How Water Can Destroy Your Chimney
Ask any chimney technician about the most common cause of minor and major chimney damage, and you’ll get a single answer: water. When rainwater is allowed into the many parts of a chimney system, it will begin to deteriorate components and threaten the structural integrity of the chimney.
Oliver Twist Chimney & Fireplace of Huntington Beach, CA, would like to share some important information about chimney water damage and how to resolve and prevent the problem.
Areas of a chimney that are often affected by incoming water
Here are four ways water can damage a chimney and make it unsafe to use or live around.
1. Water in the masonry
Chimney bricks and the mortar that holds them together can begin to crack and crumble over time.
Water and moisture will eventually get into these cracks and start a process of decay. Damaged masonry can lead to a leaning chimney or one that collapses entirely.
2. Water in the flue
A damaged chimney cap (or no cap at all) will allow water to move into the flue, where it can damage the chimney liner. A compromised liner can cause a house fire and allow the release of toxic combustion gases.
3. Water outside the flue
Concrete chimney crowns keep water out of the inner chimney outside the flue. Cracks in the crown will worsen until water can move down into the chimney structure. This can lead to masonry damage, building material damage and mold growth.
4. Water in unseen areas of the home
Chimney flashing is the material that seals the gap between the chimney and the roof. If the flashing is heavily rusted or warped, water can run into parts of the home you can’t see. This may cause rotting in home building materials, deterioration of parts of the chimney breast and an outbreak of mold.
Repairing and preventing chimney leaks
Experienced chimney companies have a variety of ways to deal with water damage in chimneys.
Brick replacement: Damaged bricks can be replaced with new ones that match the color of those originally in the chimney.
Tuckpointing: This process removes water-damaged mortar and replaces it with a strong new compound.
Chimney crown repair: Broken chimney crowns can sometimes be repaired and then waterproofed. Major damage usually requires rebuilding the crown.
Chimney flashing installation: If flashing can no longer provide protection, the best solution is to replace it.
Chimney rebuilding: In extreme cases, a chimney can be partially or completely rebuilt.
Chimney waterproofing: After all masonry repairs have been made, the chimney should be waterproofed with a strong commercial sealant to prevent future leaks.
Chimney Cap Replacement
Severely damaged chimney caps and flue covers should be replaced with custom full-width chimney caps.
A custom chimney cap protects the more than just the flue tile opening at the top of your chimney, giving protection to the crown around the flue!
Keep your California chimney in excellent shape
For more than 30 years, Oliver Twist Chimney & Fireplace has been helping our Southern California customers keep their chimneys safe and efficient. We know how to address leaky chimneys and restore operational soundness. All our work is done in compliance with California building and fire safety codes.
Call us for licensed chimney repairs, chimney sweeping and chimney inspections in Huntington Beach CA, Long Beach CA, Torrance CA, Anaheim CA, Santa Ana CA, Lake Forest CA, Mission Viejo CA, San Juan Capistrano CA, Costa Mesa CA, and many more SoCal communities.
Reach a chimney expert today at (714) 843-9944 or get in touch through our simple contact form.