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Did you know that water is a major contributor to the ruining of your masonry chimney?  Your chimney is potentially one of the most taken for granted parts of your home.  You know it’s there, but rarely pay it any attention. It’s one of those things that you expect to always be there when you need it but may not give it much thought otherwise.  Unfortunately, few homeowners think about keeping their chimney’s exterior in the best shape possible.

Water and metal don’t always get along. We all know that water causes rust and water penetration can cause your metal damper assemblies and metal chimney liners to rust.  For all the rust you can see, there’s likely to be even more that you can’t see.  Perhaps you haven’t seen rust but haven’t been able to physically open your damper; it could be rusted because of water running down from the top, or maybe due to a missing or damaged chimney cap.  In order to prevent water from wreaking havoc on your metal chimney components, a chimney cap is an absolute must have!

Water causes your bricks to flake. Chimney spalling (the flaking off of the brick surface) is a sign of severe moisture penetration.  Spalling bricks have cracks and breaks in the surface and often large, crater-shaped chips.  These bricks need to be repaired or replaced.  The best way to avoid brick spalling is to eliminate the moisture altogether.  If the area around your chimney crown is cracked or the cap itself is defective, this allows water to seep into the brickwork below, thereby increasing the chances for spalling.

Water has a tendency to erode your mortar. Your chimney is exposed to the elements on the outside and the heat from your firebox on the inside.  As a result, the weathering process is increased.  As such, it is common for the mortar to begin to crumble and fall away, leaving open areas between the bricks, thereby exposing more surface area to these weathering agents.  Repointing your chimney might be your only option.  During this process, the damaged, old and loose mortar on your chimney is removed from the joints between the bricks and replaced with new mortar.

Unless you’re wanting to remove your chimney, there’s no excuse for not taking better care of it.  Now is the best time to have an experienced technician evaluate the condition of your chimney’s interior and exterior.  So, whether you have a leaky chimney or are simply looking to be proactive and prevent leaks before they happen, call the professionals at ABC Cleaning, Inc. today!

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