Efflorescence: White Staining on Chimneys
You may have noticed chimneys with odd-looking white and off-white stains on their exterior surfaces. Maybe this is happening to your chimney. It’s a common occurrence, but it’s not one to ignore.
Why White Stains Appear on Chimneys
The white you see is salt that is being leached from porous bricks through water absorption. Over time, bricks normally collect small amounts of rainwater. Efflorescence is the scientific name for salts moving out of bricks.
Is Efflorescence always a Problem?
A little white staining doesn’t necessarily point to a serious problem. Still, it never hurts to have your chimney looked at by a professional chimney sweep to determine where and how water is getting into the bricks, the amount of water that’s getting in, and how many areas throughout your chimney structure might be vulnerable.
National Chimney Service provides complete chimney masonry inspections and all the necessary repair work should we find damage in the system. We see a lot of efflorescence on chimneys in Fairfield CT, Dover NJ, Greenwich CT, Rockaway NJ, and other cities and towns in our service area of Fairfield County CT, and Morris County NJ.
Normal water absorption is one thing. It’s another thing when water is moving into a chimney’s bricks and mortar because of surface cracks or breaks in the bricks & mortar. If your chimney is leaking for this reason, efflorescence is the least of your concerns.
White Staining on the Chimney can Be the First Sign
Chimney leaks show various signs. Often one of the earliest is the familiar white stains on the chimney’s exterior. Later signs of a leaky chimney might include:
- Water in the firebox
- Strong, musty odors coming from the fireplace
- Similar odors in attics and crawl spaces
- Damp sections on walls and the ceiling near the fireplace/chimney
- A rusty fireplace damper that won’t open or close correctly
If a chimney leak is left unattended, it’s not uncommon to experience a chimney that leans to one side, a collapsed chimney, the seepage of dangerous combustion gases into the home, or a major house fire caused by a damaged liner or flue that allows excess heat to come into contact with home building materials.
Preventing Efflorescence and other Chimney Issues
Keeping your chimney safe and working correctly starts with an annual chimney inspection. Our crews perform a lot of basic chimney safety inspections throughout Morris County and Fairfield County to help homeowners learn about early signs of damage so they can get them fixed quickly.
A key area of our inspections is the chimney masonry. We check for loose bricks, decayed areas of mortar, small cracks in the surface, and other early signs that a bigger problem could be on the way. After the inspection, we’ll tell you exactly what we found and exactly how we recommend having it resolved. We can also prevent chimney leaks in the future with our chimney waterproofing repellant.
Don’t wait until your chimney starts to fail. Call National Chimney Service today at (862) 359-0059 in New Jersey or at (203) 357-5507 in Connecticut and schedule a chimney inspection. If it’s been more than a year since your chimney was professionally cleaned, we can take care of that at the same time.