If you’re like most homeowners, your chimney is probably one of the most taken-for-granted parts of your home. It’s one of those things that you expect to be there for you when you need it but may not give it much thought in the meantime. “It’s all just cosmetic,” we think; this thought process isn’t one to be ashamed of, however, it is one to be corrected sooner rather than later. Monitoring your chimney for leaks regularly will help save you from large repair bills down the road.

Watch for Chimney Damage from Water - Charlotte NC

Chimney Flashing is Nothing to Overlook

Chimneys are notorious for leaking, and the problem is almost always the flashing, which lies at the point where the chimney rises above the roof. It keeps water out of your chimney, protecting both the flue and roof. Flashings are available in a variety of materials. You’ll want to have new chimney flashing installed if you find that it’s missing, rusted through, falling out or completely covered with roofing tar, which is a common short-term fix that’s sure to be hiding a bigger problem underneath.

Chimney Materials Contribute to Deterioration

The mortar used in the construction of your chimney is exposed to the elements on the outside and the heat from your firebox on the inside. This greatly speeds up the weathering process. Chimney materials—brick and mortar—are, by their very nature, porous. As such, they experience hastened deterioration as a result of prolonged exposure to and contact with water and the elements. The freezing and thawing process—during which time water that has penetrated the various chimney materials freezes and expands—quickly deteriorates the overall construction of your chimney.

The Weather is Your Chimney’s Nemesis

One way to limit the impact the freeze-thaw cycle has on your chimney is to prevent as much water as possible from penetrating the materials as possible. Water in your chimney can also cause rust on steel and cast iron parts, ultimately weakening or destroying them over time. The weather is constantly battering the exterior of your chimney. Harsh weather conditions can have a negative effect on your chimney.

Consider Waterproofing Your Chimney

By waterproofing your chimney, you enable it to repel up to 99.9% of the water that would otherwise penetrate the brick and/or other materials. Waterproofing is a true preventative measure that can add years to your chimney’s life. Because it’s not a requirement, many homeowners deprioritize it; this is a big mistake! There are many issues that can develop as a result of water being on and getting in to your chimney, and, as such, swift and immediate action should be taken to ensure that you’re not faced with unnecessary and avoidable repairs bills.

Water doesn’t evaporate as quickly during the colder months, which affords it more time to wreak absolute havoc on your chimney. Unless you’re just looking for a reason to get rid of your chimney, there really is no excuse for not taking better care of it. It’s time to have an experienced technician inspect your chimney, have it repaired if necessary, and have it coated with a waterproofing product to prevent any future water penetration issues. Whether you have a leaky chimney or are simply looking to prevent leaks before they happen, call Owens Chimney Systems today!