From winter freezes to spring rains, extended water contact can do a lot more damage to a chimney than fire. Brick, tile, and mortar can deteriorate, and cast iron and steel can corrode. Cracked chimneys can lead to costly repair bills. Take the following seven measures to prevent water damage to your chimney.
1.Install a chimney cap or rain cover. A high quality chimney cap keeps chimney sparks in and keeps water and small animals out.
2.Waterproof the chimney. Use a vapor-permeable, water-repelling agent or treatment to release moisture without letting it come into the home.
3.Repair or replace a broken chimney crown. Common mortar does not hold up under years of harsh weather conditions. Build a drip edge or overhang that extends past all of the chimney sides by a minimum of two inches.
4.Repair or replace flashing. Flashing prevents water from running down the chimney underneath the roof and into the home. An L-shaped piece of metal extends from under the shingles up the chimney’s side completed with counter flashing takes care of the problem.
5.Repair broken down mortar joints. The most common fix for deteriorated mortar joints is known as repointing, in which the current joint is cut to the proper depth and then refilled with a fresh mortar mix.
6.Install a cricket. A cricket is a great option for a chimney housed on the low side of the roof with water run-off aimed against the chimney. It deflects the water from the chimney. Crickets are also an ideal choice for chimneys on steep roofs and/or that measure 30 inches wide.
7.Hire a professional. If you cannot determine the problem at hand or do not want to complete a chimney repair or replacement job yourself, hire a CSIA-certified chimney professional.