Water Maintenance & Repairs for Your Chimney

Winter snow and ice.

Spring storms. 

Both bring heavy amounts of water that can really affect your chimney.

#1 Freeze/Thaw Damage & Mold

Water can erode bricks, mortar joints, and even the cement slab on top of your chimney, which is called the chimney crown.

And once you start to get water penetration in the chimney, you can expect it to move into other areas of your home. You’ll have water leaking into wall spaces, going into the attic, into the roof trusses, etc. And in many cases, this ultimately means a mold issue, which is bad news not just for your health, but for your wallet.

#2 Flue Liner & Smoke Chamber Damage

If you get enough water in the chimney, then it starts to negatively affect the terra cotta flue liner.These terra cotta tiles are set in mortar joints, and the mortar joints can start to wash away if water makes its way into the chimney system.

When these mortar joints wash away, you’re left with gaps in the flue liner, which creates inefficiency and safety problems. If water continues to make its way in, that water will also come through the shoulders of the chimney and wash the parging off of the smoke chamber.

#3 Vegetation Growth & Loosened Brickwork

You may see either black mold growing on the exterior of the structure, green growth, or even small saplings growing out of brickwork. What this tells you is that the chimney is water-logged.

If the chimney didn’t have water in it, it wouldn’t be growing anything. But because there’s water in there, it starts to grow vegetation, which weakens the joints and loosens the brickwork.

What Can You Do To Prevent Chimney Deterioration, If Anything?

If you’re freaking out a little bit about your chimney and the threat of water damage, take a deep breath — it’s not all bad news!

Most of this type of chimney deterioration can be prevented at a very low cost through regular yearly inspections. Your chimney needs to be looked at regularly, even if you don’t use it. The sooner you pick up on issues and address them, the more affordable and easier it will be to fix the problem.

Here are our 4 top tips for preventing chimney damage and deterioration:

  1. Keep your chimney properly maintained. We’ve already touched on this a little bit, but keep up with cleanings and maintenance. When repairs are needed, try to get them done ASAP. This could save you a bundle in the long-run.
  2. Waterproof the chimney, don’t paint it. There are water-repellent products that are designed specifically for chimneys, and these can greatly reduce your water deterioration risk and prolong the life of your chimney. We use a product which is breathable, like a Gore-Tex raincoat. This lets the water inside the chimney wick away, but it won’t allow the water from outside the chimney to come in. The worst thing you can do to your masonry chimney is to paint it, because chimneys have to breathe. When you heat and cool the flue liner — whether that’s due to use of the system or temperature changes that happen as the weather changes in a 24 hour period —  you create condensation inside the masonry structure, and that needs to escape. If it can’t escape, it stays inside and rots out the interior of the chimney. So when you apply a water repellent to your chimney, make sure it’s breathable.
  3. Make sure you have the correct type of chimney cap. Not all chimney caps are created equal. To prevent water damage, you need one that covers the entire top of the chimney and sheds the water off of the chimney and the crown. If you don’t see a chimney cap at the top of your chimney or you’re unsure if the one you have is adequately protecting the chimney, give us a call.
  4. Make sure you have a proper chase cover. A lot of times, chase covers that come standard aren’t all that great. For real protection against water deterioration, make sure you have a chase cover that has crossbreaks and drip edges, so that water is shed off of the top of the chimney and not down the sides of it.

Trust Our Team


Great service. Clean, timely and informative.

Jack P.


Simply, Excellent Service!

David E.


Very professional, efficient. Would highly recommend. Wonderful job!

Patricia P

Chimney Deterioration Prevention Is Easy With Clean Sweep Of Anne Arundel County

Has it been a while since you’ve had your chimney routinely inspected and checked for deterioration? We’d be happy to come out and take a look. Remember, when it comes to chimney systems and annual inspections, one very small investment can have a very big return on your investment!

Ready to address water issues with your chimney?

When you call we will have a couple questions for you.

  1. What is the appliance needing inspection? Is it a furnace, wood stove, or gas fireplace?
  2. What does the outside of the chimney look like? Is brick, stone,block, covered in siding or a metal pipe?
  3. Are you having any problems with your system? Campfire smell or odor, animals or birds getting in, system smokes inside the home when you use it, water leaks?
  4. Are you buying or selling your home?
    This information allows us to explain what our technicians will do when they come to your home and what to expect during our inspection process.
    *If you don’t know these answers, it’s okay! We can help you figure it out.


You may not noticed that we don’t have prices listed with our services. That is because pricing is decided on multiple factors including the number of flues, type of appliance, etc. We are not the cheapest, but our testimonials are proof that we make our clients happy. For more information on pricing before your appointment give us a call!