It is important that you monitor your chimney looking for signs of water intrusion. Better yet, have a Chimney Professional inspect your chimney system annually as part of an annual cleaning and inspection maintenance program.
When conducting an inspection, the technicians from Chimney Sweeps will look at 5 main areas for signs of water intrusion.
1. Rain Cap- All flues should have a good quality rain can installed. Without it, every time it rains large amounts of water goes straight down the flue. This is the first and easiest point of entry to control. We keep all sizes of rain caps in stock and can easily install one for you
2. Cracked Crown - The crown is the horizontal surface at the top of the Chimney Chase. The crown is made of either concrete, mortar or it could be a metal chase cover. Concrete and mortar crowns often crack over time. Chase covers are often made from galvanized steel and galvanized WILL rust. Any of these failures will allow water into the chase resulting in damage.
Our technicians will offer you three different options to repair your crown. If the masonry crown only has minor cracks, an elastomeric rubber coating may be a sensible option. A better and more permanent option is to either pour a new Concrete Crown or install a new metal Chase Cover. A proper crown will not only cover the horizontal surface but also come down over the side a minimum of 3 inches. This assures that water will drop down rather than try to run back under the crown. When we install a new masonry crown we use High Strength Concrete not Mortar. Concrete lasts longer. We fortify the concrete mix with water repellents. If a metal chase cover is the right choice for you, we will have it made at a local metal shop and will recommend it be made from either Aluminum or Stainless Steel. Copper is another good choice for an upscale look.
3. Brick Work - Bricks and mortar can absorb water to the point that the mortar will soften and the bricks will develop a condition called Spalling. Spalling occurs when the outer layers of the brick flake off. Each time a layer flakes off, more moisture is absorbed and another layer will flake off eating away at the brick until there is nothing left. Other signs of water absorption are white flaky deposits called effervescence. You may also see dark and light areas in sections of the brick. The drark areas are probably areas that are absorbing water. We recommend applying a water repellent to the chimney Chase. Not a sealer but a repellent. The brick needs to breathe. A repellent will allow this but a sealer will trap moisture.
4. Flashing - Flashing is metal placed where the shingles meet the chimney and serve as a seal between the two. Improperly installed flashing allows rain water to enter your home damaging the interior brick and possibly the ceiling in your home.
We can install a product called flash seal which is a rubberized material embedded into a fiberglass cloth. This forms a near permanent bond to the chimney and roof surface keeping rain water out of this junction point
5. Ventilation - As mentioned earlier, bricks need to breath. If your chimney does not have any vents near the bottom we can install a series of small vents. This will allow air movement within the hollow chimney chase giving the bricks a chance to dry out.
For these or any other Chimney related problem, contact Chimney Sweeps at 423-398-1632 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also visit our website www.ChimneySweepsTN.com