Posted on
February 8th, 2016

Chimney Damp

When most people think of damp, the first things that comes to mind are probably wet patches on walls, flakey patches of paint or a tidemark from rising damp. One of the less well known occurrences is chimney damp, which is quite hard to spot. Read through this article and you can find out how to spot chimney damp, and how to treat it.

The Signs

The main signs of chimney damp are similar to those of regular damp, except they are isolated to the area around your fireplace or chimney. These may come in the form of damp patches on the chimney breast, or around the ceiling above it, or possible on the walls around, but focused on the chimney. In addition to this, staining and discolouration in these areas are signs of damp.

What Causes Chimney Damp?

Chimney damp occurs most frequently when your chimney is boarded up and not used. As unused chimneys are usually not ventilated properly, moisture can get trapped. If your chimney stack is open, rainwater can travel down to the bottom and collect. Adversely, if your chimney is capped and not ventilated, moisture can build up within the stack as it has nowhere to escape.

Another major factor is that of poorly completed work on the chimney itself. Where cracks appear in mortar or brickwork, water can easily enter – just like with the rest of the property. This issue is harder to spot on chimneys, as the issue can arise higher up, compared to most forms of damp coming from the ground upwards. Improper building work could have originated from work you have had done, or a neighbour – such as the installation of a wood burner, chimney blocking, or other modifications.

When coal or wood is burned in a fireplace, various materials are released, which stick to the inside of the chimney flue and breast. Many of these materials can easily absorb water, creating a buildup of moisture, which can then spread to other parts of the building.

Even if you haven’t used your fireplace in years – or ever – if it has been used at some point, the chances of a possible build up are there. Even small amounts left over many years can cause a significant problem, so make sure you are on the lookout.

What Should You Do?

Getting in touch with a reputable firm is the first step, to at least assess the damage. This can help you get a good idea of what the problem is and what needs to be done. Making sure that the problems are fixed with Wykamol products will ensure the best results.

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