Because chimneys project above the roof line, they are exposed to more severe weather than any other part of your home. Moisture is one of your fireplace’s worst enemies and can cause thousands of dollars in damage to the structure of your home if left unnoticed. Most masonry materials that chimneys are constructed of are porous and will absorb water, acting like a sponge. The water will “wick” through the brick and cause damage to areas that come in contact with the chimney or fireplace, including the ceiling and surrounding structure. Common signs of water absorption is black mold or green algae on the side of the chimney near the top as well as small trees or any growth growing near the top of the chimney. Our trained technicians use a waterproofing product that is 100% vapor permeable that allows the chimney to breathe while preventing water from entering the pores of the brick.
Our Certified Chimney Professionals can also evaluate the flashing around the chimney where it meets the roofline to ensure a good seal. If for any reason we discover where the flashing is not properly sealing, we can recommend the proper repair.
A leaky chimney is a potentially dangerous issue and should not be ignored. The following are some of the most common signs of a leaky chimney:
If you notice one or more of the above signs, contact the experts at Advanced Chimney Sweep to schedule an immediate evaluation.
In addition to an annual chimney inspection, there are several things homeowners can do to prevent chimney leaks, such as waterproofing, making timely chimney repairs, and installing a custom chimney cap or replacing a deteriorating chimney chase cover.
We can help protect your masonry chimney with professional waterproofing. When the sealant dries, it forms a protective seal that shields bricks and mortar against the dangerous effects of water, snow, and ice. It repels moisture to protect your chimney against damages caused during the freeze-thaw cycle. The waterproof coating should be reapplied every 10 to 12 years.
The flashing is a thin metal strip that covers the exposed seam between the chimney and the roofline. When the flashing is warped or damaged, water can get into the tiny cracks. The water can damage areas of the attic, ceiling, or roof rafters. This moisture can also allow mold and other bacteria to develop.
Loose, cracked or missing bricks and mortar joint damage will continue to worsen until repaired. In addition to water damage, the entire chimney structure can become unstable and eventually collapse. When caught early, tuckpointing is an easy fix. However, prolonged deterioration may require a partial or complete chimney renovation.
The uppermost portion of a masonry chimney is a cement top known as the chimney crown. Its purpose is to push moisture away from the flue. A crack in the crown is one of the most common causes of a leaky chimney. We may be able to repair small cracks in the cement chimney crown by using an elastomeric mortar repair. If the damage is severe, the crown will likely need to be re-built.
We recommend an “Outside Mount Chimney Cap” which covers and protects the entire top of the chimney. The Outside Mount Custom Chimney Cap is more like an Umbrella protecting the whole top of the chimney and shedding water away from the chimney and flashing. Moisture is the major enemy of your chimney causing damage to the bricks and interior components of the chimney system. When a chimney either has no cap or if it is damaged, water can get inside the flue and cause expensive damage. Debris and even pests can get inside and obstruct the vent, which can cause smoke and carbon monoxide exhaust to leak into your home. Spark arrestors (screened area on sides of cap) prevent burning embers from landing on your roof and other combustible areas.
Chimney Chase Covers can rust and allow water into your home. Replacing rusted, deteriorated tops is important for homes that have manufactured (pre-fab) fireplaces that may have been installed many years ago. Best to do a visual inspection of your Chimney Chase Top to determine if it is keeping water out.
Choose Advanced Chimney Sweep to quickly repair chimney leaks throughout Georgia and South Carolina. We serve Augusta GA, Martinez GA, Evans GA, Dearing GA, Hephzibah GA, Thomson GA, Lincolnton GA, Wrens GA, the CSRA (Central Savannah River Area) and the South Carolina Midlands region, Lexington SC, Aiken SC, Batesburg-Leesville SC, West Columbia SC, Forest Acres SC, Bamberg SC, and vicinity.