Don’t Let A Chimney Leak Destroy Your Chimney & Devalue Your Home

pressure washing chimneyEvery year, approximately 1 billion dollars’ worth of water damage is done to masonry chimneys in the United States alone. Whether your masonry chimney is old or new, water can find its way in and do some serious damage to your chimney system and home, especially where rainfall is heavy (i.e. Portland). Unfortunately, many water problems go unnoticed by homeowners for quite some time. When this happens, damage is typically extensive and can require some hefty and costly repairs. The good news is: there are some ways to protect yourself and your wallet.

Protect Your System From Extensive Water Damage By:

  • Scheduling regular inspections – Every chimney system, regardless of age or type, should be professionally inspected on an annual basis. Inspections are important because they can help identify any problems, flaws or inefficiencies before expensive repairs are needed. They can also give you the peace of mind you need to enjoy your fireplace, stove or insert. For more information on our inspection services, please click here.
  • Knowing what to look for – One great way to protect yourself is to know the signs of water penetration. Some signs that water has penetrated your masonry include brick discoloration, vegetation, cracking, crumbling, spalling or efflorescence. If you have a prefabricated system, be on the lookout for rust streaks or corrosion.
  • Have flashing professionally installed and a custom cricket built – The strips of metal layered where the roof and chimney meet serve a pretty crucial purpose: they protect this vulnerable area from water penetration. If the flashing isn’t installed properly, or if water corrodes or strong winds pull up the flashing, the chimney will have a leak in no time. Is your flashing offering adequate protection? Another way to protect your system is to have a custom cricket built. The cricket is built on one side of the chimney, and redirects water off of the roof and into the gutter. For more information on flashing and custom crickets and how they can help protect your chimney, please click here!
  • Waterproofing – Having your chimney professionally waterproofed is one of the best investments you can make, especially here in Portland where we get a great deal of rain and snow. Unlike paints and commercial waterproofing products, our professional-grade products are 100% vapor-permeable. Why does that matter? Well, the reason lies in the masonry. You see, brick and mortar are designed to breathe, which is part of why they are so durable. But when you apply a paint or commercial waterproofing product (which isn’t 100% vapor-permeable), you’re actually smothering and harming the masonry. For more information on our waterproofing services, please visit our waterproofing page.

Water can damage your chimney in the form of staining, loss of insulation value, freeze-thaw damage, deterioration and eventually structural failure. If you’re dealing with a leaky chimney, give American Chimney & Masonry a call ASAP! Our technicians can locate the source(s) of the leak(s), make the necessary repairs and help you prevent future problems. Call 503-644-0393 or click here to make an appointment with one of our pros!

To maintain safe operation, your chimney may need relining. Ask us for more information about this important chimney service.

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