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How To Spot Chimney Leaks

Are you concerned about your chimney’s structural soundness? One of the biggest reasons masonry breaks down is due to leaks and water damage. Spotting these issues as soon as possible saves you a ton of money and stress down the line. Call us in right away if you note anything suspicious. A-1 Chimney Specialist is here for you, no matter what!How To Spot Chimney Leaks - Tullahoma TN - A-1 Chimney Specialist

Check Your Chimney Cap & Chimney Crown

One reason you may be having leaks is due to a faulty cap or crown. These are the pieces at the very top of your chimney and they are typically your fireplace’s first line of defense against excess moisture. Let’s start with the chimney crown. Crowns are typically cement-based, slanted structures that sit on your chimney and slightly overhang past the edges. They are known for being super durable, easily casting water away from your brickwork, mortar, and flue opening.

The chimney cap is the piece that covers the flue opening so that water cannot go down into it. The cap is inexpensive and durable, and it keeps your flue from experiencing the harmful effects that come with too much water exposure. Without a well-functioning chimney cap in place, your liner will likely deteriorate quite quickly, making your system unsuitable for regular use.

If either the cap or crown is missing or damaged, you’ll be facing leaks throughout your chimney. Check these areas right away if you notice any signs of water damage, then have an expert take a look to see what can be done. A CSIA certified professional, like the staff at A-1 Chimney, can fix up your crown or cap in a hurry! Or, should a replacement be in order, we can handle that, too. Count on us for it all!

Other Things To Look For

If your cap and crown are both in good shape, there are other areas you can check for leaks. For example, your flashing could be rusted and cracked, thus allowing water to enter and damage your structure. When your flashing is in good shape, it provides an excellent seal for the area where your roof and chimney meet. Unfortunately, improper installation can eventually lead to big issues. Count on us to get the job done right the first time!

Your brickwork may also be in bad shape, thus allowing excess water easy access to your other chimney parts. Luckily, we can fix it up! And once we’re through, we can apply waterproofing agents, so that you won’t have to deal with leaks and water damage again anytime soon. Give our sweeps a call today!

Schedule An Inspection Today!

The best way to stop leaks before they turn into a bigger issue, is to schedule inspections at least once per year. This way, a professional can assess your situation on a regular basis, then let you know of any necessary repairs or build up. For the best chimney care in Tullahoma and all of its surrounding areas, count on the team at A-1 Chimney Specialist!

Has Rain Been Making Your Chimney Leak?

Rainy weather can really put a damper on your week. Outdoor activities get canceled, water puddles show up everywhere, everything gets muddy, and you may start experiencing leaks throughout your home. If rainwater has been causing problems in and around your chimney, then it’s time you invest in repairs and find solutions that will help you out in the future. The certified staff at A-1 Chimney Specialist is here to help you out!Has Rain Been Making Your Chimney Leak - Tullahoma, TN - A-1 Chimney

Taking Preventive Action

So, what can you do to stop leaks from forming? There are a few great options we have for protecting your chimney and home. Remember, though, that any repairs should be addressed before we start on any preventative work. This will ensure your chimney is in great health from the get-go and stays that way for years to come.

First of all, let’s talk about chimney caps. Chimney caps keep water out of your flue and keep your chimney liner protected and in good condition. The best part is, they have other perks, as well! They help to keep out animals and serve as spark arrestors. In addition, they prevent debris from clogging up your flue and stop annoying downdrafts from swooping through your home.

We can easily install a chimney cap for you – and they’re affordable, too! Count on our staff to get the job done right the first time. It’s a great purchase that we know you won’t regret.

Next, we can examine the flashing and the chimney crown. If these parts are damaged, that may be a big contributing factor to your water problems. Flashing helps seal the area where your roof and chimney meet, and the crown directs rainwater out and away from your masonry. We can seal cracks, patch holes, and replace any parts as necessaryv .

Lastly, we strongly encourage homeowners to invest in waterproofing. Waterproofing provides a protective coating for the chimney, while still allowing your brickwork the ability to breath out necessary moisture and vapors. It’s the perfect way to ensure your system stays standing tall for years while eliminating leaks and water damage. It’s affordable and we can get the job done fast. Why wait? Make your appointment with us today.

Other Negative Impacts Of Water

Neglect and lack of regular maintenance leads to lots of problems, and when it comes to moisture and masonry, leaks won’t be your only issue when preventative measure aren’t in place. Water damage comes in all shapes and forms, some of which include clogs, decay, rust, rot, stains, and more. The more issues your system faces, the worse off you’ll be, and you may eventually face a chimney settlement or collapse.

Investing in preventative measures and regular maintenance early on is always a better and more cost-effective investment option than neglecting everything until you need expensive repairs. Give us a call, so that we can set your chimney up with all of the tools necessary for maintaining a long and healthy life.

Don’t Let Water In Your Chimney

Water is not a friend of you chimney. See to it that it doesn't have a way of getting in and damaging your chimney.

Water is not a friend of you chimney. See to it that it doesn’t have a way of getting in and damaging your chimney.

Even though rain is necessary for survival, it can be detrimental to our chimney. However there are ways to make sure that you are protected. It is also important that you keep your maintenance up to date as well so that you know to fix any current problems. To speak to a qualified technician call A-1 Chimney Service today!

How does water damage your chimney?

When water is allowed into your chimney it can begin to cause deterioration to the inside of the structure, especially in a masonry chimney. Also, when enough water collects it can begin to mold and spread to other parts of the home. It can also lead to other problems including broken brickwork, rust on metal parts, and a cracked or damaged flue liner.

How do you repair water damage?

A mix of the water and high winds that come along with storms can do some damage to a chimney. The chimney crown is often damaged in the process. This is the cover that seals the flue liner to the edge of the chimney. Most of the crowns are built out of mortar which is not designed to withstand many years of bad weather, often times cracking after installation because of shrinkage.

You also want to make sure that your flashing is in good shape. This is the seal between the roofing materials and the chimney, and stops water from being able to run into living areas. When being repaired, technicians will check both the flashing and the counter-flashing.

How can you prevent water damage?

There are ways to make sure you are doing your part when trying to keep the water away. Make sure that you have a trusted technician check your chimney cap. These are specifically designed to make sure that water does not enter the chimney’s interior. These will work to prevent animals from entering as well.

Secondly, have the technician waterproof your chimney after they sweep it. This is a procedure where they spray a sealant on the outside of the chimney to repel water that may come into contact. This is not a hard procedure but must be done on a dry day. If you live in an especially wet climate, your chimney may require more than one coat.


Keep Mold Out Of Your Chimney

It’s no secret that mold in your home that lives anywhere outside your blue cheese salad dressing is a bad, bad thing. Any part of your home that’s susceptible to moisture intrusion is susceptible to mold — your bathrooms, your ceilings and yes, your leaky chimney too.

Look closer! If you think there's nothing growing in your chimney, think again. there could be molds that can make you sick!

Look closer! If you think there’s nothing growing in your chimney, think again. there could be molds that can make you sick!

You don’t want to deal with mold growth in your chimney any more than you want it in your drywall. Air movement is a core part of how your chimney functions, and when mold spores are present, they’re in that moving air. Mold spores have been shown to contribute to a bunch of different health problems, from making allergies act up to irritating throats and worsening respiratory conditions.

A-1 Chimney Specialists can help determine whether you have a mold problem in your chimney, remove it and, more importantly, make the right repairs to stop the moisture intrusion that’s feeding the mold. A few indicators that mold growth might be a problem in your chimney:

You See The Signs Of Leaks

Moisture is, of course, what feeds mold growth. So if you notice the signs of a leak in or around your chimney — stained or discolored building materials or masonry, the moisture itself — mold is a distinct possibility. A-1 technicians will always check for mold issues when we’re working on finding and repairing the source (or sources) of a chimney leak.

You Notice A Strange Smell In Or Around Your Chimney

People always note the great smell that comes with having a fire in your fireplace. But even if you have a wood-burning unit, when the fireplace isn’t in use, you shouldn’t notice a strong smell coming from your firebox. Mold gives off a strong musty smell, so a bad odor coming from your chimney could be an indication of a leak and mold growth. Chimney odors truly aren’t just an annoyance — they can be a helpful warning, so long as you respond accordingly. If you’re noticing a strong smell around your fireplace or chimney, call A-1 Chimney Specialists. We’ll figure out what that odor is trying to tell us.

Keep Mold Out By Keeping Water Out

We don’t want water getting into your chimney system — mold is just one of the frustrating results that come with water intrusion. Along with keeping up with your annual chimney inspections, A-1 recommends a number of other preventative measures that can do a lot to keep water out of your chimney.

Chimney caps are a smart start when it comes to keeping water out — installed at the top of your flue, they help keep rain and snow out of your flue opening, which helps keep moisture out of your flue.

Top-sealing dampers are another great preventative measure — along with effectively closing off your flue when your appliance isn’t in use, these dampers use a silicone gasket to completely close off the flue opening, keeping the flue moisture- (and air-) tight.

A-1 techs can also apply a strong waterproofing sealant to your masonry that can make a huge difference in protecting older masonry and lengthening the lifespan of any masonry. Older, eroded or degraded masonry can start absorbing a large amount of water, and that’s a surefire recipe for mold. When we apply this specially designed waterproofing sealant, that absorption stops, but your masonry is still able to function the way it’s supposed to, “breathing” and allowing vapors and small particles to move from the inside of the flue to the outside.

Are you worried about a mold problem in or around your chimney? Give A-1 Chimney Specialists a call. We’d be glad to help.

A Chimney Guide

It won’t be too long now before a certain jolly man brings gifts into your home via your chimney. So what exactly is a chimney? When most people think of chimneys, they’re really envisioning fireplaces. Since the dawn of civilization, humans have gathered around open fires for a sense of safety and community. Keep reading to learn more about the various components that make up your chimney system.

Getting to know the parts of the chimney can help you live a safer, more comfortable life at home.

Getting to know the parts of the chimney can help you live a safer, more comfortable life at home.


Chimney caps cover the top opening of the flue for the purpose of keeping animals, debris, rain and other elements out (which is important because moisture is the #1 cause of chimney and fireplace deterioration). The flue is a safe pathway for heat and combustion by-products to exit your home. A chimney liner is the safe, approved material that lines your flue’s interior; it’s commonly made out of either clay or stainless steel. The chimney itself is the structure that passes through the construction of your home and encases your flue.

Smoke Chamber Assembly

The smoke chamber is the dome area of brick that supports the flue tiles and directs flue gases safely to the flue. Below the smoke chamber is the smoke shelf, which is located behind the damper and prevents down drafts from coming into the firebox area as well as your home. The damper closes off the fireplace from the outside of your house and prevents air loss from your home when the fireplace isn’t in use.

Firebox Assembly

The firebox is where you build the fire; it’s also referred to as the interior of the fireplace. The lintel is a horizontal architectural header above your fireplace opening that provides the support for the brickwork above the fireplace opening. Heat-resistant firebrick lines the firebox of your fireplace. The floor of your fireplace is known as the inner hearth; this encompasses the entire floor inside the opening of the fireplace. The floor immediately outside of your firebox is known as the outer hearth (or simply just the hearth) and is required for safety (NFPA code requires the outer hearth to extend 18” from the fireplace opening).

Base Assembly

An ash dump is an opening located in the inner hearth of some fireplaces, which leads to an ash pit – a cavity underneath the fireplace firebox used as a receptacle for ashes – for convenient ash removal and fireplace cleaning by way of a clean-out door located either outside your home or in your basement.

The fireplace is still the focus of family living in many homes, especially around the holidays. Memories of cold winter evenings spent relaxing cozily in front of a crackling fire are hard to beat. Having read this article, you will be able to schedule an appointment for your next chimney inspection and/or sweeping with confidence, as you have become a more informed consumer. Happy holidays from the A-1 Chimney Specialist team.