Did you know that the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) has said that water is the biggest enemy of a masonry chimney? Most of the masonry materials, including brick, mortar, and concrete, used in the construction of a chimney are negatively affected by direct contact with water and by water penetration. Since the exterior of your chimney is constantly exposed to the elements of weather, you should protect its masonry work to prolong its life. Ashbusters would like to share with you why water damages these masonry materials and how we can help prevent damage due to water penetration of your masonry chimney.
Why does water damage masonry?
Since masonry materials are porous, they easily absorb water. When masonry materials become oversaturated by water, corrosion and deterioration damage soon follow. Just as water has done in natural settings such as creeks and rivers, it erodes cracks and crevices into masonry materials. The damage becomes more severe in the winter during the freeze-thaw process. Also known as spalling, the water trapped inside masonry material freezes when the temperature reaches the freezing point. When water freezes, it expands up to as much as 10 percent. This expansion causes the masonry materials to break apart when the water thaws. If left unrepaired, spalling damage can cause structural failure of a masonry chimney.
How can I prevent spalling damage?
To keep the water from penetrating the masonry materials of your chimney to the point of deterioration and collapse, Ashbusters offers a couple of solutions:
- chimney cap installation – Sitting on the top of your chimney, a chimney cap is essential for preventing water penetration of the masonry work of your chimney. Without a chimney cap, your chimney is an open door for water from rain and melted snow to freely enter. Not only do chimney caps keep out water, but they can also stop birds and animals from nesting inside your chimney. With a variety from which to choose, Ashbusters knows exactly which cap will be the perfect fit for your chimney. Whether made from galvanized metal, stainless steel, or copper, a chimney cap can also vary in type, including a standard cap, a top-mounted damper, a draft-increasing chimney cap, or even a custom-made cap. After you select your chimney cap, Ashbusters will professionally install it to protect your chimney from water damage. We can also construct and install a new chimney crown.
- waterproofing – Waterproofing your chimney can reduce the need for repairs and extend the life of your chimney. With our expertise and experience, the certified technicians at Ashbusters use a waterproofing sealant especially made for masonry chimneys that is 100% vapor permeable. This is important because it allows your chimney to “breathe” by letting vapors and gases escape while protecting the masonry work from water intrusion. We feel waterproofing is an affordable investment that will save you dollars in future repair work from water leak damages.
Questions about water damage? Ask our expert staff for more information about how water can damage your masonry chimney.