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Fix Your Leaky Chimney Now

It doesn’t matter what is making your chimney leak. It may be from winter damage, or it may be from a minor issue such as a worn out chimney cap, but whatever is amiss, it needs to be corrected before serious damage occurs.

Water and Your Chimney

Nothing destroys a chimney quite like water. Because of the materials that make up masonry, it is highly susceptible to moisture damage and can actually be destroyed from the inside out due to one small problem allowing the water into the system. These leaks, minor or major, go unnoticed because much of the system is hidden from view. By the time a homeowner notices signs of a chimney leak, there may be substantial damage behind the scenes. A professional will catch issues before the average homeowner, saving money and time, and keeping your system safe and ready for use again in the fall. A professional will notice issues and small damage that may allow water in, such as a damaged or missing cap, deteriorated crown, damaged masonry, and dislodged or missing flashing.

Chimney Leakswater damaged white ceiling

Your chimney leak may be as obvious as water running down your masonry or dripping near your chimney. However, it may create a leak in another part of your house entirely! When you have a leak in your home, it’s important to call a chimney professional. A general contractor may fix the damage, but a chimney expert will check the chimney first. It’s likely this type of leak is caused by damaged flashing that allows water into the home, where it runs inside walls and ceilings until it pools at the lowest point, and then forms a leak.

Your leak may be inside the chimney, only detected by the sound of dripping and the smell of mildew. This leak still needs attention, as it deteriorates the liner and masonry, rusts the damper assembly, and more. Make sure that when you have a chimney leak you call the chimney professionals who can fix the damage and prevent recurrence before more damage occurs.

Professional Prevention and Care

When you call on Chief Chimney Services to repair your leaky chimney, you can expect the best care and attention in the area. At Chief, we install chimney caps to keep water, weather, and animals out of the chimney. Our expert masons repair and restore masonry, no matter the stone or brick, size, or design. Our experienced techs also replace and install flashing to protect the intersection of the roof and chimney. We do it all, and then we offer waterproofing services for good measure.

After we repair your leaky chimney, we protect your masonry for years to come with ChimneySaver water repellent products. These environmentally friendly and vapor-permeable products are the best on the market and allow the chimney to continue working properly. Unlike other products and sealants, ChimneySaver water-repellent allows the chimney to breathe as it should and vent the fire properly.

Have you noticed moisture in your chimney this spring? If you suspect a leak, call the professionals at Chief Chimney Services or schedule online today.

By John Pilger on April 11th, 2019 | Tagged with: Tags: , , , | Comments Off on Fix Your Leaky Chimney Now

The Importance of Good Chimney Flashing

Water can be a serious problem for your chimney system, and as such, many parts of the chimney system are specifically designed to prevent water infiltration. If these parts are damaged, installed incorrectly, or missing, it WILL result in a chimney leak. Chimney professionals are so sure about this that most will check the chimney first, no matter where the leak occurs in the house. At Chief Chimney Services, if there is evidence of a chimney leak, we will check the flashing first.The Importance of Good Chimney Flashing - Suffolk NY - Chief Chimney

Flashing

Flashing is the shiny metal you may see along the intersection of the chimney and roof. It is composed of many overlapping layers of thin metal and protects against water by directing it away from the chimney/roof intersection. The flashing should be professionally installed because it is a tedious job that only an experienced professional can understand or do properly. The flashing should be placed according to the roof slant and material, as well as hide any nails that are used during installation. Additionally, high-quality flashing will not require sealant of any kind and will lay flat against both the roof and the chimney. If the flashing is improperly installed, it can let water seep directly into the chimney and home, can be easily affected or shifted by winds and animals and may cost dearly in the long run.

Flashing Damage

When a chimney leak is caused by faulty flashing, there are a few reasons this can occur:

  • Improper installation. It may not seem like a big deal, but improper installation can lead to serious issues with your chimney system. Do not allow an amateur to install your flashing. Instead, hire a licensed, certified, and experienced chimney sweep company for all of your installations and services.
  • Animal tampering. Animals may scratch at your flashing, causing it to bend or shift. Once flashing is moved or separated at all from the installation point, it will continue to shift until it leaves the entire space vulnerable.
  • Strong winds and storms. Even properly installed flashing may shift due to high winds, especially during a storm. Extreme winds can blow your entire flashing from your roof if the conditions are right. Again, this leaves the entire area vulnerable.
  • House shifting/settling. Over time, structures shift and settle. This can cause flashing to separate from the roof even when it’s installed correctly. This settlement can occur over long periods of time, or quickly due to earthquakes. If your home experiences an earthquake or similar occurrences such as a tornado or hurricane, you should schedule an inspection to ensure all the parts of your system are working together to protect the system.

Preventing Water Damage with Flashing

While the chimney cap is the chimney’s first defense against water damage, the flashing is the last. Even when the cap and crown are in place and in good shape, if the flashing is faulty, there will be a leak. Many homeowners won’t notice a leak until it has already caused extensive damage behind the scenes.

Don’t hesitate. Spring is coming, and with it will come April showers that can lead to May chimney repairs if you can’t count on your flashing. Make an appointment with Chief Chimney Services today and get your flashing checked out before spring.

Ask about our other waterproofing services as well.

By John Pilger on March 12th, 2018 | Tagged with: Tags: , , , | Comments Off on The Importance of Good Chimney Flashing

How to Prevent Chimney Odors

The two main causes of foul chimney odors are a water leak or a draft problem. Both problems are 100 percent preventable, so it’s important to properly use and maintain your fireplace and chimney to avoid such a headache. Chimney odors are generally noticed in the spring, when fireplaces are used sparingly, or done for the season. Spring offers all the ingredients needed to produce foul odors: moisture, soot, and negative air pressure.

Moisture and Your Stinky Chimney

When moisture mingles with soot and creosote, it can create a distinct foul odor. The smell can range from a smoked meat scent to a musty or campfire smell. All of these smells usually mean there is moisture in the chimney, but this can be from a chimney leak or simple humidity.

  • Have your chimney inspected annually.
    You can catch a leak before it becomes a serious problem by scheduling an annual CSIA chimney inspection with a certified chimney sweep. Only a professional can detect minor damage that can allow water into your chimney system. Water doesn’t only create nasty odors but can also deteriorate a masonry chimney rapidly.
  • Keep the chimney clean.
    It’s not just a chimney leak that allows water into your chimney system. The natural occurrence of summertime humidity can cause foul odors in the chimney as well. The only way to prevent this is to keep the chimney clean by scheduling regular chimney sweeps. Chief Chimney offers a thorough cleaning at an affordable price because we know that it’s the best way to keep your family safe and comfortable—and that means preventing foul odors.

Negative Pressure and Your Stinky Chimney

Your chimney uses the naturally-occurring drafts in your home to vent your fireplace. When the fireplace isn’t in use, there is no warm air present to rise up the chimney. Instead there is negative air pressure in the house, which creates a downdraft in the chimney, pulling air from the stinky chimney into the house.

  • Crack a window or install a fan.
    Cracking a window in another part of the house or installing a small fan can pull air from the outside of the house, forcing an updraft through the chimney, and keeping the smell inside the chimney.
  • Use the damper to prevent a downdraft.
    By closing the damper at the throat of your chimney, you should prevent a downdraft from bringing any air into the house via the chimney. Installing a top-sealing damper is even more effective because it has an air tight rubber seal. The top-sealing damper seals the chimney from the top, so it doesn’t only stop the draft completely, but also prevents humidity from entering the chimney.

Before you settle for a smelly chimney, call the experts who know chimneys! At Chief Chimney we clean, inspect, waterproof, and repair chimneys year-round. Call today at 631-863-2460 or request an appointment online.

By John Pilger on March 22nd, 2017 | Tagged with: Tags: , , , | Comments Off on How to Prevent Chimney Odors

FAQ: Why Fix a Leaky Chimney?

You wouldn’t second-guess a roof repair when you find a leak. Rain buckets are never a compliment to home decor, and there is the urgency of water damage to worry about.

A chimney leak is just as urgent as a roof leak, if not more. Your chimney works in a very specific way and is built to properly ventilate the home and protect from life-threatening gas accumulation. Even if your chimney doesn’t have a visible leak, a CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep® (CCS) should discover it during your regular chimney sweep or annual chimney inspection. An experienced and certified chimney sweep will not only find the leak, but detect the damage and provide a detailed report and recommendations.

 

Why a Leaky Chimney is a Big DealThe Importance of Good Chimney Flashing - Suffolk NY - Chief Chimney

Water intrusion not only wreaks havoc on a masonry chimney, but also can cause unpleasant odors in your home, and raise the risk of flue fire. Fixing a leaky chimney now can prevent a high-cost repair later.

Masonry does not withstand water penetration. A small crack leads to a larger crack, and more damage follows when water continually freezes and thaws, expanding the spaces in the masonry. When this water enters the chimney’s interior it has access to the working parts of the chimney system, constructed of steel and cast iron. The water causes rust damage, destroying the metal parts.

The Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) warns homeowners that water penetration can cause interior and exterior damage to your home and masonry chimney including:

  •  Rusted damper assemblies
  •  Deteriorated metal or masonry firebox assemblies
  •  Rusted fireplace accessories and glass doors
  •  Rotting adjacent wood and ruined wall coverings
  •  Water stained walls and ceiling
  •  Clogged clean out area
  •  Deteriorated central heating system
  •  Stained chimney exterior
  •  Decayed exterior mortar
  • Cracked or deteriorated flue lining system
  • Collapsed hearth support
  • Tilted or collapsed chimney structure
  • Chimney settlement

An Ounce of Prevention

The famed Benjamin Franklin quote applies to your chimney: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

We at Chief Chimney Services are experienced and able to repair your leaky chimney. We can repair, replace, and rebuild any part of your chimney if needed. However, we believe that preventing water damage is an essential part of chimney maintenance, and we proudly offer chimney waterproofing services.

ChimneySaver water-repellant products  are designed and tested for chimney application. It is no ordinary sealant, and should only be applied by a professional. ChimneySaver water-repellent products are designed specifically to keep water out, while allowing vapors and air molecules to escape.

Other products that Chief Chimney Services recommends, installs, and services are chimney caps and chimney flashing. The chimney cap keeps water from entering the chimney opening, while allowing smoke and gases to escape. Flashing directs rain water away from the chimney and down the roof.

As a homeowner you don’t want to find out you have a leaky chimney after the damage is done. Hire a professional to waterproof your chimney now, and remember to schedule your routine chimney sweepings and inspections. Contact Chief Chimney Services today!

By John Pilger on April 8th, 2016 | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Comments Off on FAQ: Why Fix a Leaky Chimney?