Is Water Ruining Your Chimney?
Are your local weather conditions ruining your chimney? The fact is your chimney is very susceptible to rain, wind, snow, sleet and even heat. Also, the more drastic the change in weather, the more of an impact it has on your chimney construction.
In some climates, it can be sunny and warm one day and the next day it’s bombarded with golf ball sized hail or larger. This is especially the case for homeowners in Texas where temperatures can quickly swing 50 degrees or more in either direction in a single day. Torrential rains are no stranger to the Houston area for sure! These types of weather conditions can wreak havoc on the integrity of the entire chimney system.
We’re also in the midst of a weather phenomenon known as La Nina where much of the country is experiencing atypical weather patterns bringing more rain for some parts of the country. And scientists are predicting a period of unusually higher precipitation than usual to continue around the country, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
So there is no escaping it; unless you live in the desert water is everywhere. And it could be taking more of a toll on your chimney than you may realize. Your chimney is built with organic materials comprising of brick and mortar or other type of masonry. Although bricks are manufactured to create a hard outer shell, it absorbs water like a sponge and over time the porous material will soften. In addition, the mortar that holds the bricks together also becomes soft eventually melting away causing spalling bricks to become loose or fall off the chimney.
Chimney caps are a highly recommended safety feature that can help keep most water out of the chimney and flue. However, one unusually strong storm surge could damage the chimney cap and crown allowing water to fill inside the chimney. This can lead to a variety of problems such as rusting the metal damper which will make it difficult to operate or close. When the damper is not in working order due to rust or other damage, water can soak the inside walls and firebox. This can be a big blow to your chimney that can lead to cracks, eroding mortar joints, loosen bricks and even damage to the flue liner.
Since bricks and water are not a good mix, homeowners can waterproof the chimney to provide some protection from water damage. But masonry water repellant will need to be periodically reapplied to remain effective. Your chimney repair specialist may also recommend other options for deflecting water from your chimney. Also, the Chimney Safety Institute (CSIA) recommends that cracked or missing bricks or other chimney damage be fixed to restore the system’s structural integrity before waterproofing.
Don’t let water ruin your chimney. Contact your chimney specialist to schedule a chimney inspection today!
Guardian Chimney Sweep
Houston, Texas / Conroe, Texas
Houston: (713) 401-2011
Conroe: (936) 271-9781