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Don’t let your home fall victim to a leaky chimney

Spring and early summer often bring a lot of rain and moisture to the Richmond area, and this spring has been no exception. With all of the precipitation your home has endured, it is important to be on the lookout for a leaky chimney.

Water damage to a chimney can be so costly and extensive that the Chimney Safety Institute of America has dubbed water as chimney’s greatest enemy. Water can cause a host of expensive problems, including masonry damage, structural weaknesses and even water damage and mold to your home’s structure! The longer you leave a leaky chimney unchecked, the more damage it does to the chimney structure, your fireplace and your home.

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So in light of our rainy start to summer, be on the lookout for these signs of a leaky chimney:

  • Cracked or crumbling bricks and mortar. That indicates that water has seeped into your chimney’s masonry and is doing damage.
  •  Discoloration. Watch for white, brown, black and green streaks or growth on your chimney. All can signal different types of water damage or leaks.
  • Rusty damper, fireplace doors, firebox or fireplace tools. If water is making its way down your chimney’s flue, it can cause damage inside your fireplace and chimney system.
  • Chunks of flue tile in your firebox. Water damage inside your flue can cause tiles to crack, crumble and break.
  •  Foul odors. If water is inside your chimney, it may fill your home with a damp odor, or it can smell like burning asphalt — the result of creosote inside your chimney reacting to moisture.
  •  Discolored or sagging wallboard or ceilings. If water is leaking in and around your chimney’s base, it can cause damage to your home’s structure, including support beams, roofing and walls and ceilings.
  • Water in your firebox. A puddle at the bottom of you firebox is a sure sign that water is leaking in through your chimney!

Spring and early summer, especially when we’re plagued with an excess of rain, is always a good time to inspect your chimney for signs of a leak. As you do so, you can also look to make sure the elements that protect your chimney from water damage are in good repair. That means checking to make sure that the chimney cap is undamaged and firmly in place, that the chimney crown is free of cracks and crumbles and that the flashing around the base of the chimney isn’t cracked, corroded or deteriorated in any way.

If you notice any of these signs of a leaky chimney or problems with a chimney cap, crown or flashing, don’t wait to call the chimney experts at Chimney Saver Solutions! We can help you locate the source of the leak and recommend the best way to fix it, before you are faced with major chimney, fireplace or home damage from you leaky chimney.

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