Summers can be very rainy in the Shenandoah Valley, and preventing water penetration of chimneys from heavy rains is one of the most important things we do at Blue Ridge for the residents of this area. Chimney water leaks can lead to expensive and extensive damage, and a lot of this damage happens during the winter. This damage could allow water to leak into your chimney during the spring and summer. If you do not schedule your annual chimney inspection until the fall, you may have to wait a while before you can use your fireplace because water damage has caused your chimney to be unsafe to operate. We would like to tell you more about the type of damage water leaks can do to your chimney and how we can repair these leaks and prevent water penetration of your chimney during the rainy months of spring and summer.
Since masonry materials are porous, bricks and mortar absorb water. The exterior of your chimney is constantly exposed to the elements of weather, so you can imagine how much water is naturally absorbed into your masonry chimney. When the weather gets colder in the winter, that water freezes and expands inside the bricks and mortar joints. Once the weather warms back up above freezing, the water thaws, which causes the bricks and mortar to crack and even break apart. After repeated cycles of freezing and thawing, you could end up with loose and missing bricks and mortar joints, and these holes allow water to enter the flue of the chimney. Water inside your flue can lead to corrosion of the metal components, including the liner and the damper. It can also spread to your home and leave behind stains on the ceilings and walls.
Our chimney experts are experienced with finding and repairing water leaks. We know where to find leaks, and we know how to stop leaks from happening in the most common areas. Once we have fixed the leak, we provide several preventive services that will keep water out of your chimney. Recommended by the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) as the least expensive way to prevent water penetration, a chimney cap will protect your chimney from its top. We also provide chimney crown repair and installation services to keep water from getting inside at the top. One of the most vulnerable areas for water leaks is where the chimney meets the roof. We can protect that area with our customized flashing services that will provide a watertight seal at the roof. Once we have made sure these areas are protected, we can apply a waterproofing formula to your chimney that will create a barrier against water penetration to reduce the amount of freeze/thaw damage for the next 10 winters.
Keep your chimney safe and dry this summer. Contact us at Blue Ridge Chimney Services today to schedule a water leak inspection of your chimney. We want you to be able to enjoy your fireplace with no worries or hassles this fall.