Why Chimney Leaks Are So Dangerous
Chimney leaks are one of the most common problems we encounter and one you need to fix quickly. In this blog post, we look at what causes chimney leaks, why they’re dangerous, and what you can do to prevent them.
What Causes Chimney Leaks?
Chimney leaks happen for various reasons, but the most common are cracked or deteriorated crowns, worn-out mortar joints, damaged flashing, no chimney cap, and improper sealing.
Cracked or Deteriorating Crowns
Chimney leaks are most commonly caused by cracked or deteriorating chimney crowns. This happens when water seeps between the mortar joints of the crown and flue, damaging the chimney’s interior.
Deteriorating or Worn-Out Mortar Joints
The mortar used to seal the joints between the chimney’s bricks is exposed to the elements 24/7/365. If you live in an area with heavy rain, snowfall, and a freeze/thaw cycle, the mortar joints crack, allowing water to seep into the chimney and causing more damage.
Flashing is a waterproof material that contractors put on areas where the chimney meets the roof. Flashing creates a watertight seal to protect the roof and your home from moisture penetration and damage. Flashing is typically made from aluminum, steel, copper, vinyl, or PVC. Common causes of flashing damage include poor-quality materials, improper installation, and extreme weather.
Missing Chimney Cap
Chimney caps are essential components to the chimney system, and it’s surprising how many chimney owners don’t have one installed. Chimney caps keep water and debris from getting into the chimney and prevent sparks from shooting out and possibly landing on the roof. If you don’t have a chimney cap or yours is damaged, you’re allowing water, animals, and debris to get in and wreak havoc.
Many people who live in areas that get a lot of precipitation opt to have their chimneys sealed to protect them from water damage. However, the seal is only as good as its application. Sometimes, people attempt to seal their chimneys themselves instead of hiring a professional to save a few bucks, but that can do more harm than good and lead to severe damage and expensive repairs down the road.
Why Chimney Leaks Are So Dangerous
You might think that a little water in the chimney isn’t so bad; it’s made from bricks. Right?
Chimney leaks are extremely dangerous, and here’s why.
A chimney leak that goes undetected gets worse every year and can lead to structural damage to your chimney and home. When water penetrates the masonry materials, it leads to cracks, deteriorating mortar joints, and spalling bricks, which could compromise your chimney, requiring a complete rebuild.
Water damage can also damage the flue liner. The liner contains the combustion products the fire produces and directs them outside. Liner damage can expose your home’s combustible materials to extreme temperatures, putting you at risk of a house fire.
Besides fire, the last thing homeowners want is water damage. When water gets into the house, it can cause mold growth, wall, floor, and ceiling damage, and costly repairs that aren’t covered by your homeowners’ insurance.
Reduced Property Value
Potential homebuyers can overlook things like ugly carpets, outdated fixtures, or that paneling you’ve had up since the 70s. However, one thing that will kill your property value faster than anything else is water damage. Why? Because when people hear water damage, they think of mold.
Preventing Chimney Leaks
So, chimney leaks are dangerous, but what can you do to prevent them?
Schedule Regular Inspections & Cleaning
The best way to protect your chimney from leaks and other damage is to schedule an annual inspection by a trained professional. An inspection by a certified pro can identify minor issues and allow you to address them before they cause expensive repairs. Besides inspecting the chimney for structural damage, your chimney professional will clean debris and creosote from the lining to protect you from possible fire and help your fireplace run more efficiently.
Install a Chimney Cap
As mentioned, chimney caps are crucial chimney components that no chimney owner should be without. Chimney caps are an extremely cost-effective way to prevent water, animals, and debris from getting into the chimney can cause damage.
Cracks in the brick and mortar joints allow water to get in, but applying chimney sealant gives you waterproof layer that can extend the lifespan of your chimney. Just make sure you hire a professional who knows what they’re doing.
Keep Gutters Clean
Clogged gutters cause rainwater to overflow and spill onto the roof, increasing the chance of penetration into the bricks and your home.
Contact Us Today
Whether you need chimney cleaning and inspection, cap installation, or repairs, you can count on National Chimney Cleaners. We’ve proudly served Connecticut and New Jersey residents for over 20 years. Our certified professionals provide top-rated work at affordable prices. Book an appointment today at 888-507-5723.