What is that White Stuff on my Chimney?

Chimney Sweep Charlotte NC

What is that White Stuff on my Chimney?

Have you happened to spot a chalky, hazy white coating on the bricks of your chimney? You may have thought of it as something that happens to all aging chimneys, or perhaps you believed it to be a type of mold growing on the surface. Actually, the white powder is a common problem called efflorescence—sometimes referred to as “whiskers.”

Efflorescence is composed of crystallized minerals. It is caused by water leaking into your chimney system and then evaporating. Bricks are naturally quite porous and can absorb a large amount of water—similar to a sea sponge. The moisture brings salt deposits to the surface of the bricks, which are left behind as the water evaporates.

In and of themselves, these salt deposits do not warrant much concern—still, they potentially are indicative of a more serious issue with your chimney. Moisture can damage and deteriorate the chimney’s structure. The dampness can act as an excellent place for mold to flourish, as well as other moisture-induced problems.

There are a number of reasons why efflorescence may be present on your chimney. First, it can be caused by a missing chimney cap. If your chimney has no cap upon it, water-soluble salts can easily get into your system. Second, a failure to properly seal your chimney can lead to a layer of efflorescence. Finally, if your chimney is cracked, the cracks provide a path for water to flow into the structure.

Now that you have a little background on efflorescence, what can or should you do? While you may have a general idea of its causes, you should still first hire a professional, certified chimney sweep to inspect your structure. A chimney sweep can properly inspect the interior and exterior of the flue, searching for any existing structural damage or areas where the sealant is lacking. After the inspection, the sweep will provide a report to you on the conditions of your chimney, along with solutions for any issues. The remedy may be as simple as the replacement of sealant, or as complicated as complex structural repair.

If you have noticed efflorescence on your chimney and would like to hire a professional chimney sweep to inspect, please give Bob Davis Chimney a call today!

Posted by bobdavischimney

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Bob, Thank you so much for working out your schedule. :)
Thank you for the good work.
Thank you, Bob, for making your schedule work to get Stephanie's chimney repair finished while I was in Charlotte. What a super trio of guys you three are! Thanks again.
Hello Bob, Thank you so much for a very helpful consultation! Brian and I enjoyed learning about our fireplace and out options. We appreciate your thorough inspection and sharing of you knowledge! Take care.
Kim Hamilton
We purchased our home in Belmont and it had a very nice wood burning fireplace that needed some work. I called several other companies but once I spoke to Bob I could tell he had many years of experience and knew exactly how to advise me. He let me ask as many questions as I wanted and explained the work that needed to be done. The project was completed in the time-frame he said and within the estimated price he provided. I would recommend him to anyone I know.
Sandi M.
When I called [Bob] it was obvious he has many years or experience with Fireplaces and Chimneys. I like that he took the time to answer the questions and to explain the situation and options I needed for my fireplace. I called three other companies before him and each one gave misinformation and didn't want to take the time to explain and teach me so I could make an educated decision. Instead they just wanted to sell me something I didn't need. I never knew there were so many intricacies to the business but now know exactly who to call to get my questions answered and get the best service at a fair price! I'm so lucky I found him before choosing one of the other guys.
Mike M.
Called Bob and he was able to come out in 2 days. He showed up on time and was very professional (even letting me know when he was 30 minutes out). He looked at the fireplace and made the recommendation for repair with some estimated pricing. So right there on the spot he helped me walked through the decision process on what would fix the issue. I was VERY happy with his knowledge and felt like I could trust him to give me the right advice and not just try to sell me something. Thanks Bob!