Pozzi Chimney Sweep Blog

The Benefits Of Waterproofing Your Chimney

Make sure your chimney is waterproof by calling Pozzi Chimney Sweep today!

Make sure your chimney is waterproof by calling Pozzi Chimney Sweep today!

Another year and another long winter almost behind us. As spring starts to roll in, it’s time to consider some chimney maintenance. Typical chimneys are made of bricks (usually clay or cement) and these materials are very porous. After prolonged exposure to moisture from harsh winter weather, your bricks can start to absorb the moisture, causing damage in a variety of ways.

If your chimney is exposed to the elements without waterproofing, this can lead to a variety of problems. Firstly, several components of your chimney such as the flue, damper and firebox could start to rust. Additionally, the actual bricks of your chimney could start to crack, crumble and eventually cause your chimney to shift or collapse. Lastly, if your chimney is exposed to the elements without protection, it could leave the interior of your home susceptible to water damage. If you notice peeling paint or wallpaper around where your chimney is located you may be experiencing some water damage.

Preventing Creosote Build-Up

A capped, dry chimney is able to burn hot, which prevents the build-up of creosote, a harmful chemical left behind when a fire isn’t burning hot enough. When your chimney is properly capped and/or lined, the fires in your fireplace or wood-burning stove will burn as hot as possible, making it difficult for creosote to build-up and damage your chimney.

Waterproofing Products For Your Chimney

Luckily for homeowners, there are a variety of ways you can waterproof your chimney and protect it from the elements. These products are easily installed by a professional chimney company such as Pozzi Chimney Sweep in Illinois so there’s no reason not to invest in the benefits of waterproofing your chimney.

Lining Your Chimney

Chimney liners are widely used as a means of protecting the masonry from corrosion and water damage. Chimney liners come in three main forms: metal, clay and cast-in place. Your professional chimney experts can recommend a chimney liner that’s right for your home.

Capping Or Sealing Your Chimney

There are also many add-ons or inserts that can be used to prevent rain and snow from entering your chimney. A chimney cap is placed on top of your chimney and seals the hole shut when your chimney isn’t in use. A top-sealing chimney damper has the same affect and can be reopened when you are ready to light a fire. Other benefits of chimney caps and sealers include:

Sealing your chimney from the top prevents debris like sticks and leaves from falling in your chimney and causing hazardous chimney fires.
Small animals and birds won’t be able to fall in a capped chimney, which can be dangerous for both the animals and you.

Contact us about the best ways you can prevent water from entering your chimney and causing damage. Prevention is the best way to avoid dangerous damage and expensive repairs. When the snow melts and spring rolls in have your chimney professionally inspected by one of our certified technicians and ask about the benefits of waterproofing your chimney for efficient and safe chimney use all year long!

Solving a Chimney Draft Problem

With the official start of winter just a few days away, most homeowners with fireplaces or wood stoves have at least burned a couple logs. Fireplaces are not all fun for everyone though. Perhaps you do everything right – the annual sweep and inspection, asking all the right questions, burning all the best wood – and you still cannot seem to build a strong fire. Stop feeling bad because it may not be you. Your chimney may have draft problems.

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Chimneys work because hot air rises. The hot air produced by the fire has a low density, so it moves upward through the chimney. Most fires are burned during the colder months of fall and winter, so the hot air from the fire usually meets comparably cold air from the outside sitting in the chimney. When the hot air meets the cold air, the difference in pressure between the two portions of air creates a vertical pull that draws air up the chimney. This movement of air is known as the “draft,” and it pulls air rich in oxygen from the house to help fuel the fire, and then the smoke and other harmful gases safely escape through the chimney. If the air fails to flow this way, the issue is called a draft problem.

The most common draft problem homeowners experience is a chimney that is too large for the firebox. Old fireplaces in particular often have oversized chimneys that result in draft problems. A wide chimney gives the hot air more room to spread vertically, which then slows its vertical progress. When the hot air moves more slowly up the chimney, the upward pull becomes weaker. Thus, the draft weakens and the air moves inefficiently through the system. Creosote also condenses easier when the flue is too large and the draft is too weak. This can be deadly as creosote is highly flammable and can cause a chimney (or house) fire. Signs of this problem include a small, cool fire or even a fire that refuses to stay lit. Fortunately, this problem can be easily remedied with the help of a chimney specialist. With a few measurements, the specialist can determine the proper flue width the fireplace requires and install a flue lining with the corresponding size.

Another cause of draft problems is a short chimney because the draft is more powerful in a taller chimney. Short chimneys are common in aged bungalows and ranch style houses, and they can lead to cold, smoky, or inconsistent fires. Although adding height to the chimney is not a welcomed expense, it can save money in the long run by preventing a reverse draft in which the cold air from the outside actually flows into the house.

You should not have to worry about draft problems while you simply want to enjoy your home and fireplace. If you live in the area of Aurora, Illinois, get in touch with Pozzi Chimney Sweep for a professional consultation. These experts can diagnose your draft problem and guide you in making the most informed decisions when addressing it.