If you have recently had storms in your area, you should be aware of the potential chimney problems caused by bad weather. Heavy wind and rain can significantly affect your home’s exterior, including the roof and chimney.
Here are the top five chimney problems you should check for after heavy wind or rain storms.
1. Damage To Flashing
Heavy rain can damage your chimney, causing cracks or gaps in the mortar. This causes water to leak into your home, usually into your fireplace. If you notice water in your fireplace, especially after rain, you should call a professional repair team.
Leaks can also happen from tearing of the flashing. The flashing is a piece of galvanized metal or rubber that connects your chimney to your roof. This is one of the most common causes of leaking into your fireplace after a storm.
2. Cracks In The Mortar
If you notice visible cracks in the mortar of your chimney or pieces of mortar scattered throughout your yard, this is an indication that you need to call professional services. Significant exterior damage is a sign of interior structural damage. Depending on how badly the mortar is cracked, you may need to replace your chimney altogether.
It is vital not to wait to make repairs when you notice damage to your chimney. That is because the longer you let the cracks remain, the more likely they are to cause serious structural damage and need more extensive repairs.
3. Displaced Chimney Cap
It is not uncommon to have your chimney cap get displaced during a storm. It may be either sitting crookedly on your chimney or removed altogether. This can happen due to heavy wind, rain, and hail.
A chimney cap (also called a chase cap depending on what type of fireplace you have) is made of rust-resistant metal and keeps rain, snow, pests, and animals from flying down your chimney. If you notice that your chimney cap is shifted or visibly damaged after a storm, it is important to have it replaced as soon as possible.
4. Water Absorption
Sometimes after a storm, the chimney has sustained enough damage to start absorbing water. The best indication of this is something called efflorescence. These white deposits appear in and around your chimney and look like chalk or salt.
Efflorescence is an indication that your masonry may be absorbing too much moisture, which can cause serious structural damage to your home. However, to confirm, you will need to have a professional chimney inspection.
5. Missing Bricks
Missing bricks may also happen after a severe storm. These can be a result of wind, rain, hail, or even lightning strikes. Like cracks in the mortar, missing bricks are an indication of more serious interior damage — or potential damage.
If you see that your chimney is missing bricks after a storm, it is important to get a professional chimney inspection as soon as possible. Doing so may help you avoid more serious structural damage and expensive repairs down the line.
If you have had serious storms in your area, it is important to keep an eye on your chimney to catch signs of damage. Getting these repaired promptly can make all the difference between a simple and extensive repair.