Summer Storms Can Damage Your Chimney
It’s not uncommon to breathe a sigh of relief when summer comes. No more worrying about the fire and chimney issues can be put behind you, right? Unfortunately, summer storms can do just as much damage to a chimney as snow and freezing temperatures. There are at least 4 parts of your chimney that are in danger of storm damage.
This includes all the brick, stone, and mortar that make up your chimney. Bricks are very porous and can absorb lots of water during the freeze and thaw cycles of winter. The expanding water will cause the brick to crack and once summer arrives, the wind and rain from storms can cause further erosion.
The chimney crown is usually made up of cement, with sloping sides that allow water to run off and prevent excessive amounts of water from entering the chimney. The many storms of summer can cause the chimney crown to crack and chip, allowing water to enter.
The chimney cap fits on top of the crown and as you would expect, caps off the opening of the chimney preventing obstructions and water from getting in. Windstorms can literally blow the chimney cap off, removing that much-needed protection. Now the chimney is once again in danger from excess water, animals, and debris.
The flashing is usually made of metal and covers the area between the chimney and the roof preventing leaks. However, severe storms can allow water to penetrate the flashing and cause it to enter the home, where it can ruin the roof or ceiling.
How do you know if you have storm damage?
Your chimney may have areas that are hard to view but there are some very easy signs of storm damage. Any one of these signs is enough to call for a chimney inspection immediately so that you can be sure no damage has occurred.
- Water stains
- A Leaning Chimney
- Bad Odors – Musty or moldy in the fireplace
- Missing Masonry where bricks have fallen
- Missing or damaged chimney cap
How do you prevent storm damage?
There is no foolproof method to prevent chimney damage but there are a few things to help. The very first step should be to make sure the chimney cap, chase top, and flashing are in good working order. The other way is waterproofing. Breathable water repellents will allow the brick to breathe while preventing water from seeping into the brick.
Freezing temperatures and snow can cause damage to a chimney but winter isn’t the only season to watch out for. Chimneys need to be maintained all year long to function properly when you really need them. Call us at 262-763-3522 to schedule a chimney inspection today.