Do You Have Water In Your Chimney? You May Without Knowing It.

Moisture in your chimney can damage mortar and become a dangerous situation.

Moisture in your chimney can damage mortar and become a dangerous situation.

Harford County June 12, 2014 / MM Globalwire / Summer storms are blasting Maryland, dumping inches of rain onto homes throughout Harford County and the entire state. And, after enduring an extremely harsh winter, there may be some serious problems lurking in your chimney.

Sometimes the warning signs for what can turn into a wet, smelly, living room are not easy to see.  Chimneys aren’t used much in the summer season, so most people don’t think to have them checked for proper function.

Dennis Barnes, owner of Piccadilly Square Chimney Sweeps, which services Harford County, Baltimore County and other locations around Maryland, says that, “during the winter, water freezes and expands, which can deteriorate masonry without you visually seeing it. That process of freezing and thawing puts constant pressure on your chimney, and can result in water entering your chimney and home.”

Given how unrelenting this year’s winter was, it’s a safe bet that your chimney was impacted in some way.

According to the Chimney Safety Institute of America, moisture in your chimney can, “cause interior and exterior damage to your home and masonry chimney including:

  • Rusted damper assemblies
  • Deteriorated metal or masonry firebox assemblies
  • Rusted fireplace accessories and glass doors
  • Rotting adjacent wood and ruined wall coverings
  • Water stained walls and ceiling
  • Clogged clean out area
  • Deteriorated central heating system
  • Stained chimney exterior
  • Decayed exterior mortar
  • Cracked or deteriorated flue lining system
  • Collapsed hearth support
  • Tilted or collapsed chimney structure
  • Chimney settlement

“The other thing that happens when moisture combines with creosote – the material that builds up in a fire-burning chimney – it gives off a very foul smell,” Barnes added.

To avoid all of these potential problems, homeowners should contact a chimney sweep and have their chimney inspected.  The chimney sweep can assess the structure of the chimney and determine if masonry needs attention, if a chimney cap is needing replacement, repair any flashing and more.

“For those who have porous, brick chimneys, I often recommend applying a waterproofing agent to ensure moisture does not enter the chimney,” Barnes suggested.

Sounds like a simple solution.

Share this post:

Related Posts

Leave a Comment