Common Chimney Problems

Water Damage to your Chimney

It may be surprising to hear, but water damage actually causes more damage to your chimney than fire does. The chimney is basically a stand alone feature, therefore it receives the most damage on your roof. The roof protects the other materials, but the chimney is exposed to snow, rain and ice because it sticks up above the rest.

Chimneys are made up of:
  • Metal
  • Tile
  • Brick
  • Steel
  • Mortar
  • Cast Iron

These materials can deteriorate fast if they are exposed to moisture and rust if they are made from steel or iron materials.

Water can cause a lot of damage to your chimney, interior and exterior:
  • Damaged or breaking apart of the brickwork which causes water to leak
  • Deteriorated metal which causes rust
  • Worn out central heating system
  • Rotting and spalling mortar which can cause the bricks to become loose and break apart
  • Stain ceilings and walls of the home which may cause mold
  • Damage interior flue liner which causes the chimney to crack. This liner protects your home from toxic smoke and carbon monoxide from entering your home.
To Prevent water damage, have a contractor:

Install a Chimney cap – These keeps the water, keeps birds and animals out. This is a fairly inexpensive fix, but needs to be installed to prevent water leakage.

Replace the chimney crown -This is the top part of the chimney. Many chimney crowns were not properly constructed and will need to be replaced due to cracking, chipping or deteriorating.

Replace Flashing– Flashing prevents the water from rain, hail or snow storms from entering your home. Ceilings or walls can be damaged if this is not maintained. Water damage can also occur to the rafters or joists if the flashing is not properly installed or worn out.

Waterproof the chimney – Brick is similar to a sponge, it absorbs water very quickly. If these are not laid properly or the mortar joints are defective, water can seep to other areas and cause damage.

All of these examples can cause damage to your chimney and features around it.  Although, you may not be able to visually see the damage, it is important to have your chimney inspected because once the damage has occurred it may become a bigger problem and cause interior and exterior damage.