Here in Nashville and its surrounding areas, we’ve been experiencing some less than pleasant weather. Winds and rains have been making an appearance leading to weather alerts, school closings, and even lightning strikes throughout Music City.
Because of this, we urge homeowners to consider how these storms might be affecting their chimneys. Water can have an extremely damaging effect on numerous areas of your chimney, and if these issues escalate, you’ll notice other areas of your home and system breaking down, too.
Call us in before it’s too late. We’d be happy to help with all of your chimney leak-related problems!
Water & Your Chimney
How does water affect your chimney? There are actually numerous ways you could face damage.
- Rusted Metal Components: Flashing, chimney caps, and chase covers can all rust and break down if things aren’t regularly maintained or installed correctly.
- Damaged Masonry: Your brickwork is absorbent like a sponge, and if it’s not adequately protected, things will start breaking down and deteriorating.
- Freeze/Thaw Process: Water in your masonry also triggers something called the freeze/thaw process, which is what happens in the wintertime when the water freezes, expands, and causes more cracking to occur.
- Clogs in Your Flue: More moisture leads to an increased chance of experiencing clogs, which will then inhibit airflow. This leads to inefficiency, and it could expose your household to smoke or carbon monoxide, too.
- Ceiling & Wall Stains: With chimney leaks comes leaks throughout your walls and ceilings, too. This is unsightly and bad for adjacent woodwork, too, as it’ll now be more prone to rot.
Have You Experienced a Lightning Strike?
Now, leaky chimneys are something that sweeps address a lot, and if you’re a fireplace owner, you likely know that water is something you need to regularly combat against. I mean, when have fire and water ever mixed well?
…but what about when the weather brings other hazards? Namely… lightning strikes. We’re in the season where thunderstorms will be making more and more appearances, so it’s important to know what to do if lightning hits your chimney and why this is something you want to address ASAP.
A lightning strike can be damaging to your system in numerous ways, depending on how severe of a strike it is. You may notice some cracking or minor damage to your brickwork, or it could be so bad that it knocks your entire chimney down. Other times, your chimney components, like the flashing or chimney cap, will experience damage.
No matter the extent of your damage, a broken down chimney (or damaged chimney parts) leave your home vulnerable to further damage, and it can put your and your family at risk, too. Using a chimney that’s experienced an event of this nature is not something we would recommend, as doing so can increase your likelihood of experiencing gas leaks and other fire hazards.
It’s also important to note that lightning strikes can cause chimney fires. If you have excessive creosote deposits in your flue, a big bolt of lightning could cause it to ignite and spread flames through your chimney.
Note: If you’ve experiencing either a chimney fire or a lightning strike, dial 911 right away to ensure you’re not at risk! Chimney fires can be surprisingly quiet, meaning many won’t even know they’ve occurred. Calling in the fire department will ensure everyone stays safer and you’ll get that peace of mind you deserve.
And once the proper authorities have given the all clear and everything is deemed safe, it’s time to call your chimney sweep to book an inspection. A CSIA-certified tech will be able to assess the damage and recommend the next best steps for moving forward.
Think you may have experienced a lightning strike, but just aren’t sure? One clue that this may have happened is if you notice pieces of masonry near your home. You may also notice cracks in the crown or masonry that weren’t there before. Finally, be wary of the signs of a chimney fire. These include:
- honeycombed/puffy creosote
- discolored or warped chimney cap or other metal components
- smoke escaping through your masonry
- damaged or missing flue tiles
- pieces of creosote (or flakes of it) on the ground
- damaged roofing materials
- cracks in your masonry
If you have any doubts, call us in for a level 2 inspection. It’s always better to be on the safe side!
Along with this, by investing in professional care, you may discover that you’re eligible to have repairs covered by insurance. It’s well worth looking into!
Why Invest in Chimney Repairs Now?
If you’ve noticed any type of rain or storm damage, we urge you to invest in repair services soon! Most assume that, since their burning season is nearing the end, maintenance might as well be put off until fall, but this isn’t the recommended approach by reputable sweeps.
Spring and summer are actually ideal times to invest in chimney repairs because the warmer temperatures are help the materials we use for many of our services to cure properly. This ensures the repair work actually lasts and stands the test time. If completed in the colder months, they’ll get you through the rest of the year, but you’ll likely need repairs again before you know it.
The spring and summer months are also great for repairs because our schedule books are less full. Come fall and winter, everybody is trying to get an inspection or sweeping booked, making it harder to find an ideal time to get work done! If you call now, though, we’re certain we can find a day that’s convenient for you.
Finally, remember that some repairs take quite a bit of time to complete (especially after a lightning strike or chimney fire). Waiting until fall can mean putting off the start of your burning season longer than anticipated, all while trying to book big jobs in a notoriously busy time of year.
The Rainbow After the Storm
If chimney issues are causing stress, or if you’re concerned you’ve experienced damage in the recent storms, give us a call. We can perform a thorough level 2 inspection, then recommend further services to get your system back to where it needs to be. And after we complete repairs, ask us about our waterproofing services! These ensure your masonry stays protected against water and snowfall for the long haul.
In the end, we’d be happy to do everything we can to ensure you get to enjoy the rainbow at the end of any bad weather that comes our way.
Reach out today to get started – thanks for trusting us!