The wind and rain storm was a short burst, but it left quite a mess in its path. At first glance, tree branches were everywhere. The entire front and back yards, including the sidewalk and driveway were littered with tree branches and leaves of all sizes.
The next day, I decided to go for a walk around the neighborhood. Partly for exercise, but I was mostly curious as to the extent of the damage caused by the high winds. Here’s a few of the houses with chimney damage on my route:
- Chimney Caps: With 70+ mph winds, chimney caps ended up in the neighbor’s yard…3 houses down. A few homeowners were reluctant to install a new chimney cap. It is definitely worth the time and effort. Here’s why:
- The chimney cap will keep the critters out – Raccoons, squirrels, birds, bats, etc. Cool weather is just around the corner and they will be looking for a cozy place to sleep. Your house seems nice with no cap!
- Debris from trees, dust, or whatever the wind can swirl up will come down and find that perfect spot to land…right in your chimney.
- Chimney caps keep moisture out. A chimney cap can act like a tent or an umbrella keeping rain, snow and hail from entering your home. If moisture gets in, it can corrode the chimney liner, and create mold and mildew. All those smells. Yum?
- Wind…and we have some…can create a downdraft. If a strong wind blows into your chimney you can have a smoke-filled room. The chimney cap can present wind from blowing into your home.
- Chimney Fell Over: It’s amazing what a little wind can do. A pile of bricks or stone lay on the rooftop and on the ground. The homeowners didn’t realize the chimney mortar had deteriorated allowing the wind to finish the job. When a chimney falls over, this may lead to a total chimney rebuild. A chimney rebuild is when the outer layer of brick needs to be replaced including the chimney crown. Most times, the firebox, smoke chamber and hearth remain intact.
- Water Leak(s): Water leaks happen when you don’t have a chimney cap or when the mortar has deteriorated.
There are other factors as well such as flashing. Flashing is the protectant between the chimney and roofing system. Flashing keeps the water from entering any weak points where the chimney and roof meet.
Another factor is the chimney crown. If the concrete chimney crown is cracked, water will find its way in. A crack becomes larger over time when we change seasons…hot to cold, freeze thaw cycles. This is when the concrete expands and contracts the most.
When my walk around the neighborhood was over, it was clear that the storm created a huge mess. We’ve already heard from many of you, but not all. Give us a call and let’s get your chimney back into great condition. While we’re at your home, let us complete an inspection on your fireplace too. This way, you’ll be good to go for the next year. Call us at 877-244-6349.