Masonry chimneys are constructed from the ground up and usually begin to deteriorate from the top down. Especially here on the Cape, the tops of our chimneys are continually exposed to wind driven rain, sleet and snow. When water enters through any small cracks in the brick mortar or crown (cement top) it travels down within the bricks below. Another very common means of water entry into the chimney is wind driven directional rain, pushing directly through porous bricks. When the absorbed water freezes and expands, it pushes apart the mortar joints holding the bricks together. It’s also common to find that the face of the exterior bricks crack and pop off as well, this is called spalling. Other avenues of water infiltration are through the lead flashing, either between the roof and the chimney, or the siding of the house and the chimney.
Out of all of the water related chimney problems, the most common is water dripping in the fireplace (or pouring out of cleanout doors in the basement) due to the lack of a chimney cap. As far as troubleshooting water problems goes, a good chimney cap is a great place to start! If you haven’t already, make sure to visit our CHIMNEY CAPS page on this site to learn more about chimney top protection.
For over twenty years TOP TO BOTTOM has been using SAVER SYSTEMS products to combat water related chimney problems. These products have proven to be effective in solving the unique and sometimes frustrating water issues we encounter here on the Cape.
Finding the solution to water problems with your chimney can be either very obvious, or at times challenging. TOP TO BOTTOM uses a methodical approach to pinpoint and remedy these problems one step at a time. A good start is a complete chimney inspection (inside and out) to determine the most efficient and cost effective solution to your chimney water issues. At the same time you will get a clearer picture of the overall condition of your chimney with a full written report. To learn more, click on our CHIMNEY INSPECTIONS page and learn why the NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) recommends an annual inspection of your chimney!