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Chimney Stains and How to Fix Them

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Types of Stains

A healthy chimney should look healthy. By the time there are visible signs of a problem, there is most likely already unseen damage. At the first sign of discoloration you should do your best to identify the problem and formulate a plan of action.

  • Efflorescence
    These white stains are common masonry stains caused from water passing through the masonry. When the water evaporates it leaves behind white salt deposits that appear as stains. They are unsightly and often lead to homeowners scheduling a cosmetic repair. It’s best to have a certified chimney sweep assess the chimney at this time. This is because although it has an obvious leak, no serious damage has occurred.
  • Brown or Green Stains
    These stains are the result of heavy water damage and indicates mold or algae growth. By the time a water leak reaches this point it has most likely done extensive damage to the chimney system and should be addressed immediately.
  • Black Stains
    The fire produces soot and creosote naturally. However, a clean fire that is vented properly should not have a soot buildup. Black stains are usually caused from a creosote or soot buildup on the chimney cap that is washed off during the rain. It runs down the chimney and stains the masonry.

When to Call a Professional

A certified chimney sweep is able to clean your stained masonry. If you schedule an appointment to have your chimney stains removed, you should also discuss the water damage with your chimney sweep. Water in your masonry chimney is never to be ignored. If you have stains, it means water has been present long enough to leave a stain. Even though black stains doesn’t mean you have water in your masonry, you should still have a chimney sweep assess it. If your chimney is producing excess amounts of soot and creosote it means it isn’t working efficiently.

Prevention is Key

You can avoid water damage, decreased efficiency, increased fire risk, and more by scheduling preventative maintenance for your fireplace and chimney. Annual chimney inspections are vital for early detection of cracks, discoloration, and missing or damaged parts that can allow water penetration. Having your chimney swept regularly cuts down on soot and creosote buildup that leads to black stains. This small cost at regular intervals can save you in repairs later.

Bulldog Chimney Sweeps treats stained chimneys frequently. Our technicians know that fixing the stain is not enough, so we target the problem—the leak. Once the chimney is back to its original beauty we can even apply a waterproofing sealant to keep the problem from reoccurring. When you choose Bulldog Chimney Sweeps you get certified professionals who have proudly served Western Colorado for 20 years! Call today at 970.872.2333.