Water is an incredible thing. It can be the source of life and it can be the cause of death. It can be a great refresher and can be a great problem. When water is where it is supposed to be, doing what it is supposed to be doing, it is among the best nature can offer. However, when water is in places it shouldn’t be, it can be absolutely devastating.
This is true for your home – and especially your chimney. Water does not get along with brick and mortar, which is why keeping it out of your flue is essential in chimney maintenance and care. Fortunately for Milwaukee homeowners, our team at Ashbusters is equipped and ready to help you keep that water outside where it is supposed to be.
How Can I Know if My Chimney Is Leaking?
When water gets into places it’s not supposed to, it can cause various things to happen that will tip off a keen observer that there is a problem – and the sooner you can spot a leak in your chimney, the easier and less costly it will be to repair. Unchecked, leaking water can be destructive enough to cause danger and harm to your entire home and the people living in it.
Here are some things you can look for to spot water leaks from your chimney quickly.
- Water In Your Fireplace: An obvious sign that something is wrong is if you see water in the firebox of your fireplace. Your chimney and fireplace are designed to remain dry. If all the parts are working correctly, this will be the case. If you see water in the fireplace, though, then action should be taken to locate the leak and repair it.
- Water Spots: If you see brown water spots forming on your ceiling or on the walls near your chimney, it is likely that you have a leak. Take action quickly as the structure of your home is being exposed to water. Unchecked, water can cause it to rot and weaken – and even trigger mold growth.
- Peeling Paint or Wallpaper: When walls are exposed to water, the paint or wallpaper that covers it will often start to peel off. This is because, as the water penetrates, the materials that make up your wall it will cause it to expand and gain surface area. The paint and wallpaper that cover it will be forced to thin and come off.
- Musty Odor: Soot and other chemicals that collect on the interior of a chimney will begin to smell musty when exposed to water. If you notice a damp or musty smell coming from your fireplace, it is time to check for leaks.
- Efflorescence: Efflorescence is a white discoloration that can appear on the exterior of your chimney when water has been or is currently present. This is because the water is causing salt deposits to be left behind as it evaporates off of brick and mortar.
- Chimney Liner Damage: Your chimney liner is durable against heat, but can crack and break down when water is present. If you notice that your liner is damaged, it is likely that water is getting to a place it’s not supposed to.
- Rusty Damper: If your chimney damper won’t close all the way, it could be warped or rusted due to exposure to water. If you notice that it is not behaving like it should, get your damper checked out or repaired – and have your chimney checked for leaks.
- Crumbling Brick and Mortar: One of the most obvious signs of water damage is crumbling brick and mortar. Though they look like impenetrable rock, bricks are actually absorbent, and they can easily collect water. Water wears away at brick and mortar over time. If your masonry chimney is crumbling don’t hesitate to get it repaired before it does expensive damage to your home.
What Is Chimney Waterproofing? Is It Important?
As water is exposed to masonry something known as the freeze/thaw process begins. When water collects in the pores and cracks of brick and mortar it will expand as the temperature drops and the liquid freezes – this causes the brickwork to crack and form holes. When the water thaws, more moisture is then able to be absorbed and collected in the brick. Upon freezing again, further damage is done. This process continues until the masonry begins to weaken and crumble.
The good news is your chimney can be waterproofed. While chemicals claiming to waterproof your chimney are available for DIY projects, it is important to keep in mind that it is a big job and, if done improperly, can cause more damage than it protects against.
At Ashbusters Milwaukee, we use only premium vapor-permeable solutions to waterproof masonry. This allows pre-absorbed moisture to vent out through the protective barrier, while also keeping outside water out of your brick and mortar.
Our team’s training and expertise will ensure that nothing is missed when waterproofing your masonry. Every detail is checked before the waterproofing process so that any damage that needs repairing can be repaired before waterproofing. This means a long lasting job done right which saves you money in the end and allows you peace of mind for years to come.
Count On Us for Quality Protection
As we enter the rainy months of spring, schedule your chimney to be inspected and waterproofed. At Ashbusters Milwaukee we are ready to provide you with the high level of care, professionalism, and respect you deserve. Call our certified techs at (414) 310-6874 or reach out online today.