How Water Can Damage Your Chimney


If your home has a masonry fireplace and chimney, you should know that the Chimney Institute of America (CSIA) has called water the biggest enemy of your chimney. Water penetration of your chimney can cause expensive and extensive damage to the interior and the exterior of your home. Keeping water out of your chimney is key to prevent the deterioration of the entire structure. At Ace Chimney Sweeps, our CSIA-certified technicians are well aware of the damage water can do to a masonry chimney, and we can find the leak, repair the damage, and then prevent further water penetration of your chimney. Often asked by our customers how water can ruin a chimney, we would like to share with you how water penetration can do lots of damage.

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Water can cause brick and mortar spalling, which can lead to structural damage.

If the bricks and mortar of your chimney suffer a great deal of water exposure, the water will penetrate into the masonry materials. When this trapped water freezes inside your bricks and mortar, the breaking apart, chipping, and flaking of masonry materials occurs when the temperatures rise and the water thaws. The expansion of the thawed water can be too much for bricks to endure, which is why they become loose and/or break off of your chimney. This phenomenon is known as spalling and can lead to possible severe structural damage of your chimney, if the bricks and mortar continue to erode. Water will also further invade your chimney through the holes provided by the spalled bricks and mortar, which can create even more damage. If you ever notice loose bricks or mortar on the exterior of your chimney, contact Ace Chimney Sweeps for a chimney inspection. We will repair the damage and waterproof your chimney to prevent spalling from occurring again.

Water can cause cracks and other deteriorations to your chimney flue liner, which can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning.

Water penetration not only affects the bricks and mortar of your chimney; it can damage your interior flue liner as well. If you have a clay chimney liner, cracks will form due to water penetration, and if you have a metal chimney liner, rusting will occur from water exposure. Both of these problems can cause your liner to break apart, which can be a health hazard since your chimney liner serves to protect you and your family from the by-products of combustion like smoke and carbon monoxide from entering your home. At Ace Chimney Sweeps, we can repair and restore clay chimney liners with HeatShield, and we can replace damaged liners with a durable stainless steel liner.

Water can cause interior damage to your home, including stained walls and ceilings and mold growth.

Not only does water penetration of a masonry chimney cause many issues to the chimney directly, but a leaky chimney can also stain the ceilings and walls of the room where your fireplace is located. If you find water leak stains in your fireplace room, you should also consider the possibility of mold growth in the ceilings, walls, fireplace, and chimney. Contact Ace Chimney Sweeps as soon as possible if you ever see this sort of water leak damage.

If you have more questions on what types of damage water penetration can do to a masonry chimney, contact Ace Chimney Sweeps today. We are happy to help you prevent this kind of damage to your fireplace and chimney.



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