Common Causes of Chimney Moisture Damage
Nothing is quite as relaxing as unwinding in front of a warm fireplace after a long, cold New England day. Of course, in order to enjoy this, you need a fully functioning fireplace and chimney system. Unfortunately, moisture damage may be causing chimney issues. There are five common causes of chimney moisture damage. Let’s start by looking at your chimney’s crown.
A damaged chimney crown
Sometimes called a chimney’s wash, your chimney’s crown is a slab that covers the entire top of the structure. They can be made of various materials, including metal, concrete, or stone. Primarily, your chimney’s crown is designed to protect it from weather exposure, maintaining the structural integrity of your chimney no matter what Mother Nature throws its way.
A damaged crown, however, can let dangerous water (whether rain, snow, or hail) into your chimney and compromise it. And, because you can only see your chimney from the ground, you wouldn’t know it’s damaged unless you have it professionally inspected or cleaned.
Broken chimney cap
Another common source of chimney moisture damage is a broken chimney cap. Unlike the crown, which extends over the entire chimney, your cap only protects the opening. Although, a full-width chimney cap is the best option to help reduce moisture. Your cap is critically important to keeping moisture out of your flue. If your cap is broken or damaged, water will quite literally pool at the bottom of your chimney, creating problems that will render the entire system unsafe to use until it’s professionally repaired.
Missing bricks, cracks, decaying mortar and other concrete issues are another common cause of chimney moisture damage. Each of these types of materials is porous in nature, which means that they’re naturally prone to water damage.
And, if you see any of them currently, they’re a double-edged sword. First, missing bricks, cracks, and concrete problems are a sign that there’s an existing problem you need to address as soon as possible. In addition, they’re all causes of additional water damage that will make the problem even worse. While waterproofing your chimney will go a long way towards preventing any further issues, pre-existing problems will need to be inspected (and likely repaired) to ensure your chimney will function properly all season long.
Improperly installed or damaged flashing
Flashing is the bridge between your roof system and the chimney. Over time, your chimney flashing may require replacing. However, if it’s not installed professionally, you can (and will most likely) see chimney moisture damage. Flashing is absolutely essential to a chimney’s longevity.
Finally, newer HVAC systems using an older chimney
Furnaces & wood-based chimneys are not initially compatible. When updating an older chimney to work with a gas-based furnace, a liner is required to prevent excessive condensation. Without this liner, water damage will compromise the integrity of the chimney.
Let us help prevent your chimney moisture damage from ever taking hold
Preventative chimney maintenance is essential to proper chimney function. With over 25 years of experience, we’re standing by ready to help. Contact us to schedule your inspection so we can help you avoid costly chimney moisture damage.