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Is Your Chimney Leaking? Here’s How You Can Tell

One of the most common chimney problems, water leaks can lead to extensive damage to your home, especially if the leaks are neglected. Not only do water leaks causehouse in rain problems to the masonry chimney structure itself, but you may also encounter issues with rusted metal components and rotted wooden parts of your house because of these leaks. For over 25 years, Atlas Chimney has specialized in taking care of the leaky chimneys of the Austin area, and you can trust our experienced team of qualified chimney professionals to properly fix the leaks and repair any damage caused by the leaks. Our chimney technicians have been trained and certified by the leader of our industry, the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA), and we are proud to provide the highest quality of professional chimney maintenance, repair, and installation services to the area. To help you prevent experiencing extensive water leak damage to your chimney and your home, we would like to tell you how to tell your chimney is leaking as well as what you can expect from our professional chimney services.

How can I tell that my chimney is leaking?

You may think that a water leak in your chimney would be obvious, but the signs of a chimney leak can be more subtle than standing water on the floor of your firebox. If you notice stains on the ceiling and walls of the room where your fireplace is located, there is a very good chance that you have a leaky chimney. You may also notice wallpaper peeling away from and/or paint cracking off of the walls near your fireplace. Rusted metal components, such as the fireplace damper, and musty odors coming from the fireplace opening are other signs that your chimney has a water leak. On the exterior of your chimney, damaged bricks and mortar joints can alert you to a chimney leak issue, according to the CSIA.

Why is my chimney leaking?

As we mentioned above, Atlas Chimney has been taking care of leaky chimneys for over 25 years, and this means we have a lot of experience in finding the sources of chimney leaks. This experience allows us to be able to stop water leaks quickly and make the proper repairs. One of the most common reasons why a chimney leaks is damaged masonry. When the bricks and mortar joints of your chimney are cracked, crumbled, broken, loose, or missing, water from rain and melted ice and snow can easily enter into the chimney through the gaps and holes left behind by the damaged masonry. Unfortunately, this type of masonry damage can deteriorate quickly, especially during the winter, if it is left unrepaired. Another cause of chimney leaks has to do with the top of your chimney not being as protected as it should be by a chimney cap and a chimney crown. If your chimney is uncapped, or if your chimney cap is old and damaged, your chimney is at a much higher risk for water leaks. Your chimney should also have a chimney crown at its top, and when the crown is cracked and damaged, water can leak into the chimney. You could also have a problem with a leaky chimney if your flashing system has been damaged.

How can Atlas Chimney help me with my leaky chimney?

When our CSIA-certified chimney professionals arrive to your home, we will begin by inspecting your chimney to find the source of the leak. Once we have made the diagnosis, we will explain the problem to you and provide you with a fair and honest written estimate of the repairs that are necessary to stop the leak. If there is any masonry damage, you can depend on us to remove the damaged bricks and mortar joints and replace them with durable masonry materials. After we have fixed the leak and its damage, we can help you prevent more chimney leaks from occurring. Atlas Chimney is proud to provide the Austin area with the best chimney leak preventive services available, which include chimney cap sales and installation, chimney crown construction and repairs, flashing construction and repairs, and waterproofing. As we mentioned earlier, masonry deterioration can be accelerated during the winter, and the best defense against this type of chimney damage is to have your chimney professionally waterproofed. We only use waterproofing agents that are specifically made for chimneys so that your chimney can be protected from water leaks for at least a decade. Although the waterproofing treatment will form an invisible barrier against water penetration, the formulas that we use are 100 percent vapor permeable so that gases can escape without causing further masonry damage. We strongly recommend that you have your chimney professionally waterproofed to prolong the life of your masonry chimney.

If you suspect that your chimney is leaking, contact us today at Atlas Chimney to schedule an appointment for our professional chimney water leak services. You can count on our CSIA-certified chimney professionals to take care of your leaky chimney. We are here for any of your professional chimney maintenance, repair, and installation needs.

You May Not Think You Need a Chimney Inspection, but Here’s Why You Do

When you have to live on a limited budget, you are always looking for ways to save money on household expenses. Although itAtlas Chimney work van may seem like a good idea to cut back on professional home maintenance services, you could be setting yourself up for even more expensive repairs if you neglect certain tasks. One of these tasks is your annual professional chimney inspection service. You might be thinking that since you have not had any major issues with your fireplace over the past year that you do not really need to have your chimney professionally inspected; however, there could be hidden hazards lurking inside the walls of your chimney that could lead to larger problems that could jeopardize your safety. For over 25 years, Atlas Chimney has provided first class professional chimney maintenance, repair, and installation services to the Austin area, and we have seen quite a bit of chimney damage that could have been avoided with regular inspection services. We would like to tell you more about why you need to have your chimney professionally swept and inspected every year by a certified chimney technician. You will also learn what you can expect from our team of chimney professionals when you hire us to inspect your chimney.

Decrease Risk of Accidental Fire

One of the most important reasons why an annual professional chimney inspection is needed has to do with the possibility of fire hazards being present inside your chimney. Damage that can lead to an accidental fire includes cracks and gaps in the chimney liner and/or firebox, large accumulations of creosote deposits, and flue blockages from debris. When Atlas Chimney inspects your chimney, you can depend on our professionals to closely examine every inch of the inside of the flue because we offer video inspection services that allow us to make sure there is no type of damage inside your chimney that could be a dangerous fire hazard. We are proud to be authorized to use the best video recording equipment in the chimney and venting industry, the Chim-Scan Closed Circuit Internal Evaluation System. When we provide our Level 2 and Level 3 chimney inspection services, our Chim-Scan services are included, but we can also use this closed-circuit video camera during a basic Level 1 inspection, if you would like us to add this service. We highly recommend our Chim-Scan video chimney inspection services because it can be the only way to see every inch of your interior chimney and have the peace of mind that no hazards are present inside the flue.

Avoid Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Although masonry chimneys are strong and durable enough to last for many years, the bricks and mortar joints can suffer from water penetration damage that can lead to deterioration that leaves cracks and gaps behind in the chimney structure. Not only can this type of masonry damage be the cause of structural problems, but it can also allow toxic combustion gases like carbon monoxide to enter your living spaces. Known as “the silent killer” as well as “the invisible killer,” carbon monoxide is odorless, colorless, and tasteless, which means you could be breathing this deadly gas without even knowing it. Thousands of Americans become ill from carbon monoxide poisoning every year. Its symptoms are headache, fatigue, nausea, and congestion, and since these are very similar to the symptoms of the flu and the common cold, many cases of carbon monoxide poisoning go undiagnosed. This can be very serious as you could continue to breathe this toxic gas, and prolonged exposure to carbon monoxide can lead to organ failure and even death. You can count on Atlas Chimney to keep you and your family safe from becoming ill from this poisonous gas with our professional chimney inspection services. Our team of professionals have been trained and certified by the leader in our industry, the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA), and we know exactly what to look for when we are inspecting your chimney that could lead to hazardous situations in your home. Your safety is always our top priority.

No matter what type of damage we may find, you can expect Atlas Chimney to provide you with a detailed written explanation of the problem as well as photographs and video of the damage itself. If you need to file a claim with your home insurance company, we will give you exactly what you will need to give your agent. You can also depend on our professionals to provide you with an honest and fair estimate of the repair work that we can do to restore the safety and integrity of your chimney and fireplace system. We offer Olympia Chimney Stainless Steel Liner and HeatShield chimney relining services, chimney cap installation, and masonry repair services. We can also protect your chimney from water penetration damage with our professional waterproofing services.

To schedule your appointment for your annual professional chimney sweeping and inspection, contact us today at Atlas Chimney. We are here for all of your professional chimney maintenance, repair, and installation needs.

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