Most of the U.S. is getting more rain for this time of year than ever before. In much of the Midwest, farmers aren’t able to seed their cropland, and still, the rain just keeps on coming. In Florida, we are four weeks into Hurricane Season, and there are already five hurricanes projected to hit us this season.
The rain and wind that come with these storms mean we need to protect our chimneys from water damage. It also means you should schedule preventative services with a chimney professional or schedule repairs for damages that have already occurred. At Hudson Chimney, we are the professionals with the knowledge and experience to take care of all your leaky chimney needs!
The Problem with Chimney Leaks
Water is the worst thing that can happen to a masonry chimney. The reason water can cause so much damage is because of the materials which make up the masonry. The masonry is porous in nature, and it is made of various materials that are highly affected by moisture. A chimney system may be well made, but even a small amount of water can destroy it from the inside out.
When water is allowed into the chimney system, either by the top (at the cap or crown) or through the sides (flashing and masonry), you can guess there is likely damage. Since most of the chimney system is not readily visible, the leak may take time to notice and damage might occur before anything can be done about it. The best way to prevent water damage is to prevent chimney leaks, and our team is here to help.
Signs of a Chimney Leak
Leaks often go unnoticed because much of the leak occurs behind the scenes, and homeowners aren’t sure what to look. In order to catch a leak early, it’s important to know what to look for, and here are some of the signs of a leaky chimney.
Stains on masonry interior and exterior
Dripping sounds and visible water in the chimney
Odors of mildew and mold
A high amount of moisture in the home
Cracks and deterioration in masonry
Leaks in other parts of the home
When you experience a leak, it can be nerve-racking. When you call in the right professional to deal with it, it won’t be a big deal. Many homeowners tend to call a general contractor for leaks, assuming it’s a roof or plumbing problem. The best option for homeowners with chimneys, however, is to call the chimney professionals. We will not only assess the leak, but we will also correct it at the source. We install new caps and flashing, repair crowns and masonry, and we also waterproof chimneys for good measure. Our waterproofing services will protect the masonry from water intrusion for ten years!
Are you a homeowner in Northeast Florida, and you aren’t sure if your chimney system is properly protected against water leaks? Call Hudson Chimney today at 904-282-4159. Our team will take care of your chimney!
Your leaky chimney may appear like a leaky roof or a plumbing issue. When water comes into the home by way of the chimney system it can move through the house through walls, floors, and ceilings. The water flows to a low point where it pools before forming a leak. This may appear to a homeowner like a leaky pipe in an upper story bathroom, or like the roof has sprung a leak. This is not the case! If you have a leak in your home or any water damage for that matter, then it is most likely a chimney issue–NOT a roof issue.
The Chimney Professionals
A general contractor is a licensed professional who oversees construction. In order to do this, he works together with other trade professionals. For instance, a contractor might contact a chimney professional during construction in order to have a chimney built properly and up-to-code. He might hire a roofer to make sure the roof is built and materials installed properly. This is standard, and it ensures that all parts of construction are made to specifications and will work properly and last. Like roofers, certified chimney sweeps are the experts in their field. When it comes to chimney construction, diagnostics, and repairs, the chimney experts are who to call when there’s a sign of a leak.
Chimney leaks can cause extreme damage to the masonry and chimney system. In fact, water can cause:
Deteriorated assemblies and central heating system
Water stains and water damage on furniture and home
Rotting wood and interior of a home
Cracked, deteriorated masonry
Collapsed hearth support
This type of damage caused by water in the chimney can be expensive to repair, and chimney leaks are almost 100 percent preventable. Schedule annual maintenance, including routine chimney sweeps and annual chimney inspections. In between these important appointments, there are things that you can do including getting to know your system, using it properly, and paying attention to how it works.
Signs of a Chimney Leak
Any staining on the brick indicates a leak. White staining on the masonry exterior means water is passing through the brick and leaving behind minerals on the surface. In the firebox or the interior portions of a chimney may appear darker in color due to prolonged dripping.
Odors of mildew, mold, or must means there is a leak that has been present long enough for bacteria to grow. Additionally, sounds of dripping, even if you cannot see it, means there is a problem. There shouldn’t be water in the chimney!
Any leak in the home where a chimney is present is most likely caused by a chimney leak. Water enters by way of the chimney and then runs through the house inside walls, ceilings, and floors. This leak may occur behind the scenes for days or weeks before it pools in a low area and eventually forms a leak.
Your chimney system may not seem affected during the off season, but a noticeable change in efficiency while the fire is burning is an indication of a problem, possibly a leak. The easiest way to find out is to call a professional and have it inspected. Hudson Chimney diagnoses leaky chimneys and doesn’t just repair the damage, but fixes the problem. This may include installing a new cap, flashing, crown, and waterproofing the masonry.
Professional Measures of Prevention
You can call a roofer when you have a chimney leak. The odds are that the leak is caused from flashing–the most common cause of a chimney leak. Although many roofers may claim to install flashing, it is not their specialty. It is our specialty!
Chimney Leak Diagnostics
When you have a chimney leak, call us. We check out the area, assess the damage, and repair it all. When we install flashing, our experts place the sheets of metal according to the slant and material of the roof, with no nails visible, and without the need to cover with sealant. If you have recently had your roof replaced, and your flashing has exposed nails, is missing, covered in tar, or has been dislodged it’s time to call a chimney expert.
Call Hudson Chimney
Hudson Chimney repairs flashing. We do not just fix the damage from your leaky chimney. We correct the problem at its source! Hudson will install and repair flashing, caps, crowns, and even waterproof the masonry itself for good measure.
Chimney leaks are a common problem and something we often see at Hudson Chimney. Tropical storm weather and frequent rains can lead to chimney leaks that lead to serious chimney damage. Water can wreck a chimney in no time, and must be detected and repaired as soon as possible, so dripping in the chimney system is a serious issue.
Signs of a Chimney Leak
Dripping in the chimney system is only one sign of a chimney leak. It may be one of the first signs of a leak that a homeowner recognizes. Usually visible or obvious signs aren’t detected until major damage has occurred behind the scenes, and that’s because they aren’t sure what the signs are.
If your chimney system has a dripping sound or visible dripping, there is a drip inside, probably causing water to pool on the smoke shelf, damaging interior parts, and allowing mold and mildew to grow.
Green and dark green staining on the fireplace interior is a sign of a prolonged leak. Rust stains on the chimney exterior, near the top, is a sign of a leak that is causing the cap or chase to leak. White stains on the exterior (efflorescence) is a sign that water is moving through the masonry and leaving deposits on the outside of the masonry.
If odors are present in the system, there is most likely water inside. This may be mildew or moldy odors, or even the smell of barbecue (which also indicates a dirty chimney).
Even if there are leaks in other areas of the house, the problem is usually the chimney. Water moves through the chimney, travels through walls, ceilings, and floors, and then pools at a low point before forming a leak. If your house has a leak, don’t call the contractor! Call a chimney professional.
What Water Does
If you notice dripping or other signs of chimney leaks, you must call a professional right away. Water damage can cause deterioration, structural damage, rusted and damaged parts, water damage to the rest of the home, and even leaning and crumbling of the system. It is not just a situation where the risk of fire is higher, but also that the structure itself can become dangerous.
If chimney leaks are not repaired as soon as they’re detected, then your system can take on more damage during tropical storm season as well as winter. A professional should correct the problem right away, whether it’s replacing the cap, crown, flashing, or repairing the masonry. An amateur or general contractor may repair the water damage, but a chimney professional will fix the problem at the source. A Hudson Chimney sweep will leave your chimney in the best shape–probably better than it’s been since you’ve owned your home–and help it last a lifetime.
Call Hudson Chimney for all your chimney care in Jacksonville, Florida area today at 904-282-4159.
Florida has been experiencing a lot of rainfall this spring. If you have a chimney system in your home, you may be noticing more than just the rainfall outside. You may also are experiencing some leaks indoors. At Hudson Chimney, our professionals are here to help you solve any leaky chimneys this spring and summer. Learn some of the causes of chimney leaks and best ways to prevent them below.
Common Causes of Leaks
Your chimney system can easily get leaks, even a minor damage can cause a leak. And a small leak can lead to major damage down the road. At Hudson Chimney, our certified technicians have plenty of experiences working with leaky chimneys. Although the causes are very easy to pin down by our professionals, we want to help you understand it. Here are some of the potential causes of a leaky chimney.
A flashing problem – Damaged, missing, or improperly installed flashing is a leading cause for chimney leaks. The flashing protects the vulnerable intersection of the roof and chimney, and an experienced professional must install it to avoid flashing problems later on. The flashing is usually the root issues behind any chimney leaks, so that’s why our technicians begin by checking the flashing first!
A missing or damaged cap – Your chimney cap protects the flue opening from weather, animal intrusion, and more. If the cap isn’t appropriate for your flue, it could be the cause leaks. If it’s installed improperly, it may break away from the flue and allow water in. This is a huge concern when summer rains are heavy, as a flue without a cap is wide open for rain to fall directly in.
A cracked crown – The chimney crown must be inspected and repaired. Even a well-constructed crown can become cracked due to constant exposure to the sun and weather. A chimney professional can also repair it if the damage is caught in time. This is why annual chimney inspections are incredibly important.
Masonry damage – Like the crown, if the masonry is damaged, even minor cracks, it will allow water to penetrate the system. Water is a nightmare for masonry and your chimney, so you must be proactive when it comes to protection your masonry against water invasion.
Prevention Against Leaky Chimneys
Proper maintenance and regular check ups of your chimney will protect you from getting a leaky chimney. By scheduling your routine chimney sweeps and annual inspections, you will be able to catch and repaired any damages before it worsens to a leak. You can protect your masonry by scheduling a professional waterproofing services. At Hudson Chimney, we trust ChimneySaver Water Repellent to protect our chimneys, especially when it comes to our friends, neighbors, and customers in and around the Jacksonville, Florida area. This vapor-permeable repellent keeps water from getting in, while still letting gas, heat, and moisture out.
Preventing a chimney leak is the best thing you can do to protect your home and family against the heavy rain and storms this summer. Call the professionals at Hudson Chimney and talk to us about waterproofing your chimney system before it’s officially summer. Give us a call at 904-282-4159 or contact us online.
Even though your masonry chimney was built to be durable and strong enough to last a lifetime, its exterior is constantly exposed to the elements of weather. Water from rain erodes the bricks and mortar joints over the years, and this can lead to chimney leaks as well as to severe structural damage. Protecting your chimney from water penetration is one of the most important responsibilities a homeowner has, and Hudson Chimney is proud to provide water leak repair and prevention services. For over 30 years, we have been taking care of chimneys across Northeast Florida, and we have the training and experience to ensure your chimney is safe from water damage. Our chimney technicians have all been certified by the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA), and we agree with this non-profit educational organization that water is the biggest enemy of masonry chimneys. We would like to tell you more about the services we provide to take care of leaky chimneys.
If you have noticed cracked, loose, or missing bricks and mortar joints on the outside of your chimney, you will need our masonry repair services to restore the structure of your chimney. Damaged masonry materials allow even more water to get inside the flue, which can lead to rusting of the liner or damper and to rotting of the wood that surrounds your chimney. Hudson Chimney uses masonry techniques like tuckpointing to replace damaged and missing bricks and mortar joints. You can trust us to make sure your chimney is safe and sound.
Without a chimney cap professionally installed on top of your chimney, rain water can easily get into the flue. Hudson Chimney offers a wide variety of chimney caps, and we can help you find the best one for your chimney and install it to protect your chimney from water intrusion. The CSIA recommends chimney caps, as the least expensive preventive measure you can take against chimney water leaks.
One of the most common areas for water leaks is where your chimney meets the roof. To protect this vulnerable spot, Hudson Chimney can install a customized flashing system by wrapping metal sheets around your chimney at the roof. We will ensure that the flashing provides an airtight seal of your chimney. If you have a flashing system that has been damaged, we also provide flashing repair services.
Once your chimney has been repaired, Hudson Chimney can create a barrier against water penetration by applying a waterproofing formula to your entire chimney. We only use formulas that are 100% vapor permeable, which is important because it allows vapors to escape the masonry materials while keeping water out of them. Our waterproofing treatment has a 10-year warranty, so your chimney will be protected from water penetration for a decade.
Protect your chimney from damaging water leaks. Contact Hudson Chimney today to schedule an appointment for a water leak chimney inspection.
Do you have a masonry chimney? If you do, you may already know that the likelihood of having a leaky chimney can be quite high. Why are masonry chimneys so likely to experience water leaks? The Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) answers this question by stating that water is the biggest enemy of a masonry chimney. Every component of your chimney can possibly suffer expensive and extensive damage when water penetrates into your chimney. Stained ceilings or walls, loose bricks and chipped mortar on the exterior of your chimney, and musty or moldy odors coming from your fireplace are all signs of a leaky chimney. If you have seen any of these signs, it is crucial to contact a professional chimney company like Hudson Chimney to locate the source of the leak and make repairs so that your fireplace and chimney system can function safely and properly. But, what exactly can lead to a leaky chimney? We would like to tell you four problems that allow water to easily penetrate your chimney.
1. DAMAGED OR MISSING CHIMNEY CAPS
Chimney caps are your least expensive preventive measures against water penetration because they cover the top of your chimney. Freezing temperatures and destructive animals trying to get into your chimney can cause cracks and other damage your chimney cap. When your chimney cap is damaged (or even worse, missing completely), water from rain and melted snow can easily get into the masonry work of the interior of your chimney. Hudson Chimney offers a wide variety of chimney caps, and our certified technicians can install a custom-fitted cap to protect your chimney from water leaks.
2. DETERIORATED CHIMNEY CROWNS
Located directly beneath the chimney cap, a chimney crown is constructed from concrete and used to seal the opening of your chimney. Unfortunately, your crown could be made from the wrong or ineffective material, or it could be improperly installed. In these situations, damage and deterioration will occur sooner than later, and you will have an opening to your chimney where water can easily enter. The masons at Hudson Chimney can repair damaged chimney crowns as well as correctly install custom-made crowns to keep the water out of your chimney.
3. DAMAGED FLASHING
Flashing is sheeting made from metal that is placed between your chimney and your roof to protect this area from water leaks. Easily improperly installed, not every chimney company will the time to customize the flashing itself for a perfect fit. Our technicians will customize flashing by carefully measuring each part of your chimney and its surrounding areas on your roof so that it fits exactly and leaves no holes or cracks, which allow water penetration of your chimney.
4. WORN OUT MORTAR JOINTS
Water deteriorates the essential mortar joints that hold your chimney together and creates holes and cracks within the masonry. In the winter, water trapped in your chimney freezes and thaws, which leads to the bricks breaking and crumbling, and this will cause even more water leak problems. Fortunately, Hudson Chimney can do masonry repairs using the tuck pointing process. Once we have completed these repairs, we can apply a waterproofing treatment that will ensure that your masonry work in your chimney is protected from any water leaks in the future.
Dealing with a leaky chimney? Contact Hudson Chimney to schedule a visit from one of our certified masons to fix your water penetration problems.