Chimney Masonry and Water Damage

Your chimney looks pretty indestructible, and truth be told, it is a pretty sturdy structure. But unfortunately, it can take hits from some pretty unlikely elements, like water, for instance. It seems pretty unlikely that something as light and cool as a rain shower could cause damage to your chimney, but, over time, that?s exactly what can happen. Whether you?re talking about warm summer rain or the cold snow, sleet, and ice of winter, damage can occur.

How Damage Occurs

Effect of Water on Chimney Masonry - Chicago IL - Jiminy ChimneyFor all the great things that rain does, like freshening up your yard, clearing up the air, and helping your garden grow, it can cause big problems for your chimney. Although bricks, stones, or even blocks make up the bigger part of your chimney system, the mortar is a pretty important element, acting as the glue that holds it all together. When it rains, this can get in your chimney and mix with the gases that are released when you burn a fire in your fireplace. This mixture can eat away at the mortar, causing structural damage. In the winter, when precipitation gets into the pores of the mortar, it freezes in the cracks and expands, causing even bigger cracks to occur. This freeze/thaw cycle can cause serious structural damage to occur.

Visible Signs of Water Damage

There are visible signs that water damage is taking place. On the exterior of your home, if you see peeling, flaking, or cracking around or on your chimney bricks, it’s called spalling, and this is a pretty good indication that water damage has occurred. Another good idea is to check out the mortar itself. If it’s soft and crumbly, you can know that water has penetrated the mortar and you could be in for some major repairs.
There are also some signs on the interior of your house that water damage might be happening. If you can see wood rotting around the fireplace or if the wallpaper around your fireplace is wearing out or water streaked, or if your ceiling is looking water stained, it?s a good possibility that your chimney is leaking.


Even if you can’t see signs of water damage, there may be damage that is occurring inside your chimney where you can’t see it. If you think that your chimney might be leaking, the first thing you should do is to give Jiminy Chimney Masonry and Repair a call. They can send someone out to inspect your fireplace and chimney and find out where the leak is happening. After they give your chimney system a thorough inspection, they can let you know if you just need a good cleaning or if repair work needs to be done. They may also recommend a procedure called waterproofing.

The CSIA website explains that waterproofing your chimney will help stop water damage from occurring. Jiminy Chimney uses ChimneySaver, which keeps precipitation from entering your chimney from the outside while allowing water that has penetrated previously or water vapors that are produced during use to escape, which is an important part of the waterproofing procedure. Give Jiminy Chimney Masonry and Repair a call today to get the waterproofing process started.