Spring is here, and with it comes severe weather in many parts of the country. This includes our service area in and around Burlington. If you avoided winter damage, your chimney is less likely to sustain storm damage. However, any severe storm can cause damage. So, it is best to check your system for damage in order to avoid costly repairs later.
It may be difficult to inspect all of the chimney. This is because there are many unseen portions and areas that can’t be reached by the homeowner. There are signs to look for, though, including:
- Pieces of brick, mortar, or flashing on roof or in the yard.
- A missing or lopsided chimney cap.
- Dripping inside the chimney.
- Signs of water in the chimney.
- Debris inside the chimney or fireplace.
- Debris on the roof, especially including large branches.
Document Storm Damage
Be sure to document any damage to your chimney system as a result of a severe storm. You can take photographs of obvious damage. However, most insurance companies will require professional assessment and repairs. Brickliners offers CSIA chimney inspections. The trusted CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep® (CCS) signature is what your insurance provider will look for.
You should make sure to keep up with regular chimney maintenance in order to benefit from your post-storm inspection. Do you have documentation of routine chimney maintenance, valid inspections, and repair history> If so, your insurance provider is better able to determine if something was caused by a storm.
Your Routine Maintenance
The Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommends routine chimney sweeps and annual inspections for the safest and most efficient chimney system. A standard chimney inspection will determine if there is a problem that needs further investigation. Scheduling a level one inspection will set your mind at ease, and the inspection itself may be covered by your homeowners insurance following a storm. If you suspect damage, you should call your insurance provider first. They may have requirements regarding your chimney inspection that your chimney sweep needs to know.
Your Chimney Repairs
If you’re having chimney problems as a result of storm damage, you most likely have a leak somewhere. It may be a crack in the masonry or chimney crown, but this type of damage usually occurs over time. If you have a leak after a storm it’s usually caused by a damaged or missing chimney cap or flashing. The flashing protects the intersection of the chimney and the roof. If wind, hail, or rain shifts the flashing even a minute amount it can cause a leak. This leak can damage the masonry as well as walls and ceilings in your home! Similarly, if your chimney cap is damaged, shifted, or blown off the chimney it can cause a leak inside the chimney flue. Water inside the chimney can damage the flue, damper assemblies and more.
Your chimney sweep can not only asses your chimney and repair storm damage, but can also help you avoid future storm damage by waterproofing your masonry. Call Brickliners today and talk to a chimney expert or request an appointment online!