Chimneys are a vital part of many houses, but many people take an “out of sight, out of mind” approach to keeping their chimneys in good working order. Due to exposure to weather elements, particularly water, chimneys are among the most vulnerable parts of any home, and over time, they can deteriorate before many people even think to worry about them. When a chimney is beyond repair, you’ll need to look into chimney replacement in Central Florida. But before it gets to that point, it’s good to understand how water causes chimney damage—and what you can do to prevent it.
Types of damage
Due to their design and the components they’re made from, masonry chimneys are especially susceptible to water damage. Chimneys can be constructed from brick, mortar, stone, concrete, steel and iron, and regular contact with water can deteriorate all of these materials. The process of freezing and thawing is especially damaging, due to the expansion and contraction involved. Bricks are also extremely porous, and because they draw water inward, your chimney could be suffering from major problems before you know it.
The varieties of damage that water can cause to a chimney are considerable, and aren’t limited to exterior damage—the inside of your chimney can also be destroyed by too much water. For example, any wood or other wall coverings adjacent to the chimney can rot or suffer other damage if the chimney has deteriorated enough. Excess water can also wind up staining and damaging your ceilings and walls. Exterior problems might include staining, decaying mortar, chimney tilting or even total collapse.
Preventing damage to your chimney
Fortunately, there are a number of preventative measures you can take to avoid serious damage to your chimney and, by extension, the rest of your home. A chimney cap or rain cover is often the least expensive, simplest and most reliable way of keeping water damage to a minimum. Caps come in a variety of sizes and can be appropriately fit to your chimney, depending on the number of flues and the overall size of your chimney top.
Another aspect of your chimney that can be vulnerable to water damage is the flashing that is used to seal off the space between your chimney and your roof, which helps prevent rainwater from traveling down your chimney and causing damage. Flashing can crack or come loose over time or in severe weather conditions, and when this happens, it can no longer do its job very well.
One of the best remedies against having to undergo chimney replacement in Central Florida is arranging for regular chimney maintenance, which can be conducted by the trusted team at Winter Springs Roofing & Repairs. Having skilled professionals out to your house to conduct routine checks of your chimney, roof and gutters can help you discover any problems sooner rather than later and allows you to arrange necessary repairs before any serious damage has occurred. If you need someone to inspect your chimney, call us today!