Of all the things that can bring a chimney down, water is not the first thing that comes to mind. Fires, earthquakes, and neglect, yes. But water?
Water and Your Masonry
Your masonry is constructed of various materials, all of which are adversely affected by water. When water is allowed to penetrate the masonry, through neglect or storm damage, it can damage the chimney system from the inside out.
Chimney Water Damage
When water penetrates the chimney system, it causes a drop in efficiency, which affects safety and performance. It also leads to mounting damages that can cost an arm and a leg to repair.
- Rusted parts including doors, hinges, damper assemblies.
- Stained and weakened masonry, walls, floors, and wall coverings.
- Clogged clean-out area.
- Cracked and deteriorated flue liner.
- Chimney settlement, collapse, or leaning chimney.
- Water damage in other parts of the house.
- Mold, mildew, and stains throughout system.
- Decrease in air quality and affected central air and heat system.
In the Pacific Northwest, we endure a lot of rain. Our service area likely deals with more rain and water damage than any other area in the country, simply because of the climate. Because it rains so steadily in Seattle year-round, it’s important to stay on top of prevention, and keep the leak from happening in the first place.
- Schedule routine maintenance including chimney sweeps and inspections.
It’s at these routine appointments that a chimney professional will catch damage before it happens.
- Waterproof masonry before winter with ChimneySaver.
This is a vapor-soluble waterproofing agent applied by a certified professional. ChimneySaver allows vapors to escape while keeping water molecules from penetrating the masonry.
- Make necessary repairs as soon as damage occurs.
Damaged masonry can allow water direct access to the chimney system, causing more damage as days pass. Schedule a masonry repair as soon as possible to prevent further damage.
If a leaky chimney is not addressed as soon as possible, water continues to penetrate the chimney system. As fall turns to winter, this can become more serious as water freezes and thaws in what we call the freeze/thaw cycle. Water penetrates the masonry, then freezes, expanding and further damaging the brick and mortar. When the chimney heats, the water melts and moves further into the damaged masonry. As the chimney cools again, the water freezes, repeating the cycle as it breaks apart the masonry. This cycle can repeat all winter long, causing spalling masonry and the water damage described above. Again, the best way to stop water damage is to prevent it.
Don’t let rainy Washington hurt your chimney this winter, or any other time. Hire the best chimney sweep in Seattle, and let us handle your comprehensive chimney maintenance year-round. Call Pristine Sweeps today at 206-574-8414.