Protect Your Chimney from Leaks and Water Penetration
You’re not alone if you think fire is the number one problem you will have if you have a fireplace or wood stove in your home. But the truth is, water penetration is far more likely to ruin your system than fire. That’s why we encourage you to deal immediately with a leaking chimney or get ahead of the game and protect your chimney with a good solid water repellent. This includes protecting your masonry chimney for your oil or gas furnace as well.
The Weather is A-Changing, Everywhere
Beginning each Spring and continuing throughout the rainy season, we receive dozens of calls from homeowners noticing a tremendous amount of water in or around their chimneys, fireplaces or stoves. And in the last few years, the storms seem far worse than they have been in the past.
And let’s face it, you don’t think about your chimney much before, during or after a storm unless it’s obvious you should. You are not alone. The chimney is one of the most taken-for-granted parts of a home. Even though it performs several vital functions, its simple appearance belies its complex construction and performance requirements, so it’s easy to overlook. But making regular chimney maintenance a priority in your home is an essential part of preventing system damage and deterioration.
What’s So Bad About Water? The Rest Of The Truth:
- All masonry chimney construction materials will suffer accelerated deterioration as a result of prolonged contact with water.
- Many homes have problems with their chimneys that turn out to be water leakage. Evidence for this problem includes:
- Water running down the flue
- Water noted in the firebox
- Water running down the brickwork in the attic or inside the home
- Exposed brick chimney shows deposits of white lime on the outside
So what should you do if you already have a water problem? Address it immediately before serious damage occurs!
There are a number of things we look at when determining the source of the water problem. The first thing we evaluate is where the water is showing up. This gives us an indication of where to begin looking for the water entry point.
- The flashing
- The roof around the chimney
- The crown
- The chimney cap
- And the condition of the chimney itself (to see whether it is cracked, deteriorated or missing mortar joints)
This type of comprehensive approach allows us to make a professional evaluation and give you recommendations for addressing the real problem.
Why Waterproof Your Chimney
Waterproofing your chimney is a good idea, regardless of the age of the system. All new and existing masonry chimneys are susceptible to water damage. That’s because all chimneys are exposed to the elements and freeze/thaw conditions. If left unprotected, water penetration can cause severe spalling and deterioration of the chimney’s masonry, which could lead to costly repairs.
At Clean Sweep of Anne Arundel, we use ChimneySaver Water Repellent. Unlike common waterproofing sealers that remain on the surface, ChimneySaver penetrates deep enough to protect masonry from destructive water penetration, while maintaining the structure’s vapor permeability.
Of course a complete chimney protection program should include repairing the crown (if needed), as well as waterproofing the entire chimney. This way you know the entire chimney structure is properly protected from water penetration.
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