Environmental Chimney Sweep Inc.

What Water Can Do To Your Chimney


Water is a major contributor to the ruining of your masonry chimney.  Your chimney is potentially one of the most taken-for-granted parts of your home.  You know it’s there, but rarely pay it very much attention.

Rainy Days Hurt Chimneys - Baton Rouge LA

It’s one of those things that you expect to be there for you when you need it but may not give it much additional thought in the meantime.  Not very many homeowners give much thought to keeping the chimney’s exterior in the best shape possible; “it’s all just cosmetic,” we think.  This thought process isn’t one to be ashamed of, but it is one to be corrected as soon as possible.

Water and metal are not the best of friends…

It’s common knowledge that water causes rust.  Water penetration can cause your metal damper assemblies and metal chimney liners to rust.  For every bit of rust you can see, there is likely to be even more that you can’t see.  Perhaps you haven’t seen any rust but haven’t been able to physically open your damper; it could be rusted because of water running down from the top (perhaps due to a missing or damaged chimney cap).  In order to prevent water from wreaking havoc on your metal chimney components, a chimney cap is an absolute must have!

Water can cause your brickwork to flake…

Chimney spalling (the flaking off of the brick surface) is a sign of severe moisture penetration.  Spalling bricks have cracks and breaks in the surface and often large, crater-shaped chips.  These bricks need to be repaired or replaced.  The best way to avoid brick spalling is to eliminate the moisture altogether.  If the area around your chimney crown is cracked or the cap itself is defective, this allows water to seep into the brickwork below, thereby increasing the chances for spalling.

Water has a tendency to erode your mortar…

Your chimney is exposed to the elements on the outside and the heat from your firebox on the inside.  As a result, the weathering process is increased.  As such, it is common for the mortar to begin to crumble and fall away, leaving open areas between the bricks, thereby exposing more surface area to these weathering agents.  Repointing your chimney might be your only option.  During this process, the damaged, old and loose mortar on your chimney is removed from the joints between the bricks and replaced with new mortar.

Unless you’re just itching for a reason to get rid of your chimney, there really is no excuse for not taking better care of it.  It’s time to have an experienced technician evaluate the condition of your chimney’s interior and exterior, get them repaired if necessary, and have your chimney coated with a waterproofing agent.  So whether you have a leaky chimney or are simply looking to be proactive and prevent leaks before they happen, call the professionals at Basic Chimney Sweep & Repair today!

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