What is Causing Chimney Discoloration?
Staining on your chimney is evidence that chimney sweep services are needed. A professional chimney technician will pinpoint what is causing chimney discoloration. In virtually all cases, chimney repair is needed. It’s important to call certified chimney sweeps. At Chimney Saver Solutions our friendly technicians are CSIA-certified and have ongoing training with the Chimney Safety Institute of America. So, you can be sure that they will know what to look for and what you need to do at a minimum to resolve the issue. They start by paying attention to the color of the chimney discoloration. It’s the first indication of what the likely problem is.
White Chimney Discoloration
White stains on your chimney are evidence of “efflorescence.” It happens when water-soluble salts are present in masonry where moisture intrusion has occurred. Besides destroying the bricks by expanding and contracting during freezing and thawing cycles, the saltwater mix travels to the outside of the brick. It leaves white staining, which is crystalline or powder, on the chimney. You can simply wash off the efflorescence but that doesn’t solve the real problem. The bricks will need to be replaced or eventually, the chimney will begin leaning.
Black Chimney Stains
Soot from a dirty chimney flue can cause chimney discoloration as well as roof stains. This is caused by an excess of creosote build-up inside the chimney liner. Creosote is tar-like and highly flammable, and the build-up is layer upon layer. If a burning ember ignites the creosote, the flames of the chimney fire will be fueled by whatever amount of creosote is in the chimney.
Another symptom of a dirty chimney is the lack of a chimney draft. The combustion gases from your fireplace could begin to billow into your home because creosote buildup has caused an obstruction. This exposes your home and family to carbon monoxide, a toxic gas that can be deadly.
The good news with black stains is that all you may need is to schedule a chimney cleaning. Some experts recommend doing this annually and others say to schedule cleaning when the creosote has built up to 1/8 of an inch.
Brown or Red Chimney Discoloration
Rusty red or brown discoloration is usually evidence that you have a manufactured fireplace and a chase cover that is prone to rust. But you may have a chimney cap or chimney flashing that is weathered and rusting. This may be an indication that a chimney leak is also occurring. A CSIA-certified chimney sweep will evaluate what the rust stains mean and what is needed to fix the problem.
Dark Green, Green, and Blueish Chimney Staining
When a chimney is built to recognized specifications, the different components will work together to keep moisture out and prevent mold and algae stains.
But if you have green, dark green, and blueish stains, it is probably the result of water flowing across the chimney with uncommon frequency. A qualified chimney sweep can check to see if mold is a threat inside your home. Because all mold is toxic, it needs to be removed.
Call CSIA-Certified Chimney Pros in Richmond VA
For baffling chimney questions like what is causing chimney discoloration, call Chimney Saver Solutions, trusted chimney professionals in the Richmond VA area.
We also help with chimney inspections, chimney cleaning, chimney masonry repair, fireplace installation, and really all things related to the care of your venting system. You can fill out our online form or call us at 804-440-5000 today.