Yup, we’re talking about weeds and other growing plants and undesirable plants growing directly out of and on the chimney. What are they? And is it a good idea to have decorative plants on the chimney? Here are a couple of questions we’ve received over the past couple of years. With spring coming soon, (especially since the groundhog didn’t see his shadow) you might want to keep a look out.
Q: We have an old home. I thought I was seeing things, but after I took out my binoculars, it looks like moss growing on my chimney!
A: It is true that algae, moss or any other plant like organisms can grow when there’s a presence of moisture and plenty of shade. Besides its undesirable appearance, it’s certainly encouraging the deterioration of the brick and mortar of your chimney.
The appearance of moss is also giving you visual clues that water has made its way into the chimney’s brick and mortar. Water is either making its way into your home, or is already there. You’ll be able to tell by looking at your ceilings, walls or floors.
In this instance, it needs the attention of a certified chimney technician that knows what to look for and how to correct the situation.
Q: We just bought a new house, and the previous owners have vines on the side of the house and the chimney is connected. The vines are mature and have made their way around the entire chimney. Is that a problem?
A: Many homeowners like the character vines brings to the home’s exterior. However, vines can cause more damage than you think. To begin, the tendrils and roots need to hang onto something in order to expand and grow. As it grows on the chimney, it forces its way into to masonry causing cracks, holes and chips to occur. If this is left unattended, it can cause the chimney structure to become unstable. If its been there a long time, its best to have the flue liner checked as it can cause the flue liner to crack.
In addition, moisture can easily become trapped with a thick layer of leaves allowing the moisture to deteriorate the bricks and mortar. But don’t forget about the bugs. Nice thick vines are home to numerous types of bugs and insects. They will find those very tiny places where they can make their way into your home.
A certified chimney technician will need to inspect your chimney and communicate to you the extent of the damage.