about their fireplace systems. By teaching our customers about their chimney systems, we empower them to make more informed decisions about the care and upkeep of their heating appliances.

In addition, we pride ourselves on staying up to date with the most recent advances in technology, safety, and information in the industry. We are the one of only a few companies in Kings County to belong to the National Chimney Sweep Guild as well as employ chimney sweeps that are certified by the Chimney Safety Institute of America. In addition, we make it a point to attend the National Chimney Sweep Convention each year.

Whether you’ve been a customer for years or will be in our newly expanded service area, we hope you will consider Pristine Sweeps for all your chimney and fireplace needs. Contact us today so we can show you what to-notch service from a well-trained chimney company looks like!