Your chimney system is designed to work constantly while the fire is burning and when it’s not. As the fire burns, the gases and other pollution produced by the flame are vented through the flue and exits through the top of the chimney. When the fireplace is not burning, the chimney parts and functions continue to work as outside weather and wildlife must be kept out and the air inside the home is kept in. Even as you use your fireplace less and less as temperatures become mild and spring arrives, it can be the source of big problems for your home if the water is allowed in.
Water and Winter Damage
Masonry is made up of many materials that are all adversely affected by water. Unfortunately, it’s the very traits that make masonry perfect for chimney ventilation that also make it susceptible to water penetration and damage. During the winter months, water penetration can become an especially big problem as the water freezes and expands, breaking the masonry apart. When the chimney warms and the moisture thaws, the water moves further into the damaged masonry where it eventually freezes and expands again. This is called the freeze/thaw cycle, and it can damage a vulnerable chimney all winter long. Winter damage like this leads to more damage in the spring as most regions experience wetter seasons. The Pacific Northwest especially experiences high amounts of rain for a large portion of the year, so it is our concern at Pristine Sweeps that our customers’ chimneys work well and work all year-round.
Taking proper care of your chimney will prevent serious damage caused by chimney leaks, including:
- Rusted parts
- Deteriorated assemblies
- Stained masonry, walls, furniture, etc.
- Rotted wood and walls
- Mold and bacteria growth
- Mildew odors and growth
- Collapsed or tilted chimney structure
- Chimney Settlement
Chimney leaks are often expensive to repair because they go on behind the scenes for some time before the average homeowner notices them. The best way to catch and repair a chimney leak, or even prevent it altogether, is to have your chimney system serviced by a certified chimney sweep annually. During your annual chimney inspection, any hazards or weaknesses will be detected and reported so that you can take action right away. Once a problem is disclosed to the homeowner, it’s important to get it corrected right away in order to prevent future damage that will be more expensive and more of a headache.
Preventing Chimney Leaks in Seattle, WA
For home and business owners in King County, a properly-maintained chimney is only a call away. We repair damaged chimneys, stop chimney leaks, and prevent a recurrence. You might be tempted to call a general contractor, a roofer, or a plumber when you find a leak in the house. The fact is that a leak anywhere in the house when you have a chimney is likely a chimney leak. The only professional to call for a leaky chimney is a certified chimney sweep and the only professional who can prevent it all together is a certified chimney sweep.
Our team of experts at Pristine Sweeps are CSIA certified chimney sweeps who are field and classroom trained in chimney science, fire safety, and federal and municipal fire codes. We not only repair masonry and parts, but we install quality products that keep your chimney system working properly all year-round.
- Crown Repair – We smooth surfaces and fill cracks to restore the crown that sheds water off and away from your chimney.
- Flashing Installation – We replace and install flashing at the intersection of the roof and chimney which is the most vulnerable part of the entire chimney system.
- Chimney Caps – We install quality caps to keep animals and precipitation out of the chimney system while keeping sparks in.
- Water Repellent Treatment – To protect the masonry itself, we apply a vapor-permeable agent that penetrates deeply and keeps water molecules from passing through. It allows vapors to pass through, however, so the chimney is able to breathe as necessary for the chimney to function.
It is our goal for every home in our service area of Greater Seattle and the surrounding county to be safer and warmer this winter. We are best able to do this by providing services that prevent all the problems that make chimneys unsafe. We don’t only waterproof chimneys, but we also provide basic chimney sweeping and CSIA inspections which keep the chimney system working safely and efficiently. Having the chimney system serviced regularly will mean other problems are caught early and hazards never result in flue fires. These routine maintenance appointments do come at a cost, but it is slight compared to repairs. Additionally, those chimneys that are serviced regularly require less maintenance and care during the life of the chimney.
Have you had your chimney serviced this year? Has it ever been waterproofed? You can rest assured it is not only ready for burn season but is also protected from water penetration this spring and for years to come.
Call Pristine Sweeps and speak with a professional today. Dial 206-574-8414 today.