Protecting your masonry chimney from water penetration is one of the most important responsibilities you have as a homeowner. By taking action to prevent water leaks, you are prolonging the life of your chimney and saving money on expensive repair work. Water can do so much damage that the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) has called water the biggest enemy of masonry chimneys. To keep minor masonry chimney damage from worsening, you should be aware of the signs of this type of damage so that you can have it repaired as soon as possible. Mr. Smokestack Chimney Service has years of experience in repairing damaged masonry work on chimneys in the Raleigh area, and we would like to tell you how to spot the signs of masonry damage on your chimney.
Cracked, Loose, and Missing Bricks and Mortar Joints
The most obvious sign of masonry damage, broken and missing bricks and crumbling mortar should not be ignored as this deterioration can worsen quickly. Gaps and cracks allow even more water to enter the chimney, and this damage can lead to serious structural problems, including the collapse of the chimney. The majority of this type of damage occurs during the winter. When the temperature drops below 32 degrees Fahrenheit, any moisture inside the bricks and mortar freezes and expands. As the weather warms back up, the thawing of the water can cause the bricks and mortar to crack and break apart. Repeated freeze/thaw cycles can result in extensive masonry damage.
Discoloration on the Exterior of the Chimney
One of the earliest signs of water penetration is discoloration on the sides of a masonry chimney. If you notice white stains, the problem is efflorescence, which is crystalline salt deposit left behind from condensation caused by water penetration. When you see these white stains, contact us at Mr. Smokestack Chimney Service to request a water leak inspection. If you notice reddish brown stains, this is a sign of corrosion damage of your chimney cap or chase cover. We can repair or replace these important chimney components to prevent any further water leaks.
Water Stains on the Ceiling and Walls
Although you might not think these types of stains would have anything to do with masonry damage, it is a sign that water could be leaking into your home through the chimney. You may also notice sagging ceilings or peeling wallpaper. This type of damage can be very destructive as the water leak can lead to the rotting of the wooden structure of your home. Mr. Smokestack Chimney Service can find the source of the water leak and repair the problem to keep any further damage from occurring.
Mr. Smokestack Chimney Service offers several water penetration prevention services, including waterproofing that reduces freeze/thaw damage. Contact us whenever you notice these signs of masonry damage to protect the structure of your chimney.