Chimney Damage Can Occur When Summer Storms Strike The Area
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How Summer Storms Can Affect Your Chimney

Many homeowners may not realize that summer storms can be as destructive to the chimney as freezing rain and snow in the winter. In addition to heavy rains, high winds can also cause chimney damage.  Western New York is no stranger to stormy weather. For example, a 1998 summer storm plowed across the Greater Rochester area on a sunny Labor Day afternoon with wind gusts exceeding 80 to 100 mph causing extensive property damage to homes within a 100-mile area. Meteorologists predict above-average precipitation and higher temperatures creating conditions for stormy weather in our region this summer, which can have a devastating impact on your chimney.

chimney flashing repair, grand island nyChimney Flashing

The chimney flashing is the sheet metal that seals the gap where the chimney meets the roof. Normal wear and tear, storm damage, and faulty installation can allow water to seep through the cracks and cause damage to the attic, roof deck, ceiling, and masonry.

Chimney Cap

The chimney cap is a metal accessory on top of the chimney that covers the flue opening. Many chimney caps also have a mesh screen to vent smoke and fumes while keeping small animals, pests, and debris from entering the chimney. However, heavy rains and strong winds can damage the chimney cap and even blow it off the roof entirely, allowing water and pests to get into the chimney and fireplace.

Chimney Crown

The cement chimney crown tops the entire masonry structure and has a sloped design to deflect water from the chimney. Summer storms that produce heavy rains, hail, and lightning can cause the cement crown to crack or chip, allowing water to leak into the chimney and damage the masonry.

Masonry Cracks

As masonry chimneys age, the brick’s hard outer shell softens, and its porous surface absorbs moisture. When the absorbed moisture freezes and thaws during the winter, it causes cracks in the bricks and gaps in the mortar joints creating multiple pathways for water leaks. Moisture from summer storms not only accelerates existing masonry damage but also allows water to leak inside the chimney, potentially compromising its structural integrity.

signs of chimney damage, orchard park nySigns of Potential Storm Damage

Does your chimney have storm damage? If you notice one or more of the following signs of potential storm damage, give us a call to schedule a chimney inspection so you can prevent it from getting worse.

  • The chimney cap is damaged, loose, or missing
  • Water stains on ceiling/walls near the fireplace
  • White stains or discolored bricks
  • Pieces of bricks on the ground near the chimney
  • Chimney is leaning
  • Earthy or musty smell in the fireplace

Waterproofing Your Chimney

Waterproofing can help protect your chimney from water damage and prolong its useful life.  Our certified chimney professionals use a specially formulated vapor-permeable sealant that locks out moisture while allowing the masonry to breathe, releasing any internal moisture to prevent water damage.

Preventing Chimney Damage from Summer Storms

The adage, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” couldn’t be truer for chimneys. Chimney inspections are the best way to protect your chimney. Our CSIA-Certified Chimney Sweeps are experts in identifying signs of chimney damage and potential structural issues that can weaken your chimney in a summer storm. Our masonry professionals will make the necessary repairs if any deficiencies are found, ensuring your chimney and fireplace are safe and sound.