Water – you drink it, wash your clothes in it, shower in it, and cook with it. It’s an everyday necessity for living a comfortable lifestyle and staying healthy. However, H2o causes damaging results when it penetrates the structure of your home, especially when the leaking issue is left unattended for too long. If your house has a masonry chimney, it is one of the most susceptible parts of the dwelling to deterioration from water penetration. Too much water inside the fireplace in your Philadelphia residence can lead to costly repairs if preventative steps are not taken. We may need water to live, but your chimney does not!
How does water get into the chimney?
The chimney cap (also referred to as a rain cover) is your chimney’s protective shield against rain, snow, and other wet conditions. It stops water from entering straight into the chimney and is actually a requirement of the Underwriters Laboratory (UL) for chimney lining systems that are to be listed to meet their test standard. If your chimney is missing a cap, it is not being protected from water penetration.
Water can get into the chimney many other ways as well, including leaks from a cracked chimney crown, a frozen flue that is thawing, condensation from unlined brick, flashing that isn’t sealed properly, and brick water absorption. All of these causes can be taken care of by a chimney sweep who can provide solutions to these problems, as well as conduct repairs.
What are the effects of water penetration?
The stones of a masonry chimney are not affected by water, but the mortar that holds them together is. That’s why the chimney can crumble or fall apart due to prolonged contact with water. The masonry materials can also deteriorate from the freezing and thawing process of water, which causes stress when it expands. But, the stone and mortar parts of a chimney aren’t the only aspects of a fireplace that are subject to damage from water. Water in the chimney can:
- stain the ceiling and walls
- deteriorate metal
- rust glass doors and accessories
- rot adjacent wood
- ruin wall coverings
- rust the damper
- clog the cleanout area
- stain the chimney exterior
- decay the exterior mortar
- crack the flue lining
- collapse the hearth support
- tilt the chimney structure
- damage the chimney settlement
How can chimney water penetration be prevented?
Having your chimney swept and maintained by a professional routinely will lessen the chance of water penetration. As an expert, the sweeper will be able to inspect the chimney for water penetration and let you know the best approach for preventing it. Always make sure that your chimney has a quality rain cap to block water from falling in.
Call us today to schedule a chimney sweep or cleaning!