Your chimney is built to last. When constructed properly, in accordance with residential standards and safety codes, your chimney should outlive your house. If your chimney has gone years without being serviced, inspected, or repaired, then you may have some issues that you aren’t even aware of.
Signs of a Leaky Chimney
Most homeowners don’t know what to look for in chimney damage, and won’t notice an issue until it has caused substantial unseen damage. The most common sign to look for is a change in your chimney’s performance, but that’s not all.
- Is your chimney working poorly?
If you have a smoky fireplace or have frequent difficulty lighting a fire or keeping a fire burning, you likely have a chimney issue. After troubleshooting, your first call should be to a professional who can assess the issue.
- Do you see signs of water, hear drips, or see discolored masonry?
By the time water is visible in the chimney system it has probably leaked for some time. If you hear water dripping, there may be standing water in your chimney system. Standing water can lead to bacteria growth and mold.
- Are there white stains on your masonry?
White stains on the exterior masonry indicate places where water passed through the masonry, leaving minerals behind. These stains are unsightly, but also mean a chimney leak!
- Is your mortar cracking, bricks flaking, masonry falling?
Spalling masonry is a common result of winter damage. This is when water penetrates the masonry and freezes, expanding and busting apart the masonry. When the water melts again, it moves further into the damaged masonry and repeats the process. This freeze/thaw cycle will occur throughout an entire winter if it isn’t stopped, resulting in costly damages.
A Leaky Chimney is Serious Business
When your chimney leaks, due to masonry damage, a missing cap or flashing, or just general wear, it can be a big problem. Water damages the chimney from the inside out, resulting in rusted parts (hinges, doors, and dampers), ruined furnishings (wall coverings, ceilings, walls, and flooring), deteriorated firebox assemblies and central heating system, and stained/decayed/collapsed/tilted masonry.
The type of damage that can occur because of a chimney leak can put your home and your family at risk. A drop in efficiency leads to increased fire risk and carbon monoxide exposure. Mildew and mold in chimneys can cause respiratory issues in residents, not to mention the extensive costs that come with repairs of both the chimney and the house.
Avoid Damages by Preventing Chimney Leaks
The best way to avoid a chimney leak is to have your chimney system cleaned, inspected, and waterproofed. You should have an inspection every 12 months, and your trusted chimney professional can help you determine how often you need a chimney sweep. These services can help prevent leaks, flue fires, and damage over time. Don’t let your New Year be ruined by a chimney problem. Schedule with The Mad Hatter now. Our chimney experts specialize in masonry repairs that can keep your chimney working well, and lasting your lifetime.
Call 317-596-0200 to schedule services today.ion call 518-307-7370.