Chimneys, if neglected, can be a breeding ground many problems. Two major issues are the presence of water in the chimney and the deposition of chimney soot. Let’s take a look at these issues in more detail, and a few ways to get rid of these problems once and for all.
Water in the Chimney: Four Common Causes and How to Fix Them
1. An Uncovered Chimney
A chimney without a cover is the most common cause of water in a chimney. An uncovered chimney allows the rainwater to drip in right from the top into the chimney, making the walls damp. That’s why a chimney must never be left uncovered as it can lead to moisture but also to the intrusion of birds and other animals. Blocked chimneys can even make your loved ones sick due to carbon monoxide poisoning. Though it is quite sure that the absence of a proper chimney cover is the main cause of water issues in your chimney, there can be other underlying problems as well.
How to Fix It: Get your chimney properly inspected and covered by a professional, because it isn’t as easy as it may seem.
2. Cracked Chimney Crown
The main purpose of a chimney crown is to protect it from the rain. A damaged crown can allow rainwater to enter into the structure through the cracks. Shifts in the structure can cause these cracks and other structural damage over time.
How to fix it: Chimney crowns can be protected with a high quality coating material. This protective coating covers the crown surface and stops small cracks right in their tracks from becoming even bigger cracks. However, in case of a significant damage, the only way to fix it is to rebuild the masonry. It is better to protect the crown with a reliable protective coating to avoid unnecessary costly issues in the future.
Sometimes, the walls near the old chimneys begin to grow damp. This is mainly due to moisture resulting from condensation. It usually occurs when the chimneys are not lined properly with an appropriate liner.
How to fix it: Install a proper chimney liner.
4. Leaking Chimney Flashing
Sometimes the flashing is not installed correctly, which can cause leaking issues later on. Ideally, the flashing is installed at the meeting point of the roof and the wall. In order to make sure that water cannot leak through the flashing, the right underlayment is of utmost importance. Another reason of leaks can be the old worn-out flashing. So, make sure to replace or repair your cracked flashing as soon as possible. Thirdly, the seal between the chimney and the flashing can be broken.
How to fix it: Use high quality and more durable material to seal the flashing. Contact a trusted chimney sweep company such as All Star Chimney Sweeps.
What Is Chimney Soot And Why Should You Get It Removed?
Chimneys are generally confined places and do not have adequate airflow required for the complete combustion of fuel. Chimney soot is a greasy brown or black deposit formed due to partial combustion of coal or wood. This powdery black dust produced after the incomplete combustion of charcoal or wood is called soot.
Soot is detrimental to the overall look and texture of the walls of your home. Over time, it can stain the surface of the walls and make them look dull and dirty. The soot can deposit almost everywhere. This can be on the floor, walls, garments, or even on your skin. Due to incomplete combustion, soot is somewhat sticky and can cling to the outline of walls and pipes etc. It can cause serious annoyance to the household because of its blocking capacity.
- A blocked or clogged chimney cannot draw in a sufficient amount of air. As a result, your chimney can become inefficient and start consuming more fuel than usual.
- When in large quantity, soot or creosote deposits may even lead to dangerous fires. Therefore, it’s very important that you get your chimney swept on a regular basis.
- Chimney soot is a byproduct of carbon which also makes it extremely dangerous for your health. It can adversely affect your lungs and can cause severe respiratory issues.
- At times, the byproducts formed inside the chimney can make their way back into your home, and stain your home furnishings. Cleaning up this smoky dirt can be a challenging task for most people.
Creosote and soot are unavoidable and will be formed no matter what. The only solution to removing soot and to prevent water in your chimney is to get it cleaned and inspected by professionals regularly.
For more guidance or to discuss your chimney cleaning needs, call us or fill in the form down below!