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Davis Roofing: Article About Chimneys

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Many homeowners enjoy the ambiance, warmth and beauty that a fireplace and chimney provide in their living spaces. Most property owners understand that maintenance of the interior portions of the chimney is needed in order to avoid fires, but what surprises many homeowners is that exterior maintenance of the chimney's structure is equally important. Davis roofing experts offer inspections and assessment of common exterior chimney problems that can lead to leaky roofing systems. Property owners with chimneys should become familiar with problem signs so they can arrange for prompt repairs before the roof begins to leak.

Sealers are one of the most common problem areas between a home's chimney and its roof. These sealers are typically made of tar or petroleum based products. Years of exposure to wind, rains, heat and humidity cause the sealants to lose their effectiveness. Once the sealer is no longer functional, rain may make its way between the brick and mortar exterior of the chimney and the wooden portion of the roof. Once water is able to make its way into the wood, it is only a matter of time until the roof sags or an interior leak develops.

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Another common problem with chimneys is damage or loss of the aluminum flashing. The flashing consists of thin strips of metal that create a border between two different exterior surfaces or in the valley of a roof. The flashing may become loose after a storm or due to exposure to the elements. Once the flashing has been compromised, water can wear away the mortar between the chimney's bricks. The roof may also become warped, sagged or rotted.

The lack of a chimney cap is another potential problem for the roof of a home. The chimney cap acts as a little roof that prevents water from entering the interior parts of the chimney and fireplace. When water is able to gain access to these areas, it seeps through the porous mortar. Once the mortar is saturated with water, the moisture can wick its way into the wooden roof or the drywall or plaster of the home's walls and ceilings.

Loose rain gutters or insufficient rooftop drainage where the roof and chimney intersect also result in problems for the structure of the home. Water takes the path of least resistance, which may cause rainfall to cascade down the base of the chimney, wearing away the mortar and weakening the joints between the walls and roof of the home.

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