Water and chimney damage
Masonry is not a delicate building material; it is built to last and can withstand years of exposure to the elements when properly maintained. However, your bricks and mortar still may be susceptible to water damage caused by the freeze thaw cycle.
The freeze thaw cycle can cause major moisture damage to your masonry in as little as one season. Because masonry is naturally porous, it can absorb very small amounts of water from rain, snow, ice, dew, or exposure to hoses or sprinklers. While this minute amount of water may not affect a chimney in good condition, if there are cracks or holes in the masonry the amount of water that is absorbed will increase.
In cold temperatures, the moisture in the bricks can freeze and expand; the causes progressively larger and larger cracks and holes to form. This damage from the freeze thaw cycle will continue to get worse over time causing large cracks to form in the bricks, spalling, or even structural damage to the chimney itself.
Waterproofing protects your chimney against moisture
Having your chimney waterproofed can not only protect a chimney in good condition, but it can also help stop the progress of water damage to your chimney. Even if the masonry of your chimney has already begun to crack or spall, applying waterproofing products can slow the progression of the damage and protect the remaining masonry.
Other ways to protect your chimney
Water can affect more than just your masonry; there are a number of other steps homeowners can take to protect their fireplaces and chimneys against water damage. Chimney caps, which protect the top of the flue against moisture, animals, and debris, should be regularly checked for signs of damage – especially if a chimney leak occurs. Likewise, chimney flashing – or the sealant that protects the seam between the chimney and the roof – should be inspected as the flashing can lose its watertight seal over time.
It is important for homeowners to be proactive in protecting their chimney’s against water damage. If you live around Littleton, Lakewood, CO or the surrounding areas, contact Mountain Man Fireplace & Chimney for more information on waterproofing your chimney or to schedule an inspection to check for other signs of water damage or chimney leaks.