According to the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA), water is the biggest enemy of masonry chimneys because the amount of damage and deterioration it can cause. Water leaks can damage every component of a chimney system as well as parts of the interior of your home. All American Chimney Service specializes in diagnosing and repairing chimney water leaks, and we follow a 31-point water leak inspection checklist to be sure we find the exact cause of the water damage to your chimney. To help you understand how we diagnose chimney water leaks, we would like to share with you a few of the topics on this 31-point checklist.
Consisting of sheets of metal wrapped around your chimney where it meets the roof, flashing protects this vulnerable area. We check to see that the flashing is constructed properly with the right materials, and we also look at its condition to be sure it is not bent. The lap joints are examined to ensure they are correctly sealed.
The mortar joints are checked to be sure they are well-filled and not too wide. We closely inspect the exterior of the chimney for cracked and loose mortar and bricks. We look to see if any ivy growth is hiding damage or has weakened the masonry materials. Stains from mildew and efflorescence are also signs of water damage, so we check for stained bricks and mortar.
We inspect the firebox for damp and musty odors to check for the possibility of moisture there. We also look at the fire bricks and mortar joints for signs of erosion damage. We then check the damper casings for rusting and the smoke shelf for creosote deposits.
We check out the chimney crown to be sure it is properly constructed, which means it should slope sufficiently and hang over the edge of the chimney. We also look at the condition of the crown to see if there are any cracks.
We look for cracks that may have occurred due to settlement or faulty design, and we make sure there is sufficient drainage away from the chimney foundation. If there is not sufficient drainage, there could be moisture rising up the chimney wall from ground water.
Water leaks can seriously damage your chimney. Contact us at All American Chimney Service to schedule a 31-point water leak chimney inspection to take care of your water leak problem.