Here we go again! Strong Storms Passing Thru. What about my chimney?

Strong storms are back again. Here we thought it was going to be strong storms over the weekend from the hurricane and it turned out to be not so bad. However, today can be a different issue. I think you’ve read enough about debris and leaks, this time let’s talk about your chimney.

Chimney’s are a common fixture in our homes. When high winds cause the rain to go horizontally instead of vertically, it becomes a perfect entry point to our chimneys. Watch for water dripping down. You may hear a dripping sound or see a puddle of water inside your fireplace. Quite unpleasant to clean.

Water can also make its way in if the mortar is weak or if the step flashing isn’t firm and in place. This fall, be sure to have your roof checked as Showalter always checks the chimney for problems. It’s a common problem many homeowners experience and don’t realize the damage it can cause.
Call us when you need help. 630-499-7700.

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Summer Storms Leaving Their Mark on Roof

Strong storms may only take a few minutes to pass through, but the results remind us for days to come. While you’re cleaning up the yard, be sure to watch for blown off shingles or slate. If you want to take it a step further, use your ladder to get a closer look at the roof.

Damaged Roof from Strong Storms

  • Check for damage to the ends of the shingles or to the gutters.
  • This is also a good time to check for loose or missing shingles.
  • Inspect the vents to ensure animals, debris or damage are not blocking the flow of air
  • Inspect the caulk at the chimney flashing. You’re looking for dried out or cracked caulking.

If climbing up to the roof isn’t what you’d like to do, call Showalter Roofing at 630-499-7700. We’ll check all of these points for you, take pictures so you can view the damage yourself and we’ll fix any damage caused by summer storms.

Do I Need a New Roof? – #4 Ventilation

Poor Ventilation!

Poor Ventilation

Damage due to poor ventilation

Another major factor that determines how long your roof will last is ventilation. If there is inadequate ventilation, problems like condensation in the winter and excessive heat inthe summer will shorten the life of the roof system and cause major damage to the wood deck. Attics need to ‘breathe’. This picture shows what happens to the plywood when condensation builds up due to heat loss and there is inadequate ventilation.

This adds to the expense of roof replacement. To solve the problem, make sure there is at least R-30 insulation in the attic, and soffit vents and attic vents in the upper part of the roof. Here are 3 different types of roof vents available:

Ridge Vent

Ridge Vent

Bird Resistant Vent

Bird Resistant Vent

Mushroom Vent

Mushroom Vent

Don’t forget…Chimney’s are Part of Your Home too!

Homeowners tend to maintain only what can be easily seen. It’s not until a problem develops do we realize there’s a roof on the house. What can be even worst is the lack of attention given to a chimney.

There are different types of chimneys on roofing systems.  I thought I’d focus more on the more common brick chimney.

Completed Chimney with Cut Mortar Joints

Completed Chimney with Cut Mortar Joints

Brick chimneys are an important part of your home maintenance due to the moisture and condensation brought out by the heat and air conditioning from the inside and the heat and cold temperatures from the outside.

The brick chimney has a metal counterflashing installed at the base of the chimney for protection. If the counterflashing is not cut into the mortar joint the caulking will loosen and moisture will make its way inside of the building. If the flashing is not constructed of aluminum, painted steel or galvanized steel, over time it will rust. If you’ve ever touched rust, the orange color steel particles end up on your fingers. Ultimately, it will run down your roof and stain the shingles. That is an undesirable sight.

Showalter Roofing sprays the chimney with a seal coat or silicone so the chimney remains water resistant. Some bricks are more porous, and will absorb additional water than other bricks.  The chimney cap is made from concrete that too can break up over time.  If water gets its chance to get inside the chimney cap, the chimney will need to be tuckpointed or completely replaced. A costly issue.  There are coatings which protect against water penetration called Crown Coat, a great product that Showalter frequently uses.

This summer, be sure to look on top of the roof. Be sure to check your shingles and the chimney.