It’s me, Captain Creosote, again with some tips on how YOU can inspect your chimney after a storm for damage before it turns into an expensive project.
Some storm damage may not be seen until major damage has taken place. Since the chimney is the highest point on your home it is most likely to be damaged by heavy rain, high winds, and lightning. This damage may go unnoticed until the damage becomes extensive. The best thing is to look around your home after a severe storm. It’s better to catch small problems before they turn into major repairs.
Some of the things to look for include;
Missing or damaged chimney cap or chase cover. Water can enter your home directly through the chimney. Also, pest looking for a new home can easily see your damaged chimney cap as a welcome matt to set-up residence in your chimney.
Look for watermarks around the molding on your fireplace or bad flashing on the roof. One way to look closely at your chimney flashing or even cap is to use your smartphone and zoom in with your camera. Take a photo and enlarge the photo on your camera to see more closely if you have damage around the flashing or cap. You might be able to spot problems before water damage is noticeable inside your home.
When looking at your chimney for the cap and flashing look at the bricks for cracks or chips of masonry on the ground near the chimney. Visible damage to the bricks and mortar may be warning signs of structural damage.
Does your brick around the chimney have any chalky white salt deposits or discoloration of the bricks? These are both signs of water seeping through the bricks. The solution at first may be simple, but left alone it may cause serious problems to your home.
This simple reminder to check your chimney during the raining season, especially after a major storm, will save you headaches and repair costs if it is caught early.
A certified experienced professional chimney sweeper will look at your entire system and not just fix a symptom. You want to get at the root of the problem so it is fixed correctly.
So that’s our fireplace tip this week. You all stay safe.