If you have a masonry fireplace, you may already know that the Chimney Institute of America (CSIA) has named water as the biggest enemy of your chimney. Why water? Water penetration of your chimney is the biggest cause of expensive and extensive damage to the interior and the exterior of your home. Keeping water out of your chimney is key to prevent the deterioration of the entire structure. At All American Chimney Service, LLC, our CSIA-certified technicians are well aware of the damage water can do to a masonry chimney, and we can find the leak, repair the damage, and then prevent further water penetration of your chimney. Often asked by our customers how water can be such a big problem, we would like to share three ways water penetration can do lots of damage to a masonry chimney.

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1. Water leaks can cause brick and mortar spalling, which can lead to structural damage.

If the bricks and mortar of your chimney suffer a great deal of water exposure, the water will penetrate into the materials and begin eroding the masonry materials. When this trapped water freezes inside your bricks and mortar, the breaking apart, peeling, and flaking of masonry materials, known as spalling, occurs when the temperatures rise and the water thaws. The expansion of the thawed water can be too much for bricks to endure, which is why they become loose and/or break off of your chimney. Unrepaired spalling can lead to possible severe structural damage of your chimney. Water will also continue to invade your chimney through the holes provided by the spalled bricks and mortar, which will lead to even more damage. If you ever notice loose bricks or mortar on the exterior of your chimney, contact All American Chimney Service, LLC for a chimney inspection. We will repair the damage and waterproof your chimney to prevent spalling from occurring again.

2. Water leaks can cause cracks and other deteriorations to your chimney flue liner, which can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning.

Water penetration not only affects the bricks and mortar of your chimney, but it causes damage to your interior flue liner as well. If you have a clay chimney liner, cracks will form due to water leaks, and if you have a metal chimney liner, rusting will occur from water exposure. Both of these problems can cause your liner to break apart and crack. A cracked liner can be a health hazard since your chimney liner serves to protect you and your family from the by-products of combustion, like toxic smoke and carbon monoxide, from entering your home. At All American Chimney Service, LLC, we can repair and restore clay chimney liners with HeatShield, and we can replace damaged liners with a durable stainless steel.

3. Water leaks can cause interior damage to your home, including stained walls and ceilings and mold growth.

Not only does water penetration of a masonry chimney cause many issues to the chimney itself, but a leaky chimney can also stain the ceilings and walls of the room where your fireplace is located. If you find water leak stains in your fireplace room, you should also consider the possibility of mold growth in the ceilings, walls, fireplace, and chimney. Contact All American Chimney Service, LLC as soon as possible if you ever see this sort of water penetration damage.

If you have more questions on what types of damage water penetration can do to a masonry chimney, contact All American Chimney Service, LLC today. We are happy to help you repair and prevent this kind of damage to your fireplace and chimney.