No matter who installs or provides maintenance to your chimney, water erosion is always going to be your WORST enemy. Wisconsin winters can hide shards of ice in our rooftops that create long-lasting water damage effects.

Additionally, harsh rains and unmanaged chimneys cause natural erosion that is simply unavoidable. In a previous blog, we identify some of the most dangerous types of chimney damage and how to prevent it from costing you in repairs.

Of course, water is the main component for unnoticeable damage to a chimney. We have developed our way of finding and fixing all types of chimney damage before it is too late.

The question becomes:

“As a homeowner, what are a few common signs your chimney has suffered water damage?”

Search no further—at Quality Fireplace and Chimney Services we want to provide the answers that we think most homeowners need to know before they take the leap.

Dive into this short read so you can be aware and learn to identify problematic water damage.

Damaged Flue Ducts

First of all, we know the intrusive nature of water in a home. It can cause:

  • Molding and rotting
  • Leaky roofing
  • Dank smells
  • Warped floors
  • etc.

Throughout the years, we have been told or have noticed that the most forgotten part of the home is often the chimney. This is because the chimney looks like a strong part of your home’s core. While this may seem true, the interior of the chimney (called the flue) is quite fragile.

Flues, or ducts, are generally made of clay or metal. Both of those materials are susceptible to water damage without proper care. You would never be able to see the damage until it shows itself as something uglier.

We recommend a yearly inspection or “Chimnoscopy” to ensure that the harsh weather conditions didn’t make their way into your chimney.

Cracked Masonry

Developing cracks in a chimney is a common occurrence. As aforementioned, most chimney risks are to be expected but often forgotten.

Luckily, that is not the case for cracked masonry —which is usually the MOST expensive repairs to incur. We can easily see cracks in the chimney masonry which should be the first place you look if you have recently developed a leak.

The repairs on a masonry project can vary depending on the time it takes to become noticed. One little crack can turn into a crumbling decay if not appropriately maintained.

Unknown Leaks

There is no surprise to the numerous home projects that arise after purchasing a home. But does that mean you can DIY your way through unknowable leaks?

Some leaks don’t have to originate from the chimney to grow toward the chimney. Water is a finicky thing when it comes to building materials…and when you combine that with freezing temperatures?! It is NOT FUN.

There is always a fix for any sized project. In the case of unknown leakage… well, you are usually just going to have to ride it out until the leak is easy to identify. Again, yearly inspections can help you find and eliminate problem areas before they become a total restoration.

Firebox Condensation

If you have lived through a Wisconsin summer you know that it can be HOT. This dramatic change in heat difference can help you spot water damage in a chimney. The brick and mortar will show signs of “Sweating” which can impact the brickwork throughout the home.

Condensation doesn’t always mean you have chimney damage but it is worth taking a look. More times than not – we find that it is simply just the brick sweating out a few days worth of moisture. Yet, when it becomes a routine—you have likely have encountered a structure leak.

Warped or Broken Wooden Siding

Waterproofing on wooden siding is usually temporary and starts to deteriorate after years of rain and snow. If you notice any warpage on your shingles or wood siding you should get an inspection immediately. Warping generally will not occur until the warmer months since the moisture damage will start to rot.

Broken or Missing Chimney Cover

It sounds so simple, yet we see so many chimneys that have defective chimney covers or NOT HAVE ONE AT ALL!

No matter if your a “cup is half full” or “cup half empty” kind of person… we guarantee that all of the water that hits your chimney without a cover is going inside. Having a chimney without a cover installed isn’t as common nowadays, but we still occasionally meet customers who just didn’t have any idea they needed it!

Have we convinced you to get an inspection yet? If not, read our other article about the many benefits that come from good fireplace cleaning.

Contact us today and get your annual inspection booked so you can have peace of mind. Quality Fireplace & Chimney Service Professionals are CSIA Certified Chimney Sweeps and operate using industry best practices! Don’t forget to refer a person to Quality Fireplace and when they complete service, we’ll send you a check for $25.00!