Your chimney is a valuable part of your home and, when taken care of appropriately, it can be one the sturdiest and most reliable part of your house’s construction.
However, without regular services and proper preventive maintenance from a professional sweep, constant exposure to the elements can significantly damage a chimney over time. In fact, water from rain, snow, sleet, and more is one of the biggest threats to your chimney’s overall integrity. The good news is that waterproofing your chimney is an effective way to protect it from the dangers that moisture can cause.
Water & Your Chimney
Water doesn’t always seem like a threat – in fact, after a succession of hot summer days, it can be a welcome sight. Yet, for chimneys, exposure to water can also mean significant damage.
Though they don’t look or feel like it, bricks are actually very absorbent. And when they are exposed to water, they can become saturated, much like a sponge – just one that can’t be wrung out. Water in your bricks and mortar leads to significant deterioration over time posing a great danger to your chimney and your home. And when the water freezes and thaws, it causes the bricks to expand and contract, which can lead to cracking and deterioration.
What is the freeze/thaw process?
The freeze/thaw process occurs when water enters the naturally porous brick and mortar joints of your chimney. When the water freezes, it expands, causing the bricks and mortar to crack and crumble. When the ice melts, the water seeps further into these larger cracks and more can be absorbed. This begins a repetitive process that can devastate your chimney, leading to costly repairs.
Once water has entreated the naturally absorbent brick and mortar the process of erosion, cracking, and crumbling can happen fast and the water damage will likely not stay confined to only your chimney – this moisture can easily spread to your ceilings, roof, and walls, triggering mold growth, staining, wood rot, and more.
This makes spotting a chimney leak early essential. When spotted and resolved quickly, you can prevent water damage from getting worse – which will not only help you avoid risky damage to your home and health, but keep your bank account in good standing, as well.
What Are the Signs of Chimney Leaks?
Some of the signs of leaking water are more obvious than others. Keep an eye out for some of these troubling indications that you have a water-related problem:
- Dampness on the interior walls near the chimney or fireplace. Don’t forget to keep an eye out for this moisture in both the places you can easily see, as well as the places you don’t always see (like your attic).
- Musty or moldy odors in the room with the fireplace. These can be caused by moisture mixing with creosote, soot, and other chemicals lining your chimney flue.
- Stains or discoloration on the walls or ceiling near the chimney. These are often brown in color and, depending on the source of the leak, can be round or oblong in shape.
- A leaky or missing chimney cap – look for signs of rust, animal tampering, or decay.
- A damaged or decaying chimney crown. In these cases, a crown rebuild may be in order.
- Damaged flashing around the chimney. Don’t automatically assume a roofer is the best fit for these jobs – for chimney flashing, you need to know chimneys inside and out, so a certified sweep would be the professional to trust.
- Cracks in the chimney bricks or mortar joints, which can be caused by the freeze thaw process.
- Dripping water inside the fireplace firebox or vent pipe.
- Discoloration of the brick or the white efflorescence stains on the exterior of the chimney. Efflorescence is created when water seeps through your brick and mortar and evaporates, leaving behind naturally occurring minerals that look white.
If you see any of these signs, then your chimney has a leak, and it is crucial to take immediate action to prevent further damage to your system. One of our certified sweeps will be able to find the source of your water issue and make a plan with you to stop the damage, repair any deterioration or broken down parts, and implement services to prevent further damage.
Our technicians have the training, equipment, and experience necessary to help you make your home safer and keep you enjoying your fireplace and chimney season after season.
Why Is Chimney Waterproofing Important?
Waterproofing your chimney helps to protect it from water damage. Even when you can’t see water, your chimney is constantly exposed to the weather elements throughout the year. Heavy rains, snowfall, and even high humidity levels can easily contribute to water damage throughout your masonry and fireplace.
Waterproofing your chimney involves applying a protective barrier that prevents water from entering the bricks, mortar, and other structural elements of your chimney. This barrier helps to maintain the strength of your chimney, reducing the likelihood of moisture-related damage, and helping to extend the lifespan of your chimney.
Why Trust a Professional for Waterproofing?
So, here’s an all-too-common question – can homeowners DIY their chimney waterproofing?
While there are technically store-bought products available for waterproofing your chimney, it is always best to trust a professional for this job – like one of the crew members here at Clean Sweep 317. Why?
The type of products used in waterproofing a chimney are vitally important to making sure your chimney is properly sealed. Not only does your chimney need the ability to block moisture from entering, it also needs to allow any pre-absorbed moisture to escape. If the moisture is trapped under the seal, it can cause further damage to your chimney.
Unfortunately, not all products in the market allow for this. Chimney professionals will use industry-trusted brands that are vapor-permeable, ensuring your chimney stays safer, looks better, and keeps moisture out – all while ensure anything inside doesn’t get trapped in.
✔️ Professional Insight
Our professionals at Clean Sweep 317 can also spot any pre-existing problems with your chimney that may need to be addressed before waterproofing. If you apply these products before addressing any needed repairs, you’ll still experience damage, making all of that hard work you put in null and void.
✔️ Full-Coverage Service
Finally, we have the training and professional knowledge to make sure every inch, nook, and cranny of your system gets covered. You can do the best job of waterproofing ever, but if one area of your chimney is missed – even a small one – you’ll still be getting water in, and you’ll still have a whole slew of issues to deal with.
It’s not worth putting in the time, work, and expense of DIY-ing the job, if you’re going to end up needing expensive repairs down the line anyway. Call us in from the start to ensure a job well done.
Call Us Today
The technicians here at Clean Sweep 317 have the experience and knowledge to properly seal your chimney and ensure that no pre-existing problems are missed. We only used products that are specially designed for waterproofing chimneys, so that no problems or unwelcome surprises arise down the line.
Call Clean Sweep 317 right now to schedule waterproofing services for your chimney. We’d be happy to serve you and your home, so that you can continue enjoying your fireplace and chimney to the fullest – without the worry of water damage lingering in the back of your mind.
Call 317-643-1128 or reach out to us online now.