The Impact of Chimney Water Damage
Chimneys are integral in keeping homes warm and cozy throughout the colder months. However, wear and tear can weaken your chimney’s structural integrity, causing water leaks and mold buildup. Even worse, freezing water can expand and crack the mortar, creating an opening for water or critters.
Fortunately, waterproofing your chimney prevents masonry issues from negatively impacting your home—and the experts at Approved Home Improvements are happy to help.
Common Signs of Chimney Water Damage
Promptly identifying signs of chimney water damage is essential for minimizing its effect on your home. Here are some key indicators to look out for.
Heavy storms can affect your chimney’s structural integrity. One of the most common indicators of damage is chimney leaks during heavy rainstorms. Chimney leakage is often attributed to high winds, heavy precipitation, and excess rainfall. Any one of these can cause water damage and seriously affect the chimney’s structure, making it unstable and unsafe.
Rain Coming Down the Flue
Rain seeping down your chimney’s flue is a common symptom of water damage. Your chimney should be designed to protect your fireplace from rain, snow, and ice intrusion. If you notice water entering the flue and into the fireplace, your chimney’s protective barrier was damaged.
Discoloration of Bricks
Changing brick colors may indicate chimney water damage. As bricks age, they become porous and prone to soaking up water. White marks are signs of water absorption. This discoloration is more than just a visual issue; it also means your chimney structure is weakened by consistent waterlogging.
The Dangers of Chimney Water Damage
Chimney water damage can severely affect ceilings, walls, and structural beams. Water is highly problematic for chimneys for a few reasons.
Your chimney’s bricks and masonry materials are naturally porous. This makes the structure susceptible to water damage, as the bricks and mortar are prone to water absorption. This stagnant water becomes increasingly dangerous in the colder months, as it’s prone to freezing. The frozen water expands inside the masonry, cracking the structure and leaving weak points for future storms.
Freezing water, cracking the brick, absorbing water from new storms, and repeating the cycle causes considerable damage to the chimney. This process causes your mortar joints and brick to crumble. Water that seeps through the cracks in the masonry can then make its way into your home, damaging the foundation, walls, and ceilings.
Water can infiltrate the interior of your home through the chimney, damaging walls, ceilings, and adjacent structures. This can result in stains, peeling paint, and damage to your furniture or electronics. Additionally, water causes unpleasant odors as bacteria grow on your ceiling, walls, or carpet.
Beyond structural issues, chimney water damage can also create health issues. When water enters your home, it seeps into your walls, foundation, carpeting, and other nooks and crannies. Moisture accumulation leads to mold and mildew buildup, posing a severe health risk to you and your family.
As the mold develops, it releases spores into the air that are susceptible to inhalation and ingestion by building occupants. Ingesting black mold spores can lead to serious health complications. Mold spores only need 24 to 48 hours before growing into a serious problem. The damp spaces caused by chimney leakage are an ideal breeding ground for toxic molds.
When frozen water cracks your chimney system, heat is more likely to escape, making it challenging to maximize your energy efficiency. Not only is this wasteful and inefficient, but it increases heating and cooling costs until a professional chimney service like Approved Home Improvements fixes the issue.
Chimney damage comes in many forms. Fix your chimney damage by hiring Approved Home Improvements at the first sign of trouble.
Why You Should Waterproof Your Chimney
Water penetration is the most frequent cause of chimney deterioration and damage. Luckily, waterproofing your chimney is a simple and easy task that eliminates ways for water to enter your home. This not only extends your masonry’s lifespan, but protects your house from future chimney water damage and health concerns associated with it.
Chimney leaks are a frustrating problem for many homeowners, and waterproofing is consistently the best way to alleviate these leaks. Water can damage several exposed areas of your chimney, but brick-and-mortar joints are usually the most obvious places to start.
The mortar used to glue bricks is less durable than the chimney’s masonry. Due to weather and time, the mortar begins to crumble, flake off, and decay. Neglecting mortar damage can eventually lead to the structure’s collapse. Waterproofing your mortar keeps your foundation safe from chimney water damage.
Additionally, professional chimney services offer waterproofing solutions for your entire chimney. These services include coating the masonry with a vapor-permeable sealant designed for waterproofing chimneys. This sealant allows your chimney to breathe, releasing smoke, gas, and heat while preventing the structure from absorbing moisture due to rain, sleet, and snow.
Reinforcing your flashing can significantly lower your chimney’s water retention as well. Flashing is a metal seal bridging the gap between the chimney and the roof. Broken and damaged chimney flashing heavily contributes to leaks. Professional chimney services also offer flashing repair and construction to give your chimney a watertight seal.
Trust the St. Louis Chimney Waterproofing Professionals
At Approved Home Improvements, we’ve prided ourselves on making local homes safer since 1991. Our waterproofing solutions address chimney water damage while repairing any issues.
AHI has maintained an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau by providing impeccable service. If you’re looking for a high-quality chimney solution, reach out today to request a free quote.