It’s true, Seattle has a lot of rain year-round, but we also have snow and freezing weather. Winter is just around the corner, and a little water in the chimney system now can become a serious problem as temperatures begin to drop.
Water and Your Masonry
Because of the materials that make up masonry, it is extremely affected by water. In fact, water can destroy a masonry chimney from the inside-out, causing:
- Rusted parts
- Stained masonry, walls, ceilings, and floors
- Cracking and spalling masonry
- Deterioration and settlement
- Mold and mildew
Water will damage masonry no matter what time of the year, but it’s especially dangerous during the winter when it’s subject to a freeze/thaw cycle. During the winter, water penetrates the masonry, freezes and expands, breaking apart the masonry, then melting and moving further into the chimney system. This process is repeated throughout the winter as the chimney cools and warms during use. A small crack at the end of summer can be a serious hazard by the end of winter, decreasing efficiency, raising fire risk, and requiring costly repairs.
The best way to prevent water damage is to schedule your annual inspection now. The Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) recommends annual inspections for the safest and most efficient chimney. Maybe you already had your chimney inspection for this year, but you’ve noticed signs of a leak over the last few weeks or months. Pristine Sweeps offers chimney leak inspections. When you suspect a leak, do not call a roofer or general contractor. When you experience a leak, no matter where it is in your home, it’s most likely caused by your chimney. A Pristine Sweeps technician can come in and assess your leak, identify the cause, and prepare a report for repairs to prevent re-occurrence.
Common Points of Water Penetration
At Pristine Sweeps we commonly see damaged or missing chimney caps, and flashing that was installed incorrectly. Flashing should be installed by an experienced professional, because it is a tedious job that depends on the slant and materials of the roof. It’s important, too, because the intersection of the roof and chimney is the most vulnerable to water damage. It’s one of the first things that we check when a chimney is leaking.
When we assess and repair a leaky chimney, we can also prevent re-occurrence. Pristine Sweeps uses ChimneySaver to treat your masonry and protect it from future water damage. This specially-formulated sealant creates a vapor-permeable barrier that allows vapors to escape, while preventing water molecules from getting in.
Whether you need your annual CSIA inspection, or a specific chimney leak inspection, Pristine Sweeps is just a call away. Call 206-574-8414 or make an appointment using our online scheduling tool.