A storm brings with it heavy rains and many kinds of problems for homeowners. After the storm has passed, you’ll need to clear up your backyard, driveway, and other landscaping features. It is a troublesome and hefty task, but at least the level of damage done is easy to spot. There is also one more place where the storm could have caused damage: the chimney.
Assessing the damage done to your chimney can be challenging due to its inaccessibility and location, yet it is important. Storms can damage essential aspects of your chimney, which affects how efficiently it works. To ease your worries, we’ve listed some chimney features storms can harm and how you can repair them.
Chimney Cap or Chase Covers
If you have a covering on top of your chimney, it could have suffered damage during a storm. These coverings vary for different types of chimneys. A masonry chimney would have a chimney cap, while a pre-fabricated fireplace would have a chase cover. These prevent rainwater from flowing into your fireplace.
A storm could cause them to dislodge, become loose or sustain holes that prevent them from blocking out water from entering your home. You’ll need to replace the chimney caps or chase covers if this kind of damage has occurred. If you don’t have this coverage for your chimney, it is worthwhile to install one to prevent rainwater from leaking in and cause damage to your fireplace.
Cracks Between Roof and Chimney
Storms can cause water to leak into your house if any cracks are present where the chimney meets the roof. This is where flashing comes in handy as it seals this crack and prevents water from coming in. Even though most types of flashing are water-resistant and made of metal, it can become loose or even break after a storm.
This damage can be easy to spot as the joint between the chimney and roof would be visible. Cracks in the flashing would cause water to seep in and cause watermarks to form around your fireplace. Inspect the flashing of your chimney from the roof to look for cracks or breaks. It may need to be repaired or replaced altogether.
Masonry Chimney’s Exterior
Masonry chimneys are made of brick and mortar. A storm can cause severe damage to the exterior of a masonry chimney and cause cracks to form in the mortar between the bricks. In extreme cases, bricks may be dislodged completely.
This would let water in, which could further damage the chimney lining. This type of structural damage to a masonry chimney could cause chimney fires in the future. The damaged section would need to be replaced with new bricks, or the mortar would need to be resealed for cracks to repair this damage.
Exterior and interior water stains
Chalky or salty deposits on the exterior of your masonry chimney could mean that it is absorbing water. If the bricks keep absorbing moisture, they will eventually corrode and cause more damage to the surrounding structure of the chimney.
A professional inspection can help measure how much water has been absorbed and if any replacements are needed. If the damage isn’t much, you’d only need to treat the bricks with a waterproof sealant to prevent them from absorbing more water.
Metal Chimneys Deformation
Lighting from a storm can cause metal chimneys to warp and deform. Some metal chimneys can even become detached due to the strong winds. After a storm, inspect your metal chimneys for deformations and cracks. In most cases, they would need to be replaced.
These tips can help you spot some common damages in your chimney, but it is always recommended to call in an expert. A professional chimney service can help thoroughly inspect your chimney after a disaster, such as when a storm strikes your home. Keeping your chimney in the best condition prevents chimney fires or smoke from gathering in your home. Due to the high fire hazard associated with chimneys, you should never neglect their maintenance and inspection.
About the Author
The author is a chimney repair expert currently working at Creative Masonry & Chimney. They are enthusiastic about traveling and have a passion for home improvement.
Your fireplace and chimney also need to be looked after regularly, even if a storm hasn’t struck. A professional chimney service can save your chimneys from suffering any more damages caused by potential storms. Creative Masonry & Chimney offers a wide range of chimney services, such as repair, cleaning, and inspection in Central Connecticut. Call us on (860) 225-9178 to learn more and keep your chimney working at its best!