Living in St. Louis means experiencing a wide range of weather conditions throughout the year. From fierce winds and heavy rainfall to hail storms and snowstorms, our homes are constantly exposed to the elements. And as the highest, most vulnerable point of the structure, chimneys often suffer the brunt of storm damage.
In this guide, we’ll explore the common indications of storm damage to your chimney and highlight the importance of addressing these issues promptly. We’ll also discuss the dangers of chimney water damage and the benefits of waterproofing your chimney to protect both its structural integrity and the health of your home.
Some of the most common systems of chimney damage include the following:
When severe storms hit, one of the telltale signs of chimney damage is water leakage during heavy rainfall. High winds, and excessive precipitation can compromise your chimney’s structural integrity, leading to instability and safety concerns. If you notice water entering your home through the chimney during storms, taking immediate action is crucial.
A damaged chimney may allow rainwater to seep down the flue, bypassing its protective barriers and entering your fireplace. This indicates that the chimney’s protective barrier or structure has been compromised. Prompt attention is necessary to prevent further water intrusion and potential damage to your home’s interior.
If you observe a change in color or white discoloration on your chimney’s bricks, it indicates the presence of undetected water damage. As bricks age, they become porous, making them prone to absorbing water. This absorption weakens the chimney’s structure over time, leading to compromised integrity and stability.
Chimney caps protect chimneys from excessive water intake and can be dislodged or damaged during severe storms. If you find that your chimney cover has blown off after a storm, you should replace it as soon as possible. Chimney caps not only prevent moisture from entering the chimney but they also act as a barrier against rust, snow, rain accumulation, and unwanted pests.
Chimney damage of all kinds is problematic, but water is especially harmful for various reasons. Water leaks invite many issues, like:
Chimneys are constructed using porous materials such as bricks and mortar, which are highly susceptible to water damage. Freezing temperatures can exacerbate the problem as the water trapped within the masonry expands, leading to cracks and weakened structural points. This continuous cycle of freezing, cracking, and water absorption can cause severe damage to the chimney’s bricks and mortar, compromising its overall stability. Water that infiltrates the cracks may also find its way into your home’s structure, damaging foundations, walls, and ceilings.
Water damage resulting from chimney leaks creates an ideal environment for mold and mildew growth. As moisture accumulates within the walls, carpeting, and other areas of your home, it promotes the development of mold colonies. Mold releases spores into the air, posing health risks when inhaled or ingested by occupants. Prolonged exposure to black mold spores can lead to serious health complications, so addressing chimney water damage promptly is crucial to prevent the growth and spread of mold.
Wondering if your chimney is in good shape? Read our blog on some of the biggest problems related to chimney water damage and see whether it’s time for a chimney inspection.
Waterproofing your chimney is a proactive measure that offers numerous advantages, protecting both your chimney and your home from the damaging effects of water intrusion. By waterproofing, you’ll get:
Water penetration is a common cause of chimney deterioration and damage. By waterproofing your chimney, you create a barrier that eliminates avenues for water to enter your home. This protective measure significantly extends the lifespan of your chimney, saving you from costly repairs or even the need for a complete chimney replacement in the future.
Chimney leaks can be a frustrating and persistent problem for homeowners. Waterproofing effectively addresses this issue by sealing the brick-and-mortar joints, often the most vulnerable areas for water intrusion. By applying a vapor-permeable sealant designed explicitly for chimney waterproofing, you can allow your chimney to breathe and release smoke, gas, and heat while preventing moisture from rain, sleet, and snow from seeping in.
The mortar that holds the bricks together is generally less durable than the chimney’s masonry. Over time, weather and age can cause the mortar to deteriorate, resulting in crumbling, flaking, and decay. Waterproofing the mortar joints ensures the integrity of your chimney’s foundation, safeguarding it against weather damage and minimizing the risk of water leakage.
Flashing, which acts as a watertight seal between the chimney and the roof, is prone to damage during storms. Broken or damaged flashing is a common contributor to chimney leaks. Professional chimney services offer flashing repair or construction to reinforce the waterproofing of your chimney. By ensuring a secure and intact flashing, you can significantly reduce water retention and prevent potential water damage to your chimney and home.
When it comes to protecting your chimney from storm damage and water intrusion, it is essential to rely on experienced professionals. Approved Home Improvements (AHI) has been serving St. Louis since 1991, specializing in chimney solutions that prioritize safety and longevity.
With an impeccable A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau, we offer comprehensive waterproofing services tailored to your chimney’s specific needs. Our team of experts will carefully inspect your chimney, identify any existing damage or vulnerability, and provide practical solutions to mitigate water-related issues. Whether sealing mortar joints, applying a vapor-permeable sealant, or repairing and reinforcing flashing, AHI ensures your chimney remains protected from the damaging effects of storms.
See how Approved Home Improvements continue to make St. Louis homes safer and request a free quote today.